Even if you make the smart decision to contact an experienced car accident attorney soon after your crash, chances are that you will have at least one conversation with the insurance adjuster for the negligent driver. Insurance adjusters often contact victims when they are worried their insured driver faces liability to try to settle the claim quickly—and for significantly less than it is worth. The last thing you want to do in your case is to say something wrong that hurts your claim and reduces the settlement amount you receive.
Follow These Five Tips When Talking to an Insurance Adjuster after a Car Accident
If you already have an attorney, your best strategy is to politely refer the adjuster to him and to say nothing. However, you do want to get the person’s contact information to pass on to your lawyer. If you end up involved in a conversation, follow these tips to not inadvertently hurt your case:
- Be polite. Although you may rightfully be angry at the driver who hit you, you want to remain calm and polite. An adjuster is much more likely to be reasonable with a settlement if you were polite instead of combative or rude. In addition, the adjuster could be evaluating how you could be as a witness—and a calm, polite one is much more persuasive with a jury.
- Identify the person. You want to know who you are speaking to and get their contact information right away. You will need this important information later.
- Give limited information. It is fine to provide the adjuster with your basic information—name, address, telephone number, employer, and type of work you do. However, do not give out information regarding your work duties, schedule, or income.
- Do not provide accident details. The insurance adjuster may want you to give a statement—or worse, a recorded statement—of how the wreck occurred. Only tell the adjuster the basics of when, where, type of accident, and witnesses. Inform the person that you will have your attorney contact him to provide more details. Never agree to a recorded statement.
- Do not discuss your injuries. The adjuster will almost certainly ask about your injuries. Do not give a detailed account and say as little as possible. Again, it is best to leave these important details to your attorney. In reality, right after the wreck, you have no idea how serious your injuries really are or what your prognosis is.
Take notes during your conversation with the adjuster and provide a copy to your attorney. If you have been waffling about retaining a lawyer or negotiating on your own, now is the time to make the smart move of hiring an attorney. He will better understand the value of your claim and how best to negotiate with the adjuster. Fill out our firm’s online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys.