After you're injured in a car accident, the opposing party's insurance adjuster will want to get in touch with you if you intend to file a claim. However, do not speak to them. First, call a trusted personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Conversations with insurance adjusters can be complicated and anything you say can be used against you later.
Being polite is a simple way to allow the process to flow as smoothly as possible. However, you shouldn't reveal anything on the first call. Keeping your cards close to your chest is a proactive way to ensure you won't say anything that will adversely affect your claim.
Don't Give Details of the Accident and Injuries
When it pertains to your own insurance company, you may be required to give the details of your accident and injuries to your own insurance adjuster. However...You should be careful and only reveal necessary information.
It stops there. In any circumstance, do not talk to the opposite side or provide the opposing party's adjuster with details of the accident or your injuries on the first call. They'll eventually ask you to provide a statement about the accident and how it happened. Or, they could subtly bring it up with more casual questions about witnesses or other responsible parties. In these cases, politely decline and tell them that all inquiries can be forwarded to your lawyer.
For all other information, tell the adjuster the investigation has not been completed and you will provide further documentation - including a written or recorded statement - at the appropriate time.
The same goes for the extent of your injuries. Don't elaborate on the details. Your condition could worsen over time, or you could accidentally leave something out on the initial call that would cause them to question its legitimacy in your written statement. You'll want to obtain full documentation of your medical records, doctors appointments, and prescription costs before you move forward with the process.
Don't Accept a Settlement
Quick settlements are a win-win for insurance adjusters. They lead to less work for them, and usually, less money in the claimant's pocket. The adjuster may throw a monetary offer at you that - at the time - sounds tempting, but always resist the urge to accept. Your lawyer will tell you when the time is right.
You may want to get the process over and done with but just remember - a quick settlement may mean you're sacrificing an opportunity for more compensation.
It's human nature to be upset or angry after a car accident, but that doesn't mean you should take it out on the adjuster. Unleashing your emotions on them won't help you in the long run. Adjusters regularly deal with these types of calls, so a claimant who is respectful on the other end of the line is a breath of fresh air.
Politeness could go a long way and even make them more inclined to promptly handle your case.
While you're on the phone with an adjuster, take detailed notes of the conversation to have a record of everything that was discussed or requested to provide to your lawyer. It's important to stay highly organized throughout the entire process.
Dugan & Associates is Always Here to Help!
Are you suffering from injuries stemming from a recent car accident? Our Dugan & Associates team is here for you. When our experienced lawyers represent you, we provide advice and guidance to help you get the maximum monetary compensation available. Give us a call at 412-353-3572 or contact us online today for a free consultation!