The Dos and Don’ts of Talking to Insurance Adjusters
May 16, 2023
When you are in the middle of an accident claim, you must know the severity of your situation and who is handling your insurance claim. Whether you want only to file a claim through your insurance policy or want to submit a claim with the liable party’s insurance company, this stands true.
Be careful what you say to the insurance company because they are looking for information they can flip to use against you. These companies will attempt to pay you as little as they can get away with because they are for-profit businesses. Never let something you mistakenly say be used against you out of context because that can get you denied or drastically lessen the payout. That could wind up being a costly mistake that has an adverse impact on the compensation you recover.
What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
An adjuster is in charge of handling your insurance claim. They will take statements, review police reports and other evidence, speak to witnesses, and assess the damage to your body and vehicle. Undoubtedly, the insurance adjuster is there to save their company money and pay you as little as possible.
That is why having a personal injury attorney who understands the laws surrounding car accidents can be beneficial in securing an appropriate amount of financial compensation. If you want to protect yourself from advantageous insurance adjusters, have an experienced car accident attorney at The Pendergrass Law Firm step in and take over the insurance negotiations process.
Speaking to an Insurance Adjuster
When speaking to the other party’s insurance company for the first time, you must remain diligent. It is important to not give them too much information that could result in you receiving a poor settlement offer.
It would be best to say nothing on the record without first speaking to a personal injury attorney. Insurance adjusters will often try to test your memory and have you recount your story several times over a long period to find any inconsistencies. That is why you should always be prepared with notes and evidence or have me, your attorney, speak to them.
Car accidents are some of the most easily arguable accidents. You may think your case is a done deal and be surprised to find it gets rejected. Do not be blindsided by the insurance company’s outlandish assumptions.
Things to Keep in Mind When Talking to the Insurance Claims Adjuster:
During the entirety of the claim, you will be faced with many tough decisions. It can be nerve-racking to be talking with an insurance adjuster. You may feel under pressure the whole time.
Try to maintain a calm demeanor and stand your ground while discussing the incidents that unfolded. Of course, some are much tougher than others. Here is a list of some dos and do-nots to keep in mind:
Do get the name of the person you are talking to.
Anytime an insurance carrier calls you, the first step you need to take is to get the name, phone number, and business address of the adjuster you are speaking with. Ask for this information every time they call you.
Do remain calm and stay polite.
If you are not happy with the at-fault driver or the way the claims process is proceeding, you still need to do your best to remain calm when speaking to the claims adjuster. Getting angry and being rude to the adjuster is not going to help. However, remaining calm and polite with the insurance claims adjuster may help ensure your claim is processed more smoothly.
Do stay away from accepting early settlement offers.
The at-fault party’s insurance carrier will likely lowball the initial settlement, even if that may seem enticing. However, consider that most early settlements will be far below what you should receive for your claim. These early settlements should serve as your starting point in negotiating upward.
Do give out only a limited amount of personal information.
Details about your personal life are optional with the insurance claims adjuster. The only personal information they need from you is your full name, address, and phone number. You can briefly discuss where you work and your occupation, but you do not need to go into details about your daily life activities, hobbies, work schedule, income, etc. This only adds to potential reasons to deny you down the road.
Do not discuss your injuries.
The insurance claims adjuster will ask about your car accident injuries, but you do not need to go into detail. You are not the doctor, so any attempt to describe your injuries could end up backfiring and be used against you later. Instead, let the claims adjuster know that you are still receiving medical treatment, and let that be the end of the conversation.
Do not downplay your injuries to the adjuster.
It can be difficult when discussing your injuries with an insurance adjuster. You may need to learn what you should and should not say. A Georgia personal injury lawyer can help with some of the tough decisions. While you do not want to exaggerate your injuries, you also do not want to overlook real injuries sustained. The extreme left or right-sided story may cause issues and raise red flags to people reviewing your case.
It is in your best interests to accurately assess your injuries and the pain associated with each. Playing the role of the tough guy will not help your case. If anything, downplaying your injuries will backfire on you as it gives companies leverage down the road to doubt the severity of the injuries that occurred. You are entitled to a proper and unbiased hearing and should exercise that right whenever applicable.
Do not give a recorded statement.
The insurance claims adjuster may tell you that to process your claim and continue the procedure of being reimbursed for the troubles you endured, you will need to give a recorded statement for your claim.
Not only is this not true, but the sole purpose of getting a recorded statement from you is to use any inconsistencies in your story against you later. Therefore, continually reiterate that you will not be giving a recorded statement.
Do not discuss details of the accident.
Do everything you can not to discuss details of the accident with the claims adjuster (and any other party for that matter). Let the facts of the case, such as video and photo surveillance, eyewitness statements, and accident reports, do all of the talking for you. The more you talk about the incident, the more likely the claims adjuster will find inconsistencies in your story to use against you.
Do not make assumptions about what happened.
When going over the events of the accident, only say the first-hand events that took place to the insurance adjuster. Speculation about what went down during the accident could lead to you accidentally putting unnecessary blame on yourself. The story you give an insurance adjuster may be a piece of information that can cut into your compensation wages.
If you are not sure of what took place during your accident, then say you are not sure. If you try to make assumptions about what occurred, you may need to be looked at more credible with your statement.
Do not go into detail about your injuries.
The best-case scenario for you does not need to go into details about your case. While it does happen on occasion, generally, you will need to go into some detail about what happened.
If being asked by an insurance adjuster to describe your injuries in detail, you can refer them to your car accident lawyer. Referring them to your lawyer will not only take some pressure off you, but it will give you some much-needed assistance in this long journey ahead.
Also, it would help if you did not let an insurance company look at your medical records directly. If you give an adjuster a blanket records release, they can go through your entire medical history and look for information to weaken your case.
For example, you could have a pre-existing condition or prior injury that the insurance company claims impacts your more recent injuries. Do not give the insurance company any ammunition to use against you. Instead, let your lawyer present your case in the strongest way possible.
Meet With a Personal Injury Lawyer at The Pendergrass Law Firm for Help Today
Is the thought of talking with someone about your claim twisting you up inside? You may not be a confrontational person or do not know how to discuss a situation that took place properly. Talking with an insurance adjuster should not put you on the fast track to gray hair. Take back control of your life and show them you are not to be intimidated.
We will not allow you to be bullied by unscrupulous insurance adjuster tactics. In fact, we will only rest once the insurance company compensates you for your damages. Contact a reputable personal injury attorney at The Pendergrass Law Firm today and schedule a no-obligation consultation. You can reach us by phone or through our convenient contact form.