Have you or someone you love been in an auto accident that has led to injury? Working with an experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim. Personal injury lawyers are trained to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to ensure your needs are being met after your auto accident. Our law firm has over three decades of experience helping clients explore their legal options to get them the best results.
When you hire a lawyer they are working to protect your best interest. Your attorney will help to protect you from making a mistake with insurance companies. Too often insurance adjusters set victims up to minimize their claims and pay them less than they deserve.
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney, such as Beverly R. Caruthers, is the most effective way to protect yourself from walking into a trap laid by insurance companies. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure you are protected and advocated for. Our law firm works on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you do. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
Tips for The First Call with an Adjuster After an Accident
In the hours after a car accident, or any kind of incident that causes you injury, your phone might start ringing, and the caller may well be an insurance adjuster or another representative of the other person involved in the accident. Let’s look at what you should say (and what you should avoid discussing) during your first post-accident phone call with a representative of the other party—especially if you think that party is at fault for the accident.
Remain Calm and Polite
Although you may still be angry about the accident and your injuries, taking out your anger on the insurance adjuster won’t help you get a fair personal injury settlement. You may not know exactly how or when an insurance adjuster’s goodwill may pay off—in promptly handling your claim, or in believing your version of an issue that’s difficult to prove—so it’s always best to keep your cool and stay professional.
Identify the Person You Speak With
Before you discuss anything, get the name, address, and telephone number of the person you are speaking with, the name of the insurance company he or she is with, and the person or business the company represents (the “insured”).
Give Only Limited Personal Information
You need only tell the insurance adjuster your full name, address, and telephone number. You can also tell them what type of work you do and where you are employed. But at this point you need not explain or discuss anything else about your work, your schedule, or your income.
Give No Details of the Accident
Insurance adjusters or other representatives may try to get you to “give a statement”” about how the accident happened. Or they may simply engage you in conversation during which they will subtly try to get you to tell them about the accident. Politely refuse to discuss any of the facts except the most basic: where, when, the type of accident, the vehicles involved if it was a traffic accident, and the identity of any witnesses. Say that your investigation of the accident is still continuing and that you will discuss the facts further “at the appropriate time.” Later, you will probably be sending a personal injury demand letter in which you will describe the accident in detail.
Give No Details of Your Injuries
Naturally enough, an insurance adjuster is going to want to know about the nature and extent of your injuries. Do not give a detailed description yet. You might leave something out, or discover an injury later, or your injury may turn out to be worse than you originally thought. If you need to say something, just tell the adjuster that you are “still treating,” and leave it at that. Learn more about how your medical treatment affects the value of your personal injury case.
As soon as your conversation is over, write down all the information you received over the phone, as well as whatever information you gave to (or requests you made of) the person with whom you spoke.
Resist the Push to Settle Immediately
Insurance adjusters sometimes offer a settlement during the first one or two phone calls. Quick settlements like that save the insurance company work. More importantly, they get you to settle for a small amount before you fully understand what your injuries are and how much your personal injury claim is worth. Don’t take the bait. Collecting a settlement may seem like a quick way to get compensation without having to go through the claims process, and the money may be tempting, but it will almost certainly cost you money, perhaps quite a bit.
Set Limits on Conversations
In your first contact with an insurance adjuster, make it clear that you will not be discussing much on the phone. Not only should you give very limited information in this first phone call, as discussed above, but you should also set clear limits on any further phone contact.
There are good reasons to limit your phone conversations with insurance adjusters. Some will call frequently in an attempt to get you to settle quickly, and they can become a real nuisance. It’s good to nip this in the bud.
More important, until you have had a full opportunity to investigate and think about the accident, and to determine the extent of your injuries and other losses (these are your “damages” in legalese), you will not have accurate information to give. And if you give incomplete or inaccurate information on the phone, the insurance company may try to make you stick to it later on.
Refuse to Give Recorded Statements
Many claims adjusters immediately push you to give a tape-recorded statement, or casually ask if they may record your phone conversation, claiming it will protect you later. Do not agree to have any conversation recorded. You have no legal obligation to be recorded, and it is against the law for an adjuster to record you without your permission.
The reason you should refuse is that most people tense up when they know they are being recorded, and they may forget to say important things or could describe things clumsily or incompletely. A verbal statement or conversation is almost never as precise and thorough as the written correspondence you will later send the insurance company. Also, recordings take on far more importance than they deserve as evidence of what happened. It can be nearly impossible later to correct or expand on what you have said in a recording.
Politely but firmly decline an adjuster’s request to record your statements. Tell him or her that you are not comfortable with recording, and that when your information is complete, you will provide it in writing.
With all of this said, the best way to protect yourself and get the results you desire is by working with an attorney from the day of the accident. Your attorney can advise you on how to speak with insurance adjusters, help you to decide what information to share, and prevent you from being bullied by predatory insurance companies. Contact the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers today to learn more about your options when filing an insurance claim in Houston, Texas.
Contact Our Law Firm in Houston Today
When you have been injured in a car accident, there is no time to wait. You will want to reach out to an experienced Houston car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Failing to do this can get in the way of you being awarded fair compensation in your case. Don’t waste time, instead, contact the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers right away. Our legal team will work with you to explore your options and find out more about how our team of legal professionals can help you through this difficult time. Car accident cases are often more complicated than they seem, working with an attorney will ensure the best results and maximum financial compensation.
Spanish Speaking Personal Injury Attorneys in Houston, TX
Texas has a high concentration of Spanish-speaking drivers. Unfortunately, these drivers are often misrepresented following car accidents and may have a more difficult time pursuing justice in their case. The difficulties these individuals have navigating a system designed for English-speakers may factor into them not pursuing compensation against reckless drivers who have left them injured and with bills. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, we refuse to let a language barrier get in the way of your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and needs Spanish-speaking legal advice, call our office today.
We make it easier than ever before for those who have been injured in car accidents to navigate the legal system to get the best results in their case. Schedule your no-obligation car accident consultation with Attorney Caruthers today. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure your needs are being met and that you are getting the treatment you deserve in your car accident case. Don’t hesitate, the sooner you call the better the results in your case will be.
Houston Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!
Our team works hard to bring the most efficient and practical solutions to your car accident case. Beverly R. Caruthers proudly serves and defends the Greater Houston area including but not limited to Baytown, Conroe, Crosby, Humble, Huntsville, Lake Jackson, Missouri City, Pasadena, Spring, Tomball.