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Tips for Talking with Insurance Claim Adjusters
Posted in Personal Injury on December 12, 2022
When you are injured in an accident caused by the negligent actions of another person, you will likely need to deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company. While your case may seem straightforward, filing an insurance claim can be very complex. As for-profit entities, insurance companies want to protect their bottom lines and often strive to pay as little as possible to their claimants.
Generally, you should speak to an attorney before engaging with an insurance company. A lawyer can handle these communications on your behalf while protecting your best interests. If you do need to talk with insurance claims adjusters, keep the following tips in mind during your conversation.
#1: Remain Calm, Courteous, and Professional
In the aftermath of an accident, it is common to feel angry, upset, overwhelmed, and scared. You want the compensation that you are entitled to receive and dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating. However, it is still important to remain calm and polite when speaking with an insurance adjuster. Acting angrily or rudely could inadvertently harm your case.
#2: Avoid Discussing Details of the Accident
It can be very risky to provide a lengthy, detailed account of your accident to an insurance adjuster. If you misstate a fact or learn new information later on, the adjuster can use inconsistencies in your story against you. Instead of discussing the details of your accident, state only the facts and let your evidence, such as police reports and witness statements, speak for you.
#3: Don’t Give Detailed Descriptions of Your Injuries
Speaking of detailed accounts, you should also avoid going into specifics about your injuries. Your medical records and documentation from your doctor will explain the nature and extent of your injuries for you, so there is no need to provide specific information. Any attempt to describe your injuries could harm your case, so simply tell the adjuster that you are receiving medical treatment and to refer to your medical records for more details.
#4: Avoid Discussing Your Personal Life
The only personal information that an insurance adjuster needs is your name, address, and phone number. However, the adjuster may ask you questions about your job, daily activities, hobbies, income, and other personal details. You should only answer the basic questions and avoid going into detail about your personal life, as this information could also be leveraged against you.
#5: Do Not Accept an Early Settlement Offer
The insurance adjuster will likely offer you a settlement at an early stage in your case. While this offer may seem enticing, you should never accept this compensation. The settlement will likely be much lower than your actual damages, which could lead to financial hardship in the future. Decline this offer and speak with your attorney about your options.
#6: Do Not Provide a Recorded Statement
During your claim, the insurance adjuster may tell you that you need to provide a recorded statement in order to process your claim. However, a recorded statement is not required, and you should not provide one. This statement could be used to identify inconsistencies in your story and justify a lower settlement. Say no to the adjuster and speak to your lawyer.
Navigating an insurance claim can be a challenge, and you need a lawyer on your side to protect your interests. Contact a Washington personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.