Following an accident there will be a lot of things going through your mind. What do I do about my car? Where should I seek medical treatment? How will I be able to pay for it? Generally speaking, most people don’t worry too much about who will be calling them and what they will be asking; however, a phone call from an insurance adjuster following an accident can have a major impact on your case.
Most insurance adjuster’s try to reach out to the victims of a car accident pretty quickly. This sometimes means receiving a phone call the same day as the accident. The insurance adjuster’s goal is to use the information obtained to determine what happened, review fault, and most importantly: figure out how little of a settlement you may be willing to accept. Accordingly, we’ve compiled the following tips to keep in mind should you receive a phone call from an insurance adjuster following a car accident.
You don’t want to provide more information than necessary. Necessary information generally includes your name, telephone number, address, and the type of work you do. It may also include when and where an accident occurred. Beyond these basics, the general rule of thumb is that you want to provide limited information. This means politely declining to discuss your injuries, your work or income, the details of the accident, or anything else beyond the aforementioned basics.
Be Polite and Remain Calm
While the insurance adjuster represents the interests of the insurance company, taking an angry tone or being rude will rarely help your case. In fact, a polite demeanor may pay dividends down the road when there’s a dispute regarding something that’s difficult to prove. Further, remaining calm will allow you to approach the situation with a clear mind.
Insurance adjusters will ask you if they can take a recorded statement. An adjuster may make this seem like it is not a big deal; however, it can have a significant impact on your case. Generally speaking, most people are uncomfortable when they are being recorded. This often leads to misspeaking or leaving out important details. The problem with this is that once you’ve provided a statement, it can be difficult to withdraw any of the facts you have provided. Accordingly, if an adjuster asks to take a recorded statement from you, politely decline and let them know that you would be glad to provide any further information in writing once you have had a chance to collect all relevant information.
Insurance adjusters will often throw out a settlement offer early on in conversation with the hope that they can settle your claim for very little. Resist the urge to settle at these early stages. Without having an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney review your case, you may accidentally resolve your claim for far less than it is worth.
If you’ve had the misfortune of being involved in a car accident and are now wondering how to handle the conversation with an insurance adjuster, contact The Rhine Law Firm to discuss your options.
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