The aftermath of a car accident is nothing short of chaos. Amidst this chaos, you will make and receive several phone calls. One of the first calls you receive will come from the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Although the insurance adjuster might seem helpful, you must be wary of what you say during this conversation and any subsequent calls you receive. Keep in mind that the adjuster’s priority is to protect the interests of the insurance company rather than ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Of course, this does not mean you have to be rude. Be polite, but do not provide more information than you should.
DEALING WITH THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER
Although you should provide only minimal information to the insurance adjuster, you must always be honest. If you lie about any of the information you provide, it will harm your credibility and derail your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
When you receive your first phone call from the insurance adjuster, it is unlikely you will have had a chance to obtain legal representation yet. Do not allow the insurance adjuster to convince you that hiring an attorney is unnecessary. Not hiring an attorney will only serve the insurance company’s interests and not yours.
Here are some tips to get you through your initial conversation with the insurance adjuster after a car accident:
- Do not admit to fault: On instinct, many of us use apologetic language after an accident. Unfortunately, if you make any apologies or admit to fault when speaking to the insurance adjuster, you might end up harming your chances of recovering damages.
- Playing a guessing game: Generally, you should not answer any questions regarding how the accident occurred. However, if you do, never guess or make any speculations. If you make an incorrect guess, it could come back to haunt you and you might appear dishonest. Err on the side of caution and never answer a question if you are unsure if it is accurate.
- Providing a recorded statement: No matter what the insurance adjuster tells you, you are by no means legally obligated to provide a recorded statement. Politely decline this request. You will provide all the details the insurance company needs when you and your attorney work on a demand letter.
- Being in a rush to accept the first settlement offer: Accepting the insurance company’s first settlement offer might seem tempting. After all, no one wants to deal with the hassle and headache of a claim longer than they need to. Unfortunately, your headaches will not end if you accept this offer. Generally, the first settlement offer is substantially low and cannot begin to cover the costs associated with your injuries. Many often worry that if they decline the offer, they will lose their one chance of obtaining compensation. Thankfully, this is not true.
SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION WITH ONE OF OUR EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS!
If you were recently injured in a motor vehicle accident, do not hesitate to secure skilled legal counsel to pursue the compensation you deserve. At Sheffy, Mazzaccaro, DePaolo & DeNigris, L.L.P., our knowledgeable personal injury team has more than 30 years of experience fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured.