Be aware that this may not seem like a formal interview. It may seem like a casual conversation, but the insurance adjuster is trying to get information to use against you. Be careful what you say. Furthermore, do not allow the conversation to be recorded.
Here are some tips about what to say (and what not to say) when the insurance adjuster calls after you have been injured in a motor vehicle wreck:
Ask For Identification
Get the insurance adjuster’s name, the name of the insurance company, the name of the policyholder, the adjuster’s phone number and location.
Provide The Basics
Limit the personal information you provide to your name, phone number and location. If the insurance adjuster asks for employment information, you can provide the name of your employer and a brief description of your work, but do not go into detail about your hours and income.
The insurance adjuster will ask about the auto accident and your injuries. This is where the adjuster is trying to get you to slip up and say something that can hurt your case, something that brings into question who was at fault for the accident or minimizes the extent of your injuries. Be cautious.
When discussing the accident, you may want to limit the conversation to where it happened and when. Do not get into details about your injuries, as you may not even know the full extent of the damage at this point.
Say No To A Fast Settlement
Do not be surprised if you get a settlement offer during your first or second call from the insurance adjuster. This may seem like a good thing. You can accept it and use it to pay your medical bills. Unfortunately, you might later find that the settlement money runs out before all the medical bills are paid, or that it does not cover all your lost wages.
You cannot go back and ask for more money when a settlement runs out.
“How Can I Get A Fair Settlement If I Don’t Talk To The Insurance Adjuster?”
People naturally want to tell the insurance adjuster everything. Adjusters often seem friendly and, after all, isn’t it their job to provide a fair settlement? How could they possibly do that if you do not tell them everything they need to know?
An insurance adjuster’s job is not to provide a fair settlement, but to minimize claims and protect the insurance company’s bottom line. The adjuster asks you questions in order to find reasons to devalue your claim. Do not provide a reason.
Talk To An Advocate, Not An Adjuster
Instead of talking to an insurance adjuster, you can talk to someone who will be your advocate, an attorney who is experienced in standing up to insurance companies and getting compensation that is truly fair. You may think that an attorney will cost too much money, but in reality the first consultation is free and cases are handled on a contingency basis, so there is no cost to you unless your case is a success.
At the law office of Leonard B. Gabbay, P.C., we have built our careers on getting fair compensation for car crash victims. When you have us on your case, you will not need to talk to the insurance adjuster. You will not need to worry about being pressured into accepting a settlement offer that does not cover all your costs.