What If an Insurance Adjuster Keeps Calling Me?
One of the most frustrating things about a car accident is having to deal with an insurance adjuster. Following a collision, you just want to rest, heal, and get back to normal. If a negligent driver caused your injuries, then you also want his insurance to be the one to pay for your bills.
But filing a personal injury claim against the other driver means dealing with his insurance company, or, if he doesn’t have insurance, your own. Whether you’re filing against his liability policy or your own UM policy, both companies will have insurance adjusters to spam accident victims with calls to get them to accept lowball settlement offers. Here’s what you can do.
Why Insurance Adjusters Spam Accident Victims
Insurance adjusters have goals when dealing with accident victims: keep it calm, but always try to pinch pennies to save the insurance company money. That’s their bottom line. When they can’t get a victim to accept a quick, low settlement offer, they manufacture reasons to deny the claim altogether.
When it comes to lowballing, adjusters know that most people cannot handle the costs of a car accident on their own, and the insurance company likes to prey on that desperation. They know you need money, and they want to get you to agree to a low settlement offer as soon as possible. Once you sign on the dotted line, you’ve “accepted” a settlement and cannot ask for more money later. This often means they will call you shortly after a crash, before you know the full costs of your injuries, to convince you to accept a settlement that only covers your emergency room bill.
Even if you tell them you need to talk to a lawyer or are still in treatment, they may continue to call you. In most cases, they will want you to make a recorded statement. They may claim they need to confirm the details of your accident, but their actual goal is to get you on tape making a conflicting statement.
For example, let’s say that in your first statement to the insurance adjuster, you said you had only suffered a concussion. Then, a few weeks later, you mention back pain. The insurance adjuster may argue that because you did not originally mention the back pain, it was not caused by the accident. They may even try to deny compensation for your back injury.
Insurance adjusters may also ask about your actions during the accident in the hopes that you will admit fault, or for more information about your medical records to see if you have a preexisting condition. At the end of the day, their job is to get you to accept a small settlement or build a case to deny your claim.
What Should I Do?
With our more than 40 years of experience, we have dealt with hundreds of car accident claims. In that time, we have learned a few tricks for dealing with persistent and crafty insurance adjusters, including:
- Write down the name, address and phone number of the insurance adjuster and the insurance company.
- Provide your full name, address, and telephone number.
- Take notes on your conversation.
- Ask the adjuster if they are aware of any witnesses.
- Be very general when you describe your injuries. Tell the adjuster you will provide a complete, detailed, medical description of your injuries after you and your doctors have done a full assessment.
- Do not agree to a recording of the conversation.
- Insurance adjusters will engage you in an informal conversation in an effort to relax you and get as many details about the accident as possible. Do not discuss anything but the basic facts of the accident: a) Where the accident occurred; b) Date and time of the accident; c) Type of accident – motor vehicle, slip-and-fall, etc.
- Do not provide details about your work, such as income, schedule, or details of what you do at your job.
- Do not agree to anything.
- Do not sign anything.
- Do not answer family questions. You are under no obligation to give any information about your family.
- You are not obligated at this point to identify witnesses, or give your doctor’s name!
Let a Personal Injury Attorney Protect Your Claim
It is important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible after a crash. At Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, we can handle all communications with insurance adjusters, whether they are from your insurance company or the other driver’s. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on our clients’ behalf and can fight for your best interests. Let our Orange County personal injury attorneys handle your case while you focus on healing. Call us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Even if you aren't sure you have a case, give us a call at (888) 752-7474, or fill out our Free Case Review below.
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