The Pitfalls of Speaking With an Insurance Adjuster
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident and you’ve filed a claim with your insurance company or with the other driver’s insurance company, you’ll soon receive a call from an insurance claims adjuster.
Claims adjusters are professionals hired and trained by insurance companies to protect the company’s bottom line. As such, they are tasked with minimizing any claim liability or even rejecting a claim when possible.
They have an arsenal of questions and techniques to use in their quest. The average person can be easily overwhelmed by the questioning and then say – or sign – something that will be used to lowball their injury compensation.
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident in or around Covington, Kentucky, immediately contact The Berger Firm. Our agents have a combined 70 years of experience in dealing with accident and injury claims, and we know how to stand up to claims adjuster tactics.
The Insurance Adjuster’s Role
You may find yourself dealing with an insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company as well as your own.
The opposing insurer is going to use every verbal weapon they have to try to get you to admit fault – wholly or in part – or to get you to slip up and say something that they can use to minimize the extent of your injuries. Even your own company’s adjusters are going to be looking to minimize their company’s liability.
Your best bet is to have an experienced personal injury attorney deal with the adjusters, but if you do choose to deal with them, you should master some rules of the process.
Don’t Agree to Give a Statement
The adjuster will attempt to get you to make a statement describing the accident in detail, or they will ask probing questions so you end up giving what amounts to a statement. Their hope is to get you to say something contradictory or something that sounds like you were at fault to some extent. The end result is to be able to lowball the compensation you receive.
Don’t agree to a statement and don’t answer questions about the details of the accident. Just give them the date and time of the accident, where it occurred, and what type of accident it was (rear-ender, etc.). Tell the adjuster the accident is still under investigation, so you have nothing further to say.
Also, if they ask to record the conversation, politely decline. They can use the recording to point out inconsistencies in what you say during that or subsequent phone calls.
Watch Out for Other Pitfalls
You need to stay calm and polite throughout any conversation, even as you refuse to answer certain questions. Refusal is perhaps too strong a word, but deflecting the questions by saying you’re awaiting an investigation or further medical tests is perfectly proper. If you don’t know the answer to a question, just say so.
Also, keep everything you say brief, and whatever you do, don’t volunteer information. Doing so could open up a Pandora’s Box of further questioning by the adjuster. And don’t ever admit any sort of fault or guilt.
Finally, don’t sign anything without having it vetted by an experienced attorney. Adjusters will often try to get you to sign a medical release so they can probe your medical history. If they find any prior accidents or pre-existing conditions, they can use that to argue that your injuries were not totally a result of the accident.
They may also try to slip a lowball initial settlement offer by you. Again, don’t sign until your attorney has reviewed it. Keep in mind that a settlement is permanent. If your injuries worsen or recur, you can’t go back for more money.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Unless you’re involved in a minor fender-bender that results in no injuries and just a scrape or two on your car, you probably don’t want to deal with insurance adjusters on your own. It can be an intimidating and rattling experience, and you may find it hard to stick to the ground rules outlined above. Your best bet is to rely on a seasoned attorney to deal with the insurance company and its adjusters.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in or around Covington, Kentucky, the greater Cincinnati area, or anywhere in Northern Kentucky, including Newport and Florence, The Berger Firm offers you the kind of personalized service you can rely on. Let us handle the adjusters while you recover from your injuries.