When talking to an insurance adjuster, it’s essential that you remember that insurance companies are not on your side. Insurance providers are for-profit businesses, and their ability to make profits depends on paying the least amount possible for each and every claim. Whether you are dealing with your own insurer or another driver’s, no one you talk to at an insurance company is trying to help you.
How do you answer an insurance adjuster’s questions?
If you have hired a personal injury lawyer to represent you, your attorney will handle communications with the insurance company. If you do not have a lawyer, you should agree to give the claims adjuster the information they need to process your claim, but make sure you always refuse to give a recorded statement.
Here are a few tips for answering an insurance adjuster’s questions:
- Review the accident report before answering any questions
- Clearly explain the facts that prove the other driver was responsible for the accident
- Do not provide any unnecessary information
- Tell the adjuster all of the injuries you suffered in the accident, including minor injuries such as bruises, headaches, and a stiff neck
What do insurance adjusters look for?
Insurance adjusters are always looking for any possible justification for offering you a lower settlement, even if it requires twisting your words or manipulating you.
Claims adjusters are trained to ask leading questions to trick you into saying things that can hurt your case. For example, if the adjuster asks you “How are you?” and you respond that you are “fine” as is customary, the insurance company will try to use that statement as evidence that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
Insurance adjusters also look for reasons to claim that your injuries were not caused by the accident. For example, if you had a pre-existing condition or if you wait to seek medical treatment until several weeks after the accident, the insurance company will argue that the car crash was not the source of your injuries.
Do insurance adjusters lie?
Yes, insurance adjusters can (and will) lie to you. In fact, many insurance providers even encourage their adjusters to do so.
The truth of the matter is that, if you are not represented by a lawyer, insurance adjusters will see you as an easy target. Remember, their goal is to save their employer as much money as possible, and they do that by getting you to settle your case for less than its worth. While this may be your first or second car accident, your adjuster has probably handled hundreds or thousands of claims like yours. To ensure the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you, you need the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer who knows all the tricks in the claims adjuster playbook.
Do insurance adjusters lowball victims?
Yes, insurance adjusters regularly lowball victims.
Just like you wouldn’t pay sticker price when buying a new car, you should never accept a first settlement offer from a claims adjuster, particularly if you have not discussed your case with a personal injury lawyer. An insurance adjuster’s first offer is always a lowball settlement amount that is much lower than the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive and won’t come close to covering your expenses.
Insurance adjusters will often offer a lowball settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries. To receive a settlement offer, you have to forfeit your rights to pursue additional compensation, even if you later rack up extensive medical bills. To avoid this problem, never accept a settlement until you have reached maximum medical recovery from your injuries.
When should I contact a personal injury lawyer?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You should always consult with an attorney before speaking with an insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement.
Personal injury lawyers deal with insurance adjusters every day and are well-versed in all their tactics. As experienced negotiators, personal injury attorneys are in a much better position to handle insurance adjusters and win you the compensation you are entitled to receive. Insurance adjusters take your victims who are represented by lawyers much more seriously, and because they know your lawyer won’t accept a lowball offer, they typically offer higher settlement amounts.
Have questions? We protect victims like you every day.
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