If you have been involved in a car accident that resulted in injury, your best option is reaching out to an experienced car accident attorney to help you navigate your case for the best outcome. Listed below are tips for speaking with insurance adjusters after your 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 good will 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”).
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 important, 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.
Personal Injury Law Office in Houston
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!