If you have been a victim of a car accident, the party who caused the accident is required to fully compensate you for your damages. Sadly, fair compensation can be hard to acquire. Insurance companies are in the business of making profits, so to protect their profits, their goal is to limit what they pay to accident victims.
Automobile accident injury victims have to deal with the insurance company’s adjuster to receive the compensatory damages they are owed. If you have been in an accident, it is important that you know how to deal with the insurance adjuster. Below are some tips from the expert accident attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman for handling insurance adjusters following a crash.
1. Know What the Insurance Adjuster’s Goals Are
Before speaking to an insurance adjuster, it is crucial that you know the insurance adjuster’s motivations. The insurance adjuster does not work for you. They are employed to represent the insurance company.
Their entire career is built on looking out for the profits of the insurance company. Since they do not work for you, do not be fooled into believing they have your best interests in the forefront. In a way, they are your adversary, even if the adjuster works for your insurance company. They are not the party to lean on for guidance when it comes to the claims process since they will deflect blame from their employer every time.
2. Do Not Admit Fault or Apologize for an Automobile Accident
Under no circumstances should you take the blame for a car accident. You are not trained to determine who is to blame for an automobile wreck. Let your lawyer handle the details like that.
Car accident attorneys are trained to analyze the accident and negotiate with the insurance adjuster. If you admit blame, it will be used against you and could impact your case negatively.
Remember, insurance adjusters work for the insurance company. If they can get you to admit even partial blame, the company they work for could be permitted to pay less in damages to you.
3. Refrain From Participating in a Recorded Statement
Soon after your accident, you might be approached about giving a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters may badger you to do this before you have recovered from your injuries or had a chance to really consider what happened.
You are under no obligation to record a statement. In reality, you should not give a statement at all. The insurance adjuster is pressuring you to submit a formal statement so that they can look for ways to deny or reduce the amount they have to pay you. It is in your best interest to speak to an attorney so that you understand all the ways the adjuster may try to trip you up by saying the wrong thing.
4. Quick Settlement Offers Should Not Be Trusted
When the party who caused the accident is evident, insurance companies may not want to take the time or spend the money to dispute the at-fault party’s responsibility. If the case is cut and dried, they know they must pay the accident victim, which sounds like it should be good news for you.
But always practice caution when dealing with insurance adjusters. The insurance company understands it will have to make a payout, but its strategy is to pay out the least amount of money possible, so it will often submit a lowball settlement offer. This can cause a victim to drop their claim and take the money, even though it is nowhere close to the value of the damages they incurred.
If you accept a first offer, it is rarely the best offer. However, after accepting a settlement, you cannot go back and negotiate further later when you realize the extent of the damages you incurred. Be suspicious of quick settlement offers. Your car accident attorney should take a look at all offers and be given a chance to negotiate better ones.
5. Under No Circumstances Should You Sign a Release for Your Medical Records
The insurance adjuster assigned to your case may want access to your medical records. You may think, or be led to believe, that the insurance company is entitled to review your medical records. Insurance companies are not to be trusted with your medical history.
By gaining access to your medical history, they can find conditions that might be considered pre-existing, so they can deny that your injuries were caused by the accident. Or they can find specifics about your health to hold against you when negotiating or going before the court.
Your medical history is your own business. Keep it that way.
6. Seek Legal Counsel When Dealing With Insurance Adjusters
Employing an attorney to ensure your rights are protected, and your economic interests are maximized, you should filter all communication with insurance companies through your lawyer. Insurance company adjusters have been professionally trained to avoid paying out more than they have to for its accident victims.
As a layperson, you are not trained to avoid the traps you may fall into by dealing with them on your own. A car accident injury lawyer can communicate with the adjuster, investigate your accident and hold up evidence that makes your case for you. Leave the negotiations to the professionals so that you can focus on healing.