After a car accident, victims may be physically and emotionally injured. Yet when they get home from the hospital, or even home from the scene of an accident, their phone may already be ringing with a call from the insurance adjuster wishing to speak to them about the accident.
There are two critical things to remember when speaking to these adjusters: they want to settle the claim as quickly as possible, and they want the accident victim to accept blame. Because both of these actions can be detrimental to the victim later on, it is important to keep a few tips in mind when speaking to them.
Remain Calm and Courteous
It is understandable for accident victims to be upset over such an ill-timed call, and perhaps even angry. However, it is important to not take this out on the insurance adjuster. Even if the adjuster is not on the victim’s side, acting rude, belligerent, or angry towards them will not help the situation.
Always Ask Who They Are
This should be done right away, and before continuing any conversation with an insurance adjuster or others involved in the accident. Write down their full name, address, contact number, and the company they are representing. This information can prove to be helpful later on, and will certainly be of more use than just remembering a first name.
Only Provide Required Information
There is no reason accident victims should have to tell an insurance adjuster anything about their income or their work schedule. Providing a name, address, telephone number, the name of an employer, and the type of work provided for that employer is plenty.
Do Not Provide Details of the Accident
It is okay to talk about the basics of the accident, but that should be all you tell the adjuster. The vehicles involved, where and when the accident took place, and the type of accident it was can all be discussed with the insurance agent, but if they ask for more details, it is best to simply tell them that an attorney is still investigating and that no further details can be provided at this time.
Do Not Provide Details About Any Injuries
An adjuster will want to know as much as possible about any injuries, but their reasons for doing this are not always charitable. They want to get accident victims to say things such as, “I only have a headache” while in reality, that headache could be the beginnings of a bad concussion. Injuries could also be discovered later after the call has concluded. For these reasons, it is best to simply state that you are still seeking a medical opinion and that your injuries cannot be discussed.
Take Plenty of Notes
It is easy to forget what was said during a conversation, particularly immediately following an accident. As such, accident victims should always take notes about what was said as it is being said, so they do not forget important details later on.
Do Not Settle
Insurance adjusters often want to offer a settlement very quickly, but again, this is generally not because they care about the accident victim. Rather, it is so the settlement can be accepted before further injuries are found, and so they can take advantage of the victim’s depleted emotional and physical state. If a settlement offer is made, it is best for accident victims to tell the adjuster they will pass the offer onto their lawyer before settling, and that the adjuster will hear back from that lawyer.
Do Not Agree to be Recorded
Adjusters often want to record conversations so they can use things the victim said against them later on. However, they also must ask permission before recording an accident victim. For this reason, it is important that accident victims never agree to be recorded.
Contacting a Pasadena an Attorney
If possible, consulting an attorney is the most important thing that should be done before speaking to an adjuster. Attorneys are very familiar with how insurance adjusters work, and what their real motives are when speaking to accident victims. They can negotiate with the insurance company and the adjuster on the victim’s behalf, so the victim can focus solely on their recovery. An adept car accident attorney can also work hard to get the best and fairest settlement possible for the victim.