The phone is ringing. The insurance adjuster seems eager to talk to you after your recent car crash and may appear eager to settle your claim. However, before you answer the phone, there are some things that you need to know about insurance adjusters so that you can protect your rights.
Why You Need to Be Careful
Insurance companies are looking to make a profit. One way that an insurance company maximizes its profits is by paying out as little as possible in claims. In other words, the less money the insurance company pays to you—and people like you—the more the company keeps for itself.
Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company. Accordingly, it is their job to get you to settle for as little money as possible after a crash. To accomplish this goal, the insurance adjuster may pressure you to sign settlement papers before you are ready or before you get an attorney.
Tips for Dealing With an Insurance Adjustor
If you deal directly with an insurance adjuster, you can protect your rights by:
- Only giving the insurance information basic information. You may confirm the time and place of the accident, for example, but don't volunteer any additional information. Anything you say can be turned around and used against you in a way that you never expected or intended. Accordingly, it's a good practice to say as little as possible and to stick to basic facts.
- Staying calm and professional. You have a lot at stake, but you should not try to convince the insurance adjuster about the value of a fair settlement over the phone.
- Refusing to have a conversation recorded. Specifically, ask that the conversation not be recorded. If the insurance adjuster refuses, then ask that the insurance adjuster send questions to you in writing or contact your attorney.
- Knowing your rights. You aren't required to give a statement to the adjuster without speaking to an attorney. Reschedule the call for a later time if you have not yet spoken to a lawyer.
- Keeping a written record of your conversations with the insurance adjustor. Whenever you get a call, write down the name and phone number of the insurance adjuster, the insurance company's name, any amounts that were discussed, any information that the adjustor requested from you, and anything else you noted during the conversation.
- Consulting with an experienced auto accident attorney. If a lawyer represents you, then your lawyer will handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. The insurance company should stop calling you and communicate directly with your attorney.
Things You Can Say to an Insurance Adjuster
The insurance company will need some basic information to process your claim. Accordingly, you may tell an insurance adjuster:
- Your name, address, and telephone number
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- How many vehicles were involved in the crash
- Whether you were hurt (but not any details about your injuries or prognosis)
Things You Shouldn't Talk About With an Insurance Adjuster
Even if the insurance adjuster appears friendly and interested in helping you, you should not give any information about:
- Your family
- Your income
- Your daily activities
- Your doctor
- Your injuries or medical condition
Additionally, you should not apologize for the accident, exaggerate your injuries, or agree to anything verbally or in writing.
Let Your Car Accident Lawyer Protect Your Recovery
Knowing the truth about insurance adjusters is the first step in protecting your fair recovery, but it is not the last step.
You have the right to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who is a skilled negotiator and who will fight for your fair and just recovery. The insurance company has a legal team to protect its interests, and you also have the right to have someone on your side representing your interests.
Insurance companies that do business in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa know that Hupy and Abraham car accident lawyers mean business. We will not settle for less than our clients' cases are worth, and we are not afraid to go to court to protect our clients' interests.
Our auto accident lawyers are here to help you. To learn more, please contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation in one of our 11 Midwest offices, in your home or hospital room, or by phone or video conference.