When you’re in an accident, calling your insurance company is probably not the first thing on your mind. But it should be! After calling 911 and then your friends and family, the next thing you should do is call your car insurance adjusters. Contact your auto insurance adjuster to assist you immediately with your insurance claim process.
Many people think they can call their car insurance company after they get home. However, this isn’t the ideal course of action because certain things must be done immediately to avoid being denied a claim.
What is a Car Insurance Adjuster?
Car insurance adjusters help policyholders resolve third-party claims. They investigate accidents and determine if the policyholder is at fault. If so, they will negotiate a compromise with the policyholder.
Auto insurance adjusters are state-licensed professionals who investigate for insurers. They must also follow company policies regarding investigation techniques and documentation procedures.
After you file a car accident insurance claim, an adjuster may do the following:
- Inspect and photograph the vehicle damage.
- Interview collision witnesses and passengers.
- Collect police and hospital reports.
- Contact your doctor for medical costs.
Tips for Speaking with Car Insurance Adjusters
Here are some tips for speaking with car insurance adjusters so that you have a better chance of getting the best possible outcome for your insurance claim:
Don’t Consent to Be Recorded
Recorded statements may be harmful. They often allow insurance companies to gather evidence to minimise or deny your claim. Your insurance adjuster will often ask to record your conversation. They may try to convince you it’s for your safety by portraying the situation as necessary. Because much of what you say can be used against you, politely decline to be recorded.
When they request a recorded statement, direct them to your lawyer. If you live in South Carolina and are involved in a car accident, get a local car accident lawyer because they are familiar with the laws of your state.
A South Carolina car accident lawyer can help answer your questions and advise you on how to handle the situation. Declining their request will protect your legal rights. The best way to describe the collision is in writing, where you have more control over what you say. Before submitting the statement, your attorney can review it to ensure it doesn’t hurt your case.
Do Not Admit Fault
Car insurance adjusters are taught to be suspicious and find any reason to deny a claim. Never admit fault to them. Even if you caused an accident, never accept the blame. You shouldn’t say anything until the police report and witnesses say the other driver was at fault.
Your insurance company will investigate the collision to determine fault and make a decision. Instead of speaking for yourself and risking trouble or losing compensation because you admitted guilt before all the facts were known, let them do their job and make their decision. Let them decide.
It would also help if you hire an accident lawyer because one can advise you on what to do, what to say, and what not to say when you’re claiming proceeds from an accident.
If you were partially responsible for your injuries, your compensation would reflect that. If you were 30% responsible for an accident, you would forfeit 30% of your compensation. Insurance companies base their decisions on what they think would happen at trial, even though these rules only apply to courts. If an insurer’s legal team says it can prove you’re 30% at fault in court, they’ll factor that into their settlement offer.
Avoid saying anything that could link you to the incident to increase your personal injury claim’s compensation.
Don’t Minimise Personal Injuries
After an accident, your auto insurance adjuster will assess the damage to your vehicle. The adjuster will examine your wounds and decide if you need medical attention. The adjuster is not there to help you get better or get more compensation for your injuries. They’re there because their company wants to limit claim pay-outs. They will try to minimise your injuries and settle quickly, even if it’s not in your best interest.
The adjuster may try to minimise the damage by saying things like “You’ll be fine” or “I’ve seen worse.” Do not take this as an invitation to downplay your injuries. Be honest about any accident-related pain.
Don’t say “no” to the adjuster’s question about back pain just to speed up your claim. Before settling with your insurance company, get your whole body checked by a doctor.
Do Not Describe Your Injuries
Car crash survivors often experience shock and disorientation. Your auto insurance adjuster is trained to profit from situations like this.
First, insurance adjusters are not required to be honest or fair with you. Remember this throughout the conversation. They’ll try to convince you to do something that’s not in your best interest.
You should focus on getting back on the road after the accident, not describing your injuries. The insurance company wants you to elaborate on your injuries to leverage a lower settlement offer. Instead of talking, refer them to your auto accident attorney.
Don’t Share Too Much Information
Avoid giving an insurance adjuster too much information. This is a good rule of thumb. It’s counterintuitive, but they can’t stop asking questions without seeming rude or suspicious once you start talking about your accident or injuries.
When describing an accident to an insurance adjuster, only share what you personally experienced. You shouldn’t guess what happened because it may be your fault. Then your insurer could reduce your compensation.
Also, they may ask for more information after you describe your accident or injuries. It may also start a new line of questioning that leads to rabbit holes unrelated to your claim. Even if you have nothing to hide, revealing information that could decrease a settlement accidentally is easy.
Why Should You Hire an Accident Attorney?
If you were hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you might be entitled to compensation. The circumstances of your injury determine this. To accomplish this goal, you will need the services of an accident attorney.
Cases involving personal injury are notoriously difficult and require a significant investment of time, energy, and expertise. If you try to take care of it yourself, it’ll probably be too much for you, and you’ll lose.
Dealing with insurance companies can often be a stressful and exhausting experience. This only adds to the frustration when you are already dealing with physical, emotional, and financial injuries. Insurance companies often take advantage of your lack of knowledge to maximise their profits.
Hiring an attorney can be like a best friend in times of car accidents. A qualified auto accident lawyer can assist you. Lawyers can help you decide if your settlement offer is fair. And in complex cases, they can negotiate a fair settlement.
Getting advice from a knowledgeable, experienced personal injury attorney can help ease the burden of a difficult situation. With a lawyer by your side, you will get the compensation you deserve after a collision.
If you or a loved one was injured in a negligently caused accident, it might have had a major impact on your life, physically and emotionally, especially financially.
Auto accident insurance claims can be stressful. You may get confused if you don’t know your state’s laws.
After an accident, you don’t want to navigate the legal system alone. Do not do this. Your case may be complicated by the accident’s cause, who was at fault, whether anyone was injured, and how much damage was done.
Hiring an auto accident lawyer is the best way to maximise your compensation. Legal representation will help you navigate the process and protect your rights.