Dealing With the Insurance Adjuster in a Personal Injury Case
After an accident, you will likely be contacted by one or more insurance companies. These initial conversations occur shortly after the accident, and at a time that you may be in the hospital, in pain, or feeling distraught over what happened. By following a few common-sense principles, you can prevent yourself from saying or doing something that could adversely affect your settlement or verdict.
How to Deal With the Insurance Adjuster
- Identify Who You Are Speaking With: Before going into specifics, get the insurance adjuster's name, address, and phone number, the name of the insurance carrier, and the person or company that the claims adjuster is representing. Save all of this information in a file.
- Be Polite: Although you may be angry about the accident and your injuries, you don't want to take your anger out on the adjuster as this will not help your case. Most people don't respond kindly to abuse and such behavior will only work against you during negotiations.
- Only Give the Necessary Information: You only need to give your phone name, address and telephone number. During the initial call, there's no reason to go into details about your income, your schedule, your family, or other personal information.
- Don't Give Details About the Accident: Assuming you are talking with the other driver's insurance carrier, politely refuse to give detailed specifics about the accident. Limit the info to most basic data: when, where, the type of accident, and the types of vehicles involved. Tell the adjuster that the investigation is still ongoing and that your attorney will disclose the facts further at an "appropriate time." Later on, your lawyer will be making a written demand for compensation that describes the accident in detail. Lastly – don't ever admit guilt!
- Don't Give Details About Your Injuries: The insurance adjuster will want to know about your injuries, but do not discuss your injuries in detail, in case you leave something out or later discover an injury, or your injury turns out to be worse than you thought. Give only general descriptions such as, "I've hurt my neck or back," or "My leg is broken and I'm in a lot of pain." Tell the adjuster that you will be seeking or continuing to receive medical treatment. Do not tell the adjuster which doctors you are seeing, your attorney will handle this later at the appropriate time.
- Limit Your Conversations: It's a good idea to limit conversations with insurance adjusters and to nip them in the bud. Some adjusters will call frequently in an attempt to get you to quickly agree to a low-ball settlement. Tell the adjuster that until you have finished investigating the accident, completed your medical treatment, and fully recovered from your injuries that you don't want to discuss the accident, your injuries, or the settlement.
- Don't Sign Any Papers: Whatever you do, do not sign anything from the other driver's insurance company without your attorney giving you the green light. Such forms may give the insurance company direct access to your work, personal, or medical records. Later in the claims process, your attorney will send the insurance company the relevant medical and income loss records, but on your terms.
Call Lenahan Law Firm today!
There is a method to handling insurance adjusters properly, however, the average person is unaware of how to conduct themselves, what to say, and what not to say. A misstep on behalf of the injured can mean tens of thousands of dollars lost in valuable compensation. Don't let this happen to you!
Call Lenahan Law Firm today to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable Dallas injury attorney. To review our success stories for yourself, we invite you to read our Actual Results page!