You will get a call from your insurance company or the other driver’s company after a car accident. When you speak with the insurance adjuster(s), be very cautious. The adjusters can use anything you say to delay, deny or complicate your claim.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. They do this by paying out as little as possible on policyholder claims. Knowing this, it is best to prepare yourself for any conversation you have with insurance adjusters by taking the advice below.
Speak With a Lawyer First
Our first words of advice would be to contact an attorney after a car accident, before talking with anyone from an insurance company. Your lawyer can help you understand your options and help you frame your talking points before you ever get on the phone with an adjuster.
Say as Little as Possible to the Adjuster
A friendly adjuster will try to act like he or she is on your side. In reality, the adjuster is trying to make sure the company pays as little as possible. Here’s what to do and not to do if you end up talking to an adjuster:
- Never admit that you did anything to cause the accident. Hire a lawyer as soon as possible because the insurance company must call your lawyer. They cannot contact you if an attorney already represents you.
- Don’t ever say that you are “not hurt.” Because of the state of shock you’re in after an accident, you may not even feel your injuries until several days later. Most traumatic injuries become increasingly serious after a few days pass. You’ll obviously know if you have broken bones, hit your head or are bleeding. Soft tissue injuries are not as visible but can be clearly and permanently painful.
- Don’t discuss your medical condition at all. You can talk about vehicle damage but leave the medical discussion to your lawyer. You can state whether anyone in your vehicle was hurt and that they are receiving treatment.
- Ask whether the adjuster is recording the conversation. If the adjuster asks you how the accident happened, tell him or her to look at the police report. Do not consent to a recorded conversation with the other driver’s insurance company—ever.
- Don’t admit that you were listening to the radio, on your phone, or eating while driving. An adjuster may try to rush or pressure you into admitting that your phone or the radio distracted you.
- Never agree to let the insurance company order your medical records. They may try to get you to sign a release to order medical records. Only allow your attorney to obtain your records or gather them yourself after your medical treatment is stable or finished.
An adjuster will try to pin even the smallest amount of fault on you, as fault can significantly affect the outcome of your case, i.e. they save money and you lose benefits.
Contact Us Before Talking with Your Insurance Company or the Other Driver’s Company
If you unavoidably get stuck talking to an adjuster, keep your answers to a minimum and stop talking. And be sure to call a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner an attorney is involved, the better your rights can be protected.