What to do if an Insurance Company contacted you?
Your phone may begin to ring in the hours following a vehicle accident, or any other incident that causes you injury. And the caller may be an insurance adjuster or another representative of the other party involved in the accident.
Let’s take a look at what you should say and what you should avoid saying to a representative of the other party. During your initial post-accident phone contact, especially if you believe that party is to blame for the accident.
Maintain a calm and courteous demeanor.
Even if you are still angry about the accident and your injuries, venting your frustrations on the insurance adjuster will not help you obtain a reasonable 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.
When working with an insurance company, there are eight things to keep in mind:
1. Adjusters that work for insurance companies are skilled negotiators.
Your insurance adjuster is not looking out for your best interests, no matter how helpful he or she appears to be.
An insurance adjuster’s goal is to preserve the insurance company’s interests. Thus, they’re educated to reduce the amount of money paid out on each claim, which typically means denying the claim or failing to recognize the true value of the case.
2. Insurance companies are not required to handle you fairly or in a timely manner.
This is especially true if you are attempting to submit a claim against the other driver’s insurance company after an automobile accident. Even if the other motorist cooperates with the insurance company, your claim may still be denied or delayed. In fact, this is frequently why the first offer is a lowball offer.
3. Give no information about your injuries.
An insurance adjuster, terribly, will want to know the nature and degree of your injuries. Don’t go into too much detail just now. You might forget something, or you might uncover an injury later, or your injury might be worse than you imagined.
If you need to communicate with the adjuster, simply state that you are “still treating” and leave it at that. Learn more about how the value of your personal injury case is affected by your medical treatment.
4. Don’t accept the first settlement offer you get – it’s almost never a reasonable one.
Most people want financial assistance following a car accident in order to have their vehicle repaired or to pay medical fees. Insurance companies recognize the weakness of automobile accident victims and nearly inevitably offer a lowball settlement immediately away.
The insurance company will try to convince you to settle your accident claim as soon as possible. So that it can give you the least amount possible for auto repairs, medical treatment, and missed income.
However, you may not yet recognize the full degree of your injuries, and accepting the first offer may leave you short as the bills mount.
5. Your insurance company will make every effort to avoid paying your medical bills.
The insurance company will argue that you are lying about your injuries or attempting to commit fraud in order to reduce the settlement amount. It will argue that your injuries were caused by a pre-existing ailment, especially if you did not seek medical attention right after the event.
Keep copies of all records from your doctor’s appointments and follow up on any treatment recommendations.
6. Refuse to make statements that will be recorded.
Many claims adjusters will pressure you to give a recorded statement or ask if they can record your phone conversation in the hopes of protecting you afterwards. Do not consent to your communication being recorded. You are not required to be recorded by law, and an adjuster who does so without your permission is breaching the law.The reason you should decline is because most people become nervous when they realize they are being recorded. They may forget vital details or describe things in a clumsy or incomplete manner.
A verbal statement or conversation is rarely as detailed and thorough as the written communication you’ll provide the insurance company later. Furthermore, recordings are given considerably more weight than they deserve as proof of what occurred. It can be difficult to alter or expound on what you’ve stated in a recording later.
7. Anything you say could be used against you, and it will be.
Insurance adjusters are trying to convince you to accept their account of the accident.
Do not attempt it.
Don’t just agree to a question that’s been asked. No matter how reasonable the compensation appears, do not give a recorded statement or sign any agreements until you have spoken with a personal injury attorney. Refuse an adjuster’s request to record your statements politely but firmly. Tell him or her that you are not comfortable with recording and that you will submit your information in writing once it is complete.
8. Never sign anything until you’re confident you understand it or had it reviewed by a lawyer.
It’s fairly uncommon for the tiny print to state that you’re giving up your right to sue or seek additional damages. Even if your injuries turn out to be more serious than you expected. Have anything the insurance company asks you to sign or agree to review by a professional.
You cannot rely on your insurance company to look out for your best interests if you have been wounded in a car accident. Contact a lawyer who can conduct the talks on your behalf to reduce the complications of dealing with an insurance provider.
An attorney who has handled car accident cases before can engage with the insurance company on your behalf. Ensure that you obtain full and fair reimbursement for your injuries as well as any property or vehicle damage.
Furthermore, if an insurance company fails to process your claim in a reasonable timeframe or uses other illegal techniques to prevent you from receiving the compensation. You deserve, an expert lawyer may be able to assist you in filing a bad faith insurance claim.