One of the first things you do after a car accident is report the accident to your insurance company. You would hope that your insurance company pays you fairly, but you want to avoid making mistakes that can prevent you from getting the compensation that you deserve. Our car accident attorneys explain how to handle dealing with an insurance adjuster after your car accident.
How do you talk to the insurance adjuster after your car accident?
When you talk with the insurance adjuster after your car accident, provide only the basic facts of the accident. Do not admit liability or offer details and a long history of the events leading up to the crash. If you are injured, you may tell the adjuster about the injuries you are aware of in the moment, but do not definitively rule out injuries or other damages.
Talking to an insurance adjuster
Dealing with the insurance adjuster is a tricky task. On the one hand, you must report the accident. On the other hand, you don’t want to say too much or do anything to hurt your case.
The insurance adjuster shouldn’t be seen as an ally. It’s their job to process the case and honor the insurance policy. However, the insurance company profits by denying and minimizing claims. Don’t approach the conversation as though the adjuster is on your side, but you do need to make a report, and the report should contain any necessary information.
Don’t say too much!
A car accident is upsetting. Wait to speak with the insurance adjuster when you are calm. Talking to them when you are excited or angry can lead you to say too much, or the insurance company may interpret what you say in the wrong way. Don’t be too chatty with the adjuster, because he or she is looking for holes in your case. If you say too much because you’re upset, you may regret it later.
What to tell the insurance adjuster
Provide the insurance adjuster with the basic facts. Tell them:
- Who you are
- That you are making an insurance claim
- Where the accident occurred
- When it occurred
- How it occured
- Information for any witnesses and other parties involved
- If you have injuries, do not give details, but say that your treatment is ongoing
At this point, you may have injuries and not even realize it. If you think you have injuries, they may be more severe than you realize right now. You don’t want to lock yourself in and give the adjuster a reason to question you if you have additional medical issues and expenses in the future. For now, the best thing to say is that you are receiving medical attention, and you will provide information about injuries in the future.
Do not sign a release for medical records yet. Your medical information is relevant, but the insurance company may ask for too much information that may invade your privacy and have nothing to do with the case. Your car wreck attorneycan help you address any issues that may arise when it comes to release of your medical information.
Don’t settle too quickly!
When you talk to the insurance company, they may offer you a settlement. An offer of settlement can be a relief. However, it may not be in your best interest to accept the settlement right away. If your medical issues are still ongoing, the settlement may not fairly reflect your damages. There may also be non-economic damages that you deserve.
If the insurance company extends an offer, be sure to carefully evaluate it. Does it fairly cover your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering? Do you have future damages that should be included?
Do not assume that you must accept the first offer from the insurance company. You may deserve much more. You have the right to talk with an experienced car accident attorney before accepting any settlement. They can help you understand if it’s in your best interests to accept a settlement from the insurer or continue to pursue the case.
Let an Attorney Talk to insurance Adjuster After a Car Accident
One of the ways that your car accident attorney can help you is by talking to the insurance adjuster on your behalf. They can help you determine what information to provide and how to convey the information that the insurance company needs to know. In addition, they represent you with everything involved in the claims process to help you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Contact our car accident attorneys today for your free consultation.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.