After being involved in a motor vehicle accident, one of the first calls you will receive is from the at-fault party’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster you speak with might sound helpful, but before you converse with this person, it is crucial to be aware of some very important facts, so you can avoid inadvertently derailing your own case.
We have compiled a list of some helpful tips and facts that can assist you in your dealings with the other party’s insurance company:
- Remember, the insurance adjuster is not your friend: The insurance adjuster you speak to will try to make you feel like he or she is on your side, but remember who this person is working for. It is in the insurance company’s best interests that you receive little or no compensation and the insurance adjuster will do everything possible to serve the company’s interest, even if it involves some underhanded techniques, such as suggesting that you do not need an attorney or proposing a low settlement offer, hoping that you are suffering enough to accept this temporary relief. An insurance adjuster will always try to discourage you from seeking legal assistance since it would make it difficult for them to take advantage of you.
- The things you say can potentially harm your claim: One of the first things the insurance adjuster will want is a recorded statement from you. By no means are you obligated to provide this, no matter how much they try to convince you otherwise, so politely decline this request. What is so bad about giving a recorded statement? This might be your first time, but insurance adjusters are trained to take statements from accident victims and will attempt to put words in your mouth by posing questions in very particular ways. During recorded statements, adjusters will also often inquire about the extent of a victim’s injuries. The problem with this is that it is generally too early for anyone to know the extent of their injuries so soon after an accident, so any answer provided will only do the victim harm.
- Beware of negative comments: Adjusters frequently try to imply that a claim is worth less than it actually is, or suggest that you might have been partly to blame for the accident. These subtle comments are meant to create doubt in your mind about the strength of your case and lower your expectations. Instead of falling for an insurance adjuster’s lie, consult with your personal injury attorney. He or she will be able to give you a truly fair estimate of what your claim is worth.
- Avoid their settlement traps: It is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to quickly propose a settlement to accident victims. They know that you will have not yet had enough time to fully understand the extent of your injuries and, if you do not have a personal injury attorney on your side to advise you, any amount of money might sound sufficient to cover the costs of the accident. If you accept an offer and it turns out that your injuries are actually much more serious than you originally suspected, however, you will not be able to reopen your case to pursue additional compensation. For this reason, it is critical that you never rush into accepting a settlement offer. In fact, before accepting any kind of offer, it would be wise to first speak with an attorney and to have a clear idea of the extent of your injuries and whether or not a complete recovery is likely.
- A delay will hurt your case: Did you delay seeking medical treatment? If so, this can harm your claim. It might be argued that you are exaggerating your injuries since you did not think it was necessary to immediately get medical help in the aftermath of your accident. Do not shoot yourself in the foot or put yourself in a position where you have to explain yourself. Always see a doctor after an accident, even if you think you are fine.
- Never volunteer information: Adjusters are trained to be conversational and friendly since this can get injury victims to open up and share information they would not otherwise provide. Do not fall into this trap. As nice as your adjuster might seem, casual discussions with him or her should be avoided to protect your claim. Do not talk about your injuries, your background, any prior claims, or how the accident happened.
When you hire a personal injury attorney, a vast majority of these mistakes can be avoided since he or she can handle discussions and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Lynchburg and Danville
If you were involved in an accident that was caused by another party’s negligence, do not hesitate to seek the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney. At Randall J. Trust, P.C., our Lynchburg legal team is dedicated to providing the personalized and aggressive representation every client needs to secure the maximum compensation they deserve.
Reach out to us today and call (434) 738-2300 and schedule your free case evaluation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team. You should not have to go through this difficult time on your own.