In the weeks after an accident, you will inevitably receive a call from an insurance claims adjuster who works for the other party’s insurance. The adjuster’s job is to gather facts about the claim, assess the case, and save the insurance company money. They may seem quite friendly, but they are attempting to collect any information they can use to minimize your compensation. For this reason, it is crucial to know how to talk with insurance adjusters to avoid any chance of damaging your claim.
What Should You Do When Speaking to an Insurance Adjuster?
While having a phone call with an insurance adjuster may cause some anxiety, it is essential to remember that you are in control of the conversation. If you feel you are being pressured or feel uncomfortable about your ability to answer a question correctly, you can request to stop the interview. You have the right
to tell the adjuster that you wish to continue the conversation at another time after you have consulted with your lawyer.
Although you should keep in mind that an adjuster is not on your side during these proceedings, it still can be beneficial to make a good impression by remaining calm and polite. Other steps you should take while speaking to an adjuster include:
- Collect the name and pertinent contact information of the insurance adjuster.
- Inform them upfront that you will not be providing in-depth information while the accident investigation is ongoing.
- Write down notes about your conversation, including the questions you were asked and how you answered.
What Should You Avoid Discussing?
The safest strategy for handling a conversation with an insurance adjuster is to stick to the basics and resist the urge to over-explain. As much as possible, answer “yes” or “no” to questions. If you are uncertain of an answer, you can always say that you do not know or you are waiting until you have more information. Topics to avoid include:
- In-depth statements about the accident: State just the bare facts about where and when the accident occurred and who was involved.
- Descriptions of your injuries: Simply say that you are receiving treatment for your injuries without giving details. This prevents you from being boxed in if more injuries are discovered.
- Specific personal information: Provide only your name, address, phone number, and occupation.
- Settlement offers: The insurance adjuster’s job is to get you to accept the lowest settlement offer possible. Do not agree to any offers without consulting a lawyer first.
Never give permission to have your conversation recorded. Recordings can be afforded an undue amount of weight as evidence at trial, even if you misspoke or your answers were taken out of context.
Can a Lawyer Speak to Insurance Adjusters on Your Behalf?
In many cases, accident victims may not wish to speak directly with an insurance adjuster. You may have phone anxiety, feel uncomfortable answering questions about a complicated accident, or not have the capacity to take on phone conversations while healing. Whatever the reason, you can always direct the insurance adjuster to contact your lawyer for any further questions they may have. Car accident lawyers are experienced in dealing with insurance adjusters and will ensure that no harm is caused to your claim. If you need assistance, feel free to contact us at (949) 749-7402 for a free initial consultation.