One of the first calls you will receive after being injured in an accident is from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Before you engage in these conversations, however, there are some things you should know about how to deal with the insurance adjuster and what might potentially harm your personal injury claim. Things that you say can easily be taken out of context and used against you, so it is crucial to always be careful with what you choose to say. You should also make it a priority to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to assist and advise you throughout this process and, if necessary, handle these discussions on your behalf.
Below are some tips on how to speak to the insurance adjuster during your personal injury claim:
- Always remember that the insurance adjuster is not your friend: The insurance adjuster will likely appear to be friendly and even helpful, especially if it seems that your personal injury claim might be substantial, but remember that he or she is not interested in helping you. The insurance adjuster’s job is to ensure you receive as little compensation as possible and, to achieve this goal, he or she will try to establish rapport with you. Do not fall for it. Instead, hire a personal injury attorney who will truly advise you with your best interests in mind.
- What you say can be harmful to your case: You will be asked to provide a recorded statement as soon as possible, but providing one so early on in the process will not do your claim any good. In fact, it will only harm your case. Insurance adjusters are well trained on how to take statements from injured victims and will attempt to put words in your mouth, which is why it is advisable to politely decline this request. It is particularly crucial that you do not discuss your medical issues in the immediate aftermath of the accident. You will not know the full extent of your injuries for days or even weeks later, so any statements you provide at this time would be inaccurate and likely reduce the value of your claim.
- Beware of negative comments: To convince injury victims that their claim is not worth much, an insurance adjuster will make subtle negative comments, hinting that the case has problems. If the insurance adjuster implies that you might be partly to blame, do not take his or her word for it. Your personal injury attorney will be able to estimate the value of your claim, so remember not to let the insurance adjuster’s comments get to you. These are only meant to reduce your expectations.
- Avoid settlement traps: Oftentimes, insurance adjusters try to pressure injured victims into accepting a settlement early on, before a proper diagnosis has even been given. The problem with accepting a settlement at this time is that, without a proper diagnosis, it would be impossible to know whether or not the offer will truly cover all costs associated with the accident. If it turns out that your injuries will lead to chronic medical problems that will require ongoing treatment or assistance, the insurance adjuster’s offer is not going to be enough to cover those costs. Unfortunately, once you agree to a settlement and close your case, you cannot reopen it if it turns out not to be enough. Before you ever begin to think of settling, always understand the nature and the full extent of your injuries.
- Delays in treatment will harm your case: This might not directly relate to how you speak with an insurance adjuster, but it is still immensely vital to the success of your personal injury claim. Postponing medical treatment will make it harder for you to obtain a fair settlement and it might be argued that you are exaggerating your injuries since you did not immediately seek treatment. It might also be suggested that your injuries were not sustained in the accident at all. To avoid any of these complications in your personal injury case, visit your doctor as soon as possible. You might feel fine, but many injuries take time before symptoms begin to manifest.
Car Accident Attorneys in Phoenix
At Alex & Associates, our personal injury attorneys have represented the wrongfully injured in personal injury claims for nearly 50 years, recovering millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of them and their families. If you were recently injured in a motor vehicle accident, allow our staff to assist and advise you throughout this difficult time. Call us today!
For the representation you deserve, contact us 24/7 at (602) 483-6114 to schedule a free consultation.