Dealing with Insurance Adjusters – The Things Not to Say
More often than not, insurance companies are not your friend, especially if the representative on the other end of the line attempts to play the role of one. Once an accident happens, the first call that you will typically receive is from the other party’s insurance company. Unfortunately, the agent on the phone is often calling you to make a quota, or in many cases is more interested in saving its employer money and not helping you at all. The adjuster speaking with you seldomly has any interest in making sure you are compensated correctly and will try to illicit a statement from you that can throw your whole claim off balance without you knowing it. Without experience in the personal injury legal field, no one expects you to know or not know what to say when speaking to an insurance adjuster. However, saying the wrong thing could lead to mistakes that can undermine your claim for compensation if taken in the wrong context. This occurs on a daily basis and is part of every insurance company’s business model to generate additional profit at your expense.
Statements are easy to make without thinking about what is said. As such, the following phrases should be avoided when discussing your claim with an insurance adjuster:
“I think” or “In my opinion”: When speaking with an adjuster, it is best to remember only what you do in fact know. If a certain question is asked, and you may be unsure of the answer, it is best to say nothing at all. If you guess on a response and it is not factually accurate, it could reduce the amount of compensation you could ultimately be entitled to receive at the conclusion of your case.
‘I’m sorry” or “It was my fault.”: Admitting fault or even saying I’m sorry implies that you were doing something wrong, even if you were not. It is essential to never apologize after an accident. Whether you are talking to the at-fault party or the insurance adjuster on the phone, saying I’m sorry or admitting fault is the leading cause for a person to receive less compensation or even have their claim denied in its entirety. It is not your responsibility to determine fault, so allow for a proper investigation to occur to determine who truly was at fault for the accident before any such statements are made.
“I’m not hurt”: After an accident happens, the adrenaline and the shock from your body will usually kick in. It is commonly known unless bones are broken, the pain from an accident may take a day or two to be felt, and many injuries are not visible. It is crucial to get checked out by a medical provider for an evaluation to determine what is causing the pain. Too many individuals do not think their injury is “that bad” until too much time has passed, making it more difficult to prove the claim. It is also best to avoid signing a medical release or discussing injuries with an insurance adjuster until you have consulted with an automobile or personal injury attorney who routinely handles these types of claims.
Recorded Statements: The first thing an adjuster will want to do after an automobile or other types of accident is to obtain a recorded statement from you. The adjuster may make it seem like a simple request or that you are required to give one to the at-fault party’s carrier before they will process your claim. However, a recorded statement is not needed nor required by law, and it is in your best interest to decline to provide the insurance carrier with answers to leading questions where you may say the wrong thing simply due to not knowing the legal consequences of providing a certain answer. Before providing any recorded statement, it is highly recommended that you speak with a personal injury attorney to determine what your legal rights are and to ensure you are playing on a level playing field when making a claim for compensation.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a personal injury or automobile type of accident, call on the expertise of Larby & Associates at (918) 796-5780 to provide you with a free consultation regarding your potential claim. Larby & Associates has significant experience in all area personal injury related claims, including: Automobile Accidents; Trucking Accidents; Premises Liability; and Defective Products & Dangerous Drugs. We will work tirelessly for you to maximize any recovery to which you may be entitled. The financial compensation you deserve could be only one phone call away. Call Larby & Associates today.