What You Should Know Before the Insurance Adjuster Calls
Injuries can completely alter the course of your life. Whether it's a car accident, slip and fall, or workplace injury, the aftermath can be overwhelming. On top of dealing with physical pain and emotional distress, you may also have to subject yourself to the insurance company's scrutiny.
Insurance adjusters are responsible for evaluating and settling claims on behalf of the insurance company. They will investigate the details of your case, including reviewing medical records, interviewing witnesses, and assessing damages to determine how much compensation you are entitled to.
While it may seem like the adjuster is on your side, it's important to remember that their main objective is to minimize the amount of money the insurance company has to pay out. This means they may try to downplay the severity of your injuries or shift blame onto you to reduce their liability.
This experience can feel overwhelming and stressful, especially if it’s your first time. But don't worry, our distinguished team of personal injury attorneys is here to help guide you through this process and equip you with the knowledge you need to protect your rights.
The Role of an Insurance Adjuster
First, it's key to understand what exactly an insurance adjuster does. Their primary tasks involve investigating the accident, assessing the damages, and settling the claim. However, they might not have specialized medical or legal training, and they likely handle a hefty stack of claims each month. So, demonstrating a detailed understanding of your case backed by solid evidence can absolutely give you an edge during your discussions.
The Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer
While you're not obligated to have a lawyer represent you, it's highly recommended that you do. These legal professionals specialize in personal injury law and can provide valuable guidance throughout the claims process. They can even handle all communication with the insurance adjuster on your behalf, ensuring your best interests are represented and protecting you from dehumanizing conversations and low-ball offers.
What Not to Do During a Call With Insurance
When you get that call from the adjuster, don't forget to ask for their name and who they represent. And keep the conversation focused and concise. More key strategies that can keep your case on the right track include:
Providing Detailed Information About the Accident and Damages
It's only natural to be in shock and want to explain everything about the accident. However, we advise you to resist giving too many details or admitting any liability. It's best to wait until you've spoken with your lawyers before discussing any potential factors that could have contributed to the accident. Also, we recommend getting a quote from your own auto-repair shop instead of relying on the insurance company's suggested shop. That way, you can be certain of a comprehensive inspection of the damages.
Oversharing About Your Injuries
Accidents can be traumatic, and it's not uncommon to downplay injuries initially. However, we strongly advise waiting for a proper medical diagnosis before providing extensive details to the insurance adjuster. Let them know that you're seeking medical treatment and that a written summary of your injuries will be provided through us, your lawyers.
Signing Anything or Giving a Recorded Statement
During your conversation, the insurance adjuster may ask for a recorded statement or request access to your medical records. We recommend denying these requests and avoiding signing anything without consulting us first. Providing a written statement with our help allows you to carefully plan what to say and attach all necessary evidence.
Negotiating the Settlement Offer on Your Own
Unless you have relevant legal experience, let your personal injury lawyer take the reins on the negotiation process to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Insurance adjusters often propose a settlement amount that's lower than what your claim is worth. Don’t settle for the first offer. Instead, gather compelling evidence to support your case and make a counteroffer.
Also, it's helpful to know that the goal of any insurance adjuster is to close the claim and make a profit so they can move on to their next case. Therefore, they may use tactics such as delaying your claim or pressuring you to accept a low offer. Knowing these strategies can help you stay calm.
Oftentimes, negotiation can lead to a higher settlement amount. Your personal injury lawyer can guide you through this process and help you make informed decisions that prioritize your best interests.
We Can Help You Prepare
Dealing with an insurance adjuster can be tough, but being prepared and informed can go a long way in protecting your rights and ensuring a fair settlement. Stay calm, be concise, and don't hesitate to consult us, your personal injury lawyers, to guide you through the process. If you've been injured in an accident, reach out to us.
At Tormey & McConnell, we serve clients in and near Amarillo, Texas, including the communities of Canyon, Dumas, Pampa, Hereford, Childress, and Borger. Our attorneys, Jeff Tormey and Ed McConnell, are committed to helping you hit a homerun settlement offer, despite any challenges insurers throw our way. We're not just your lawyers; we're your advocates. Let us go to bat for you. Schedule your free consultation today.