What Should You Avoid Saying To Your Insurance Adjuster?
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A claims adjuster, or an insurance adjuster, is the individual hired by an insurance company to investigate your claim and decide how much the insurance company should pay on the claim. While most claims adjusters will be friendly and appear to be genuinely concerned, never assume that the insurance adjuster is on your side. In fact, insurance adjusters are never working with your best interests in mind. In many cases, they are actively working against you.
Claims adjusters receive specialized training that helps them use casual conversation to manipulate accident victims into making incriminating statements regarding their claims. You must never forget that the claims adjuster works for the insurance company, and their job is to save their employer money by ensuring that you get paid as little as possible on your claim.
While you need to provide certain details about your claim to the insurance adjuster, you should be careful about sharing information. It is always best to say as little as possible and let an accident lawyer handle any communication with a claims agent on your behalf.
Here’s what you can say to an insurance adjuster:
If a New Jersey or Pennsylvania accident lawyer is already representing you, you shouldn’t talk to an insurance adjuster about your accident, or anyone for that matter. You can refer the claims adjuster to your attorney.
If you have not yet hired an attorney to handle your accident case, feel free to give the claims adjuster basic personal information like your name, address, or telephone number. All other personal data should be off-limits, including employment status.
As far as information about the accident, only share the basics. That includes the date, time, and location of the accident. You may also share information about the vehicles involved in the accident and the contact information of any possible witnesses. Never have a conversation with the insurance adjuster about how the accident occurred. And, never provide written or recorded statements about the incident, even if the adjuster tries to pressure you.
Claims adjusters typically coerce accident victims into making recorded statements. They may even try to trick you by telling you that the recording is for your protection. That is manipulation, plain and simple. Always remember that recorded conversations have the potential to come back to haunt you and can often sabotage an accident claim.
Here’s what you cannot say to an insurance adjuster:
Under no circumstances should you apologize or admit fault in any way. You must never forget that the insurance adjuster’s main objective is to find any reason to reduce the insurance company’s liability. An admission of negligence on your part will compromise your claim.
Never discuss how you feel, and do not mention your current mental or physical health state. It would be best if you did not speculate about any injuries you may have suffered because, if your injuries turn out to be more severe than you initially thought, your initial statements could hurt your case.
What are claims adjusters looking for?
The first order of business for most insurance adjusters is making sure that the insurance claim is legitimate and not fraudulent. One of the first things the claims adjuster will do is personally inspect any vehicles involved in the accident.
The adjuster will also likely want to dive into your medical history. It is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to contact your medical providers. The adjuster will not only want to gauge the cost of your medical care as a result of your accident injuries but to determine if you have any preexisting conditions, such as prior injuries, that could reduce your claim.
How does an insurance adjuster calculate personal injury compensation?
Once an insurance adjuster has completed their investigation, it is not uncommon for them to offer a settlement to the victim, mainly if they believe there is a clear liability. Rest assured, this settlement offer will be much less than what you deserve.
Here’s how a New Jersey accident attorney can help:
The Richard J. Hollawell and Associates team knows that dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. We deal with claims adjusters every day, and we can step in and handle all communication with insurance adjusters on your behalf. We will help you get the compensation that you deserve.
If a claims adjuster is contacting you to discuss your recent New Jersey or Pennsylvania car accident, consider hiring an experienced New Jersey Car Accident Attorney to ensure that you don’t say something that could jeopardize your claim.
Richard Hollawell is an experienced PA car accident lawyer that has helped his clients win six-figure and seven-figure settlements in car accidents that caused physical injuries and property damage. Richard J. Hollawell and Associates serve car crash victims across New Jersey and Pennsylvania, specializing in several car accident injury types, including brain and head injuries, whiplash and neck injuries, as well as knee and leg injuries.