If you have been involved in a car accident, you are inevitably going to have to deal with an insurance adjuster to file resulting damages and injuries. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters do not always have your best interest in mind. This is because the insurance adjuster’s primary objective is to minimize the compensation of your claim. It is essential to understand how to deal with insurance adjusters and avoid the landmines they are laying in your path to blow up your claim.
What do Insurance Adjusters Do?
Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly does an insurance claims adjuster do? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, adjusters “inspect property damage or personal injury claims to determine how much the insurance company should pay for the loss.” Typical duties of an adjuster entail investigating accidents and claims, determining fault for the accident, evaluating insurance policies, configuring claim cost, negotiating settlements, and authorizing payments. When an at-fault driver’s insurance company is notified after an accident, an insurance adjuster will be promptly assigned to the claim. After someone files a claim, they will be assigned a claim number. Shortly afterward, they will be contacted by the adjusters handling their claim.
Tips for Effectively Dealing with Insurance Adjusters after a Car Accident
1) Identify your adjuster and take notes.
If you do speak with an adjuster, make sure to gather their information, such as their name, phone number, and the insurance company they are employed with. Also, when you speak with an adjuster, make sure to take notes of all significant correspondence. All of this information can be very useful.
2) Only provide fundamental facts
If you decide to speak with your adjuster, ensure that you only give the necessary details of what happened, when it happened, and who was involved. No other details are required or beneficial to your claim. Providing too much detail offers flexibility for the adjuster to manipulate your statement to minimize your claim.
3) Do not agree to recorded statements.
You are not legally required to give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company after a car accident, and we recommend you strongly consider your options before doing so. No person tells the same story the same way over time. If your case winds up in litigation, you will be deposed.
At the deposition, the insurance lawyer will have you repeat the details of the wreck. She will ask precise questions about the entire event and day. More than likely, there will be a small detail that is irrelevant to your claim that you will change or misstate (ex. the color of the witnesses’ car). The defense lawyer, after your deposition, will compare your testimony to the recorded statement. Then, if you said any conflicting statement, she will use it at trial to make you look like a fraud. We know that seems ridiculous, but the defense attorney is working for the insurance company, and her job is to minimize your claim. We have seen it happen to people who didn’t listen, please don’t let it happen to you.
4) Consult with an attorney
Postpone providing any statement to an insurance adjuster until after you have hired an attorney to represent you and have had an opportunity to consult him or her. Once you have hired an attorney, they can handle the interactions with your adjuster. Skilled personal injury attorneys know how to negotiate with adjusters to maximize your claim entirely. They also know how to demonstrate the facts of the case through the police report and witness statements.
Have More Questions? Contact Us
Operating the aftermath of a car crash can be a strenuous task. We are here to relieve that stress and let you focus on getting healthy. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, please do not hesitate to call Dixie Law Group at 502-290-2397.
You will receive a 100% free consultation with an attorney.
Dixie Law Group, PSC – A Neighborhood Personal Injury Law Firm