What Not to Say to an Insurance Adjuster
In the wake of an accident, you will likely be contacted by either your own or the other party’s insurance company to ask you questions about the accident. Often, these questions are designed to take the fault off the other party and reduce the amount of money that you will get for your claim. Speaking with a qualified personal injury lawyer is the best way to help navigate these conversations, but this article outlines a few things you absolutely should not say to an insurance adjuster when they give you a call after an accident.
What Not to Say During Insurance Adjuster Conversations
Insurance adjusters are skilled at talking to accident victims. They may sound compassionate and kind, and you might think they’re looking out for your best interests. They’re not. Their mission is to protect their company’s bottom line by finding ways to pay as little compensation as possible.
Keep these “don’ts” in mind when talking to the insurance company:
- Don’t admit fault of any kind. This is perhaps the single most important thing to keep in mind when you are contacted by an insurance adjuster. If you admit that you are at fault, regardless of whether you are or not, this can compromise your ability to recover any compensation from a claim.
- Don’t give information on your current health. Although you may default to “good” or “fine” as an answer when someone calls you on the phone and asks how you are, everything you say can be used as evidence against your claim, regardless of the current state of your health. Do not make a mention of your current health in any initial conversation with an adjuster.
- Don’t speculate on your injuries. Insurance adjusters may ask you what your injuries are. Especially if you have not yet seen a medical professional, do not elaborate on the nature of your injuries. This can become a problem down the line if you give specific self-diagnoses to the adjuster. If a diagnosis given to you by a medical professional ends up being more severe and you told the adjuster the injury was no big deal, it could hinder your ability to get the money that you need to recover from the more severe injury or condition(s).
- Don’t consent to be recorded. If you are a victim of an accident, insurance adjusters will often want to record a statement during their initial call to you. Anything that is recorded can be used against you later, so it is something that you should not consent to unless you have spoken with a qualified personal injury lawyer.
- Don’t speculate about your material damages. After an accident, you have likely suffered some form of material damages in addition to injuries. It is in your best interest to make sure that you get your own estimates and avoid saying anything that implies that these material damages were in any way your fault. When you are asked about damages to your vehicle, for example, make sure that you obtain a quote from a shop you trust, rather than a shop that the insurance adjuster or insurance company suggests. Make sure that things are done on your own terms as much as possible because the insurance company has a strong business incentive to limit the damages they pay to you.
Above all, when contacted by an insurance adjuster, remember what their role is in the process. As employees for an insurance company, their role is to ensure that the insurance company pays as little as possible for a claim. Adjusters allocate a specific amount of money for your claim and will do whatever they can to ensure that they come in below that number. However, if you can gather the necessary evidence and make a counteroffer while maintaining that you are in no way at fault for the accident, you will have a better chance of getting the full amount for your claim.
With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, your chances of getting a fair settlement from a claim increase. They work with insurance companies on a daily basis and understand the tactics that they use to try to get you to accept that you are either at fault or get you to accept a lowball offer.
Contact Robert Wilson & Associates Today
Following these tips will help to ensure you do not give away any information that could damage your claim while speaking to an insurance company’s claims adjuster. Speaking with a lawyer after your accident is a great way to anticipate these conversations and strategize for them. Call the Minneapolis personal injury lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates today at (612) 334-3444 for a free initial consultation.