Negotiating a personal injury claim with an insurance company after an auto accident is something you need to take very seriously. Most importantly, you should know that an insurance adjuster is not on your side. The adjuster works to get the best outcome for the insurance company, which is why it’s essential to know how to talk to them. The guidelines below are to help you decide what to say and not to say when you speak to an insurance adjuster or representative after an accident.
1. Don’t give a recorded statement
Unless you have a personal injury lawyer present, do not agree to give the at-fault party’s insurance company a recorded statement. Insurance companies train their adjusters to elicit a statement from you that may not be in your best interests. Insurance adjusters may try to get you to give a statement about how the accident happened. Politely refuse to discuss any of the facts except the most basic: where, when, the vehicles involved and any possible witnesses. You can describe the accident in detail at a later time when you write a demand for compensation.
2. Avoid settling too quickly
An adjuster may attempt to pressure you into settling early before a clear diagnosis has been made on your injuries. It’s always a bad idea to settle before you know the full extent of your injuries. Once you settle, insurance companies are no longer responsible for paying any future medical bills that may be linked to the accident. If you are not sure of the nature or extent of your injuries, put off any attempts to settle until you are certain you have been diagnosed appropriately.
3. Be truthful
You should always be honest when talking to and providing information to the insurance company. You are legally required to be honest in your dealing with insurance companies, and vice versa, or else you face being punished in any number of ways.
4. Do not discuss preexisting injuries
If you admit that you had an injury prior to your accident, the insurance company adjuster may deny your claim or offer you a lower settlement by saying that your latest injury is simply an extension of your previous one. A pre-existing injury or medical condition can be aggravated or made worse by your injury, and the at-fault driver may be held responsible for this aggravation. Only a doctor can evaluate how your injuries relate to one another and only an experienced attorney can evaluate how this will affect your claim. Insurance adjusters hear all kinds of stories from personal injury victims and they can usually tell when someone is exaggerating about their injuries. A claims adjuster is more likely to trust you and ultimately agree to your settlement demand if you stick to the truth.
5. Do not give out unnecessary personal information
You are under no obligation to give an insurance adjuster your social security number, contact information for family members and friends not involved in the accident and or any other personal information that has nothing to do with your personal injury claim.
If you have been involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, please contact our Omaha personal injury attorneys at Burnett Wilson Law today. We can help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Call (402) 810-8611 or contact us online for help.