What to Know Before Speaking With an Insurance Adjuster
If you have been involved in an auto accident, it is normal to be dealing with a range of emotions, including stress, anger, and anxiety. If you were injured, you also need to think about receiving prompt medical care and focus on getting better. On top of that, you may find yourself dealing with an insurance company.
However, before you pick up the phone and talk to an insurance adjuster, it is vital to understand your rights and what things you can and cannot say to the adjuster.
At Goldberg, Goldberg & Maloney, our personal injury attorneys know how insurance adjusters are trained and how they operate. From our office located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we deal with insurance companies on behalf of our clients and help clients fight for the compensation they deserve, and not a penny less.
Is the Insurance Adjuster on Your Side?
If you have received your first phone call from an insurance adjuster – or you know that the adjuster is about to call you – you might be wondering, “Do I have to talk to the adjuster? If so, what should I say and not say to them?” Before we answer these questions, it is important to set the record straight: insurance adjusters are not on your side.
An insurance adjuster does not care about you and what you are going through. This may sound harsh, but their job is to protect their company’s bottom line while staying professional and keeping an empathetic attitude. Do not let the adjuster’s friendliness and empathy mislead you. The adjuster cares about closing your claim as quickly as possible and for the lowest amount possible.
The sooner you understand that insurance adjusters are not on your side, the less likely you are to make mistakes when speaking with the adjuster. One person who truly cares about your situation and injuries and wants to recover as much as possible is your attorney.
Know Your Rights Before Speaking With an Insurance Adjuster
Now that we have established that insurance adjusters are not your friends, let’s make sure that you understand your rights when speaking with any representative from the insurance company:
You do not have an obligation to speak with them. If you do not want to, you can refuse to talk to the adjuster. When you receive a phone call from the adjuster, politely decline to talk and refer them to your attorney.
You do not need to give the adjuster access to your medical records. Adjusters cannot access your medical records without your written permission. Refuse access to your medical records before you consult with your attorney.
You do not have to give a recorded statement. You are not obligated to provide a recorded statement if you do not want to. You can politely refer the adjuster to your attorney.
Consider consulting with an attorney before you provide any statements to the insurance adjuster.
How to Respond to Requests for a Statement
Hours or days after the accident, an insurance adjuster will contact you to discuss your case. The adjuster may ask you to give your permission to have the conversation recorded. Let’s discuss how you should respond to the adjuster’s requests for a statement.
Giving a recorded statement may create several potential problems. First of all, your words can be used against you if you say contradictory things or give incomplete information. Your recorded statement could be used to deny your claim or reduce your compensation. Second of all, you may not realize the full extent of your injuries and property damage when providing a recorded statement, which is why providing statements too soon can be detrimental to your claim for compensation.
If you think you are ready to give a recorded statement, follow these rules:
Keep your answers brief and do not go into details.
Do not admit guilt or say anything that may make you even partially at fault for the accident.
If you do not know how to answer the adjuster’s question, say “I do not know.”
Do not sign anything before you have your attorney review it.
Following these rules can greatly increase your chances of getting the compensation to which you are entitled.
Turn to Experienced Legal Guidance
Speaking with an insurance adjuster can cause added strain and stress, which is something you need to avoid at all costs when recovering from your injury. Consider hiring a knowledgeable attorney to help deal with the insurance company for you. Our personal injury attorneys at Goldberg, Goldberg & Maloney can handle negotiations on your behalf and protect your rights. Contact our office in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to receive a free consultation.