The things you say to an insurance adjuster could mean the difference between an effective claim and an inadequate recovery after a car wreck. Insurance agents are trained to get information from accident victims to reduce or deny their claim. For this reason, you must know how to interact with an insurance adjuster following an accident to protect your fair recovery later.
Understanding Claims Adjusting
Before you can understand what an adjuster does, it’s important you see that a claims adjuster’s purpose is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. They do this by performing three main tasks:
- Investigating the accident to determine liability
- Calculating an “appropriate” compensation amount (usually a low-ball offer)
- Negotiating the settlement
Soon after a car accident, you should expect an adjustor to contact you. In these moments, it’s important you keep his agenda in mind—reminding yourself that he is not your friend, no matter how polite or understanding he is.
Know the Right Things to Say
Because an insurance agent’s goal (giving you the bare minimum) is in direct conflict with your own (recovering enough for what you need), it’s important you know how to respond to common lines you may hear from an insurance agent, which may include:
- “I’d like to take a recorded statement.” Although the adjuster may lead you to believe he is required to take the statement, you are not required to give one. You may politely decline and tell him you may give a statement later, after you and your attorney have all the paperwork and information in order.
- “How are you?” Even if the adjuster seems nice, he is trying to slip you up here—to get you to say anything that could sound like you’re uninjured or not as severely injured as you claim. Simply stick to the facts, discontinue the conversation politely, and avoid saying that you’re doing well, fine, or OK.
- “I’m only collecting information, so it’s not necessary for you to have legal representation.” This is intentionally misleading. Anything you say to an insurance agent may later crop up as evidence against you, so it’s especially important for you to hire an attorney. Then, you may decline to speak with any insurance agent and simply refer him to your legal representation.
Your Attorney Matters After a Crash
After suffering injuries in a car crash, your health and recovery should be your first priority. A trusted attorney can handle the rest. The team at The Cain Law Firm wants to review your case, gather key evidence, and fight for your fair recovery. Contact us today by starting a live online chat on our website.