The immediate aftermath of a serious car accident is overwhelming. Most people experience a state of shock that can take some time to wear off. In the hours and days that follow, your mind will be focused on the injuries you have suffered and the damage to your automobile. In these vulnerable moments, it is also likely that you will receive a call from an insurance claims adjuster.
When you are approached by this representative of the insurance company, it is important to keep in mind that they have only one goal: to avoid paying out large settlements to people who were injured by their insured. They may represent themselves as someone who cares about your welfare, but they are actually trying to find as much information as they can to dispute your claim.
For this reason, it is important to know what to expect from insurance adjusters. It is also essential that you know how to handle the conversation so that you do not impair your chances of recovering the full and fair amount that you deserve for your injury and other accident-related costs. That means knowing what not to say during a conversation with an insurance adjuster.
Never Admit Fault
When many people speak to insurance adjusters in the aftermath of an accident, the injured party often ends up using apologetic language. Even if you believe at that moment that the accident was your own fault, you should wait for the police report and your personal injury lawyer’s evaluation of the accident before you say anything about how much you might or might not be at fault.
Many people use the word “sorry” in a habitual fashion. Remove this word from your vocabulary when speaking to an insurance adjuster. If you say you’re sorry, they could try to use your words as an admission of guilt so that they can try to diminish or eliminate the value of your claim.
Don’t Answer Questions About the Incident
During the conversation, the insurance adjuster will probably ask you to tell your version of the events that occurred. Avoid answering any questions of this nature before you speak to an attorney. You can give the adjuster basic information, such as your name and your contact details. But if they ask for further details, tell them that you will have your attorney provide them with the information they want.
If you answer questions that you don’t know the answer to and change your story after you learn more facts about the accident, the insurance adjuster might use this information as evidence that you are fabricating your claim.
Don’t Give Information about Your Physical or Emotional Condition
In the aftermath of a car accident, an injured person often has so much adrenaline pumping through their system that it masks the extent of the pain they might be suffering. If the insurance adjuster asks about your state, don’t automatically say, “I’m fine.” Politely tell them that you will get back to them after you have spoken with your lawyer.
When an insurance adjuster calls you, they are interested in finding out about what injuries you might have received in the accident. While it might seem as though they are genuinely concerned for your wellbeing, they are often attempting to get you to say that you are “fine” or “okay” so that they can later use these words against you when you file a claim for an injury.
Don’t Accept the Initial Settlement Offer
An insurance adjuster may try to offer you an early settlement, perhaps even claiming that it is their “final offer.” However, it is important that you do not accept any settlement offer until you have spoken with your lawyer. Adjusters often bank on the possibility that an injured person’s lack of experience with personal injury law will prevent them from recognizing the true value of their claim. Yet the initial offer is usually far from the best one. Speak to your lawyer first so that you can have a fuller understanding of what you might be owed.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by another party, you need an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to fight for your best interests. The skilled and knowledgeable Fort Walton Beach car accident attorneys of The Bruner Law Firm know how to handle the tactics of the insurance adjusters who might try to take advantage of your inexperience. Our lawyers will work to ensure that you have a fair chance at receiving the full compensation you deserve for your losses. Call us today at (850) 243-2222 or contact us online 24/7 for a free case evaluation.