Dealing with an insurance company following an accident can be daunting. In most cases, insurance adjusters are working against you.
That means you need to be very cautious when speaking with them.
Understandably, injured victims want to know how to talk to an insurance claims adjuster, so they don’t jeopardize their potential compensation.
Read on for helpful tips on dealing with an insurance adjuster following a car accident.
Should I Talk to an Insurance Adjuster?
It’s important to remember you are dealing with two different insurance adjusters. You need to cooperate with your own insurance company, or they might deny coverage.
That doesn’t mean you can’t hire an attorney to represent you, though.
The other driver’s insurance adjuster is the one who will try to convince you to give a recorded statement without legal representation.
You should advise them you need to speak with an attorney counsel before proceeding.
Whether it’s your own insurance company or the other driver’s, it’s always best to reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer to protect your rights.
What Do Insurance Adjusters Look for When Speaking to Claimants?
Insurance adjusters are looking for anything you might say that can help their own position. Their goal is to reduce or eliminate any payout on behalf of their insured.
That is why they want you to give a recorded statement. The adjuster hopes you say something that puts as much liability as possible back onto you.
Depending on the state, it might be enough for them to deny liability outright.
For example, New Mexico negligence laws allow you to collect damages even when you are primarily at fault for a car accident.
In Texas, negligence laws bar you, or prevent you, from recovery when your responsibility exceeds 50%.
An adjuster in New Mexico might allege you are 60% at fault, which means you would be able to collect 40% of your damages.
In Texas, you would receive nothing. That’s why you must protect your rights and understand what not to say to an insurance adjuster after a car accident.
What Should You Not Say to an Insurance Adjuster?
Some things you should never say to a claims adjuster include the following:
- Never admit fault. Even saying I’m sorry can be construed as an admission of guilt.
- Never say you didn’t see the other car. The adjuster will argue you weren’t paying attention.
- Don’t say you are feeling fine. It’s natural to say “I’m fine” when someone asks how you are, but you don’t want to do that in this situation.
- Don’t agree to a recorded statement without legal representation.
- Do not attempt to self-diagnose or speculate on your injuries. That could cause problems down the line, especially if your diagnosis is more severe than you think.
If you receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company asking for a recorded statement, tell them you will need to consult with a car accident lawyer first.
What to Say to an Insurance Adjuster After a Car Accident?
When it comes to how to talk to an insurance claims adjuster, remember that less is more. Stick to the basics, such as your contact information and the “what, when, and where” of the accident.
You can tell them witnesses and types of vehicles. Be polite and professional. Watch for casual banter where they try to get you to talk about specifics of the accident.
Avoid talking about accident specifics and your injuries. You can be succinct and say the investigation into the accident is continuing. You will discuss other facts when the time is right.
A red flag is when the other driver’s insurance wants to settle immediately. That is typical because there’s cause for concern, or they suspect your injuries are worse than you know.
Some insurance companies extend “lowball” offers at the start of the claims process because they know you need money.
The adjuster hopes you agree to the nominal sum so they can have you sign a release of all future claims–no matter how valid.
By signing a release, you cannot pursue additional compensation should your injuries worsen or the doctor tells you surgery is necessary.
Contact a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer
If you sustained injuries in a car accident, let the experienced lawyers at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. assist you.
We know what it takes to build a strong case with nearly four decades of experience representing injured car accident victims.
When we represent you, we will handle all communication with the insurance companies, including settlement negotiations.
We won’t tolerate insurance companies playing games or trying to cheat you out of the compensation you’re owed.
Contact our offices online or call (800) 433-2408 to schedule a free, initial consultation to learn how we can help you deal with the insurance companies following a car accident in Texas or New Mexico.