When you are injured in a car accident due to the negligent or reckless actions of another driver, you deserve to be fully and fairly compensated for your damages. In a car accident claim, damages refer to the financial and non-financial losses you have suffered, including lost wages, medical bills, mental anguish, and more.
To secure this compensation, you will need to file a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. During this process, you will speak with an insurance claims adjuster. This is the person responsible for investigating the claim on behalf of the insurance company and determining how much you are owed. However, we advise that you exercise caution whenever speaking with an insurance adjuster.
Our Top 6 Tips When Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
Even if the insurance claims adjuster seems nice enough, you must remember that they are not your friend. Their job is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. If they do not deny your claim, they will try to limit how much you are able to recover in your car insurance claim.
While you can fight any determination that you are not owed compensation, it is preferable to not reach that point in the first place. In addition to engaging the services of a reputable car accident attorney, you can improve your chances of securing maximum compensation after a Philadelphia car accident by following these tips for talking with an insurance adjuster.
Identify Who You Are Speaking With
Be sure to identify the person you are speaking with any time that you speak with someone from the insurance company. Keep a log of all your interactions with the insurance company, including:
- The name of the person you spoke with
- The date and time of the conversation
- What you discussed
When you have a log detailing the above information, you will be able to more easily identify when the insurance company is changing its story or trying to trick you into accepting lowball settlements.
Remain Calm and Polite (But Avoid Niceties)
Do not allow the insurance adjuster to rile you up. If you begin to feel angry or frustrated with the conversation, you might accidentally say something that you do not mean or that could ultimately be used against you. Do your best to remain calm during every conversation and be polite to the person you’re speaking with.
However, avoid niceties that may make it seem like you are doing better than you are. For example, when asked, “How are you doing today?” you might normally reply with something along the lines of, “I’m doing fine.” While this is a widely accepted form of polite social behavior, insurance adjusters will purposely misconstrue statements like this to mean that you are not suffering from any serious injuries and are therefore not entitled to compensation.
Stick to the Facts
Refrain from engaging in speculation when you talk with an insurance adjuster. Instead, only discuss the known facts of your car accident. Any time you engage in speculation about what might have happened or what could have contributed to your accident, you may be perceived as making repeated inconsistencies in your story. If you struggle to recall the facts of your case, you can access a copy of your accident report online.
If the insurance adjuster asks you, “What do you think caused the accident?” remain calm and only cite the facts or what you know to be true.
Do Not Offer More Information Than Necessary
While you might think that providing more information than is strictly necessary will make it seem like you are being as cooperative as possible, this approach can backfire. The insurance adjuster does not need to know where you were heading or what your plans were for the day.
Volunteering information like, “I was heading to a meeting,” or, “I had just left a doctor’s appointment” could be taken to mean that your mind was on something other than driving. An insurance adjuster may use this type of information to accuse you of being cognitively distracted or in an altered state of mind, painting you as the at-fault party.
Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
Giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster could have disastrous implications for your car accident claim. Even if the insurance adjuster you are speaking with seems friendly and as if they have your best interests at heart, any attempt to persuade you to make a recorded statement is with the intent to disprove your case or limit their own liability.
There are limited situations in which a recorded statement might be called for. For example, you can agree to give a recorded statement in exchange for a transcript of the other driver’s statement. Never agree to this without the support and guidance of your car accident attorney, though.
Refer Questions to Your Attorney
In most situations, it is best to refer all questions and statements to your personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will have the experience and knowledge required to deal with the insurance claims adjuster. Deferring all communications with the insurance company to your attorney will also help ensure that you do not accidentally make a statement that could be perceived or purposely misconstrued as you taking responsibility for the crash.
Your car accident lawyer will also:
- Investigate your accident and provide the necessary evidence to the insurance company
- Correctly value the worth of your claim and negotiate for that amount
- Allow you to focus on your own health and well-being while they deal with the insurance company
We Put Decades of Experience to Work for Philadelphia Car Accident Victims
With more than 80 years of combined experience, the car accident lawyers at Shrager & Sachs have dealt with a wide variety of complex car accident claims. When it comes to dealing with insurance claims adjusters, we are prepared to put that knowledge and expertise to work for you.
Do not talk to an insurance claims adjuster without the backing of a competent lawyer. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our law firm.