Here are some helpful hints in dealing with insurance adjusters after a car accident in the event they call you instead of your lawyer:
• Don’t say anything and definitely don’t sign anything.
• Even if the at-fault party’s adjuster shows up the day after your accident, don’t talk to them either.
• Adjusters may try to pressure you by trying to get you to settle immediately, coercing you into using their ”preferred” auto repair shop or by offering you less than fair value if your vehicle is totaled.
• At the scene of the accident be careful of what you say to the other driver, the investigating officer or to witnesses. You may be in shock, full of adrenaline or mad and it is likely the first thing you say will not be helpful to your case in the long run. Those comments may be shared with the insurance adjuster or written down on the accident report.
• Giving too much information can get you in trouble. Telling anyone the accident happened as you were “rushing to an appointment you were late for” or that you were “texting a friend” or that you are “taking medicine” will not be in your best interest.
• Be careful about talking to paramedics or emergency room personnel about anything other than your injuries.
• Don’t be apologetic. “I’m sorry” can come out automatically but might be construed as admitting fault.
• Don’t be afraid to speak up about your injuries. Many people tend to minimize their pain but not mentioning it in the beginning can be used against them later.
• Don’t ever give a recorded statement to an adjuster without first consulting a lawyer. Adjusters may try to get you to think of them as a friend while getting you to make statements that could put you partially at fault by asking psychologically loaded questions such as “Do you think the weather affected you?” or “How much do you think you are responsible for the accident?” or “How could you have avoided the crash?”
• Don’t let yourself be hurried. Some soft tissue injuries can worsen in intensity over time.
Remember, insurance companies are businesses that stay in business by taking in more than they pay out.
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