Insurance companies do not want to pay you money after a car accident, but they also want to avoid terrible publicity, which is why they often send insurance adjusters to speak with accident victims. Adjusters have two jobs: to make you settle for less and to limit liability. Therefore, before you talk with an insurance adjuster, learn the five things you should avoid in conversation.
1. Admitting Fault
While most people believe that not admitting fault is a no-brainer, it is more than just avoiding the statement, “it was my fault.” You also want to avoid any apologetic language. It is human nature to show sympathy, but know that in a lawsuit or settlement negotiation, any acknowledgment of guilt or fault can nullify your claim, so bite your tongue.
2. Agreeing To Recorded Conversations
Most insurance adjusters will ask if they can record your conversation, but you should never allow this. While they may explain that the recording is just to help them with record keeping and organization, that is a lie. Adjusters record victims because they want to search for inaccuracies in their statements and claims, essentially to discredit them.
3. Speculating About Cause
When people are unprepared for conversations, they tend to ramble. Rambling is bad when talking with an insurance adjuster. Just talking without a clear direction or point can cause speculation, which the adjuster can use against you. Again, empathy makes you feel bad for the other driver, which can cause a statement like, “I had a hard time seeing that stop sign, too.” If you say anything like that, your case is done. Also, stay off of social media and do not share details about the accident with friends and family. Avoid talking to anyone except your attorney.
4. Explaining Your Injuries
An insurance adjuster will most likely ask about your injuries, but you can avoid being too specific. Keep comments general. If the adjuster keeps pushing for particular details, tell them you need to see the doctor, and then your attorney will deliver any necessary information.
5. Accepting the Initial Settlement Offer
The number one mistake most victims make is accepting the initial settlement offer. If an adjuster comes to you with a settlement check before you have even filed a claim, do not take it. The offer they present is a lowball offer, and your attorney will likely tell you’re the same.
The main takeaway here is to avoid talking to insurance adjusters without an attorney present. If you do not have an attorney, then contact a car accident lawyer, like from David & Philpot, PL, for help.