An insurance claims adjuster is someone who either works for the insurance company or is hired from an outside company to analyze a claim. It is the professional in charge of investigating the claim, looking at the evidence, and recommending to the insurance company to accept or reject benefits. Dealing with an insurance adjuster correctly after a car accident is critical. Knowing how to do so can help you maximize your financial recovery.
Prepare for Your Conversation
You can return a claims adjuster’s call at your convenience. Give yourself time to prepare for the conversation. Take time to gather the basic facts of the crash so that you are better able to answer the adjuster’s questions. Call the adjuster back after you have processed the accident and can discuss it calmly. Be polite to the adjuster and either record the conversation or take notes.
Don’t Assume the Adjuster Is on Your Side
The claims adjuster has one goal: to save the insurance company money. The adjuster does not want you to recover maximum financial compensation for your medical bills and property repairs. Instead, the adjuster wants to find reasons to diminish benefits or deny your claim. It is imperative to understand this during negotiations with the insurance adjuster, and not to assume that the adjuster is on your side.
Decline to Give a Recorded Statement
The adjuster will contact you soon after your accident – sometimes the same day as the accident. This is intentional; the claims adjuster hopes to catch you before you fully understand the facts of the crash, so he or she can obtain a recorded statement from you and use it against you later to portray you as an unreliable witness.
Politely decline to give the adjuster a recorded statement. No law in Texas requires you to give one. Do not believe the adjuster when he or she says the insurance company cannot continue processing your claim without it. Explain to the adjuster that you plan on submitting a written statement later, after consulting with your attorney.
Do Not Admit Fault
Never say that you caused the auto accident during a conversation with an insurance adjuster. Your admittance of fault, even in part, could be enough to bar you from financial recovery. Even if you believe your actions caused or contributed to the car accident, refrain from saying this to the insurance adjuster. Instead, wait for the insurance company’s investigation to determine fault. The other driver – or a third party – may be more to blame than you realize.
Keep Your Answers Short and Simple
Be honest, but do not give away more information in your answers to the insurance adjuster’s questions than is necessary. Keep your answers short and simple rather than going into long, narrative descriptions. Do not speculate about the car accident. Stick only to the facts of the crash as you understand them to be true. If you don’t know the answer to a question, politely say that you do not know.
Don’t Rush Into a Fast Settlement
Do not make any binding decisions while on the phone with the claims adjuster – especially when it comes to accepting a settlement. If the insurance company accepts your claim and you are offered a settlement, bring your case to a car accident lawyer for a review before making a decision. The initial settlement is often not adequate for the extent of a claimant’s injuries and losses. Once you accept, you cannot reopen your case or renegotiate for a higher amount. This is why it is critical to speak to an attorney before settling your claim.
Hire an Attorney to Advocate on Your Behalf
You do not have to deal with an insurance claims adjuster on your own. Hire a car accident lawyer in Dallas for a professional advocate who can stand by your side throughout the claims process. Your lawyer can handle conversations with a claims adjuster, protect your rights and fight for maximum recovery while you focus on healing.