Dos And Don’ts Of Speaking With Insurance Adjusters
Once you file a claim after a Florida motor vehicle accident, you should expect a call from an insurance adjuster. An insurance adjuster/claims adjuster is an individual who investigates claims to determine if or how much an insurance company should pay an accident victim for injuries or damages. Some of the main roles of an insurance adjuster are;
- Reviewing, investigating, assessing, and settling claims
- Assessing injuries and damages suffered by accident victims
- Ensuring claims are not fraudulent
- Determining what amount the insurance company should pay a plaintiff
- Contacting claimants’ doctors or employers to uncover fraudulent claims
- Negotiating settlements with plaintiffs, their legal counsel, or representatives
It is also an insurance adjuster’s duty to save the insurance company they work for as much money as possible. To do so, insurance adjusters usually try to minimize the amount of money insurance companies pay to claimants. Therefore, what a claimant says during their initial conversation with an insurance adjuster often plays a massive role in influencing insurance adjusters’ decisions.
- DO NOT SPEAK WITH ANY INSURANCE ADJUSTER WITHOUT FIRST SPEAKING WITH AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY.
- IF YOU SPEAK WITH AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER, LIMIT THE CONVERSATION TO THE PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIM ONLY, DO NOT DISCUSS YOUR INJURIES.
If you chose to speak with an insurance adjuster, follow the tips below to ensure you don’t jeopardize your claim:
Do Remain Polite
Even though the insurance adjuster is generally not your friend, it is crucial that you be courteous when talking to them. You should avoid yelling at an insurance adjuster, getting angry, or frustrated. When you establish a positive relationship with an insurance adjuster, you increase your chances of getting a quicker and fair settlement.
Limit the Conversation to your Property Damage Claim Only
If possible, decline to answer questions concerning your injuries. Your injuries are still to be determined. Why lock yourself into an answer now, when you do not know the extent of your injuries.
In “non-clear liability” cases, be very careful discussing how the crash occurred. A rear-end crash is usually clear liability. In almost all other crashes, the other party MAY claim that YOU are at-fault. As such, in non-rear end crashes, is better to first speak with an attorney before calling to report the claim. If not, you may get tripped up with a seemingly innocuous question jeopardizing your claim.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
When an insurance adjuster contacts you, chances are, they will ask you to give a recorded statement. If asked to provide a recorded statement by an insurance adjuster, politely decline to do so because an insurance adjuster can use a recorded statement against you in the future. Insurance adjusters are known to twist statements around to hurt plaintiffs’ claims.
Do Tell the Truth
When talking to an insurance adjuster, it is crucial that you tell them the truth. If you lie to an insurance adjuster, you might end up hurting your case. Any instance of you lying, exaggerating, or speculating can be used as proof of your inaccuracy as a plaintiff. Lies can result in an insurance company denying your claim. Additionally, dishonesty can lead to you being charged with insurance fraud.
Don’t Admit Fault
You should never tell an insurance adjuster that you think your accident was your fault. Admitting fault can lead to you being deemed ineligible for compensation. Even in a situation where you are sure you did something that led to your accident, remember that someone else could be at fault too. In Florida, a plaintiff can recover damages even if they are partly to blame for their accident.
Do Wait To Accept a Settlement Offer
Because of the many expenses that follow after an accident, it can be tempting for you to accept a settlement offer made by an insurance adjuster during an initial conversation. Despite the temptation, you should not accept an initial settlement offer from an insurance adjuster without speaking to an attorney. Often, any settlement offer made during the first conversation between an insurance adjuster and a claimant is much lower than what a claimant’s claim is actually worth.
Contact a Florida Keys Injury Car Accident Attorney
The Key West & Marathon car accident lawyers at Florida Keys injury are experienced in helping individuals like you obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Nothing on this website is an offer to represent you, and nothing on this website is intended to create an attorney‑client relationship. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues.