Talking to an Insurance Adjuster for the At-Fault Driver Is a Mistake You Don’t Want to Make After a Car Accident
Do not be surprised when you receive a call from the negligent driver’s insurance adjuster soon after your car accident. Once the negligent driver reports your wreck to his insurance adjuster, the adjuster will know that you will be filing a claim and will start his investigation. However, just because the adjuster wants to speak to you does not mean that it is a good idea for you to agree to this. In fact, you do not want to make the mistake that many crash victims make in having conversations with this adjuster. Unfortunately, doing so could complicate your case and make it much more difficult to obtain the compensation you deserve.
What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster is an employee of an insurance company whose job it is to investigate claims and make decisions on settling these claims. The insurance company is a business with the goal of making profits. It does this by reducing its costs through denying or reducing the value of the claims it is responsible for paying. This is also the primary goal of the insurance adjuster you would be speaking with. It is the insurance adjuster’s job to keep the cost of the claim as low as possible—even if it is legitimate and you suffered devastating injuries. You need to keep this in mind when you have any communications with the insurance adjuster and be extremely cautious as to what you say.
Why the Insurance Adjuster REALLY Wants to Talk to You
Understanding why the insurance adjuster is so eager to talk to you can help you understand why it is a bad idea to agree to this. In addition, it can help you not to make an inadvertent mistake that could hurt your claim if you answer your phone only to discover an insurance agent is on the line.
The first thing to know is that you are not legally obligated to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. While the adjuster may appear friendly and concerned on the telephone, he is not your friend. He is trying to get you to say things that he can twist and use against you to argue that you do not have a valid claim or that it is worth less than you really deserve. Here are some common insurance tactics he could use to get you to say something or agree to something that could hurt your claim:
- Acting like your friend. The insurance adjuster may sound genuinely concerned about your injuries and make it sound like he wants to process your claim quickly. What he is really doing is trying to get you comfortable, so that you give details about the crash and your injuries that he can twist to deny or reduce your claim.
- Asking for a recorded statement. The insurance adjuster will most likely ask you to give a recorded statement, making it sound like a routine request in the claims process. This is a tape recorded conversation that could be later used against you at court hearings—including your trial. The adjuster is a master at getting people to say things they didn’t mean or that can be turned around in a way to hurt their claim. Don’t let the adjuster trick you into giving a recorded statement—or any type of statement.
- Asking for a medical authorization. While it is true that you will need to provide medical records to settle your claim, you should not agree to sign the insurance company’s blanket medical authorization. The insurance adjuster wants you to do this, so he can go on a fishing expedition in your medical records to look for pre-existing injuries and other harmful information. Remember, your medical information is private, and the adjuster does not have a right to all of it.
- Friending you on social media. A new tactic of insurance adjusters is to try to friend accident victims on their social media sites. Do not accept such a request or a request by an unknown person while you are settling your claim. The other driver’s insurance adjuster would be doing this in an effort to catch you saying something harmful about the cause of the crash or that suggests your injuries are less serious than you claim. Be extremely cautious about what you post on your social media sites in general until your claim is settled.
- Making a quick settlement offer. If the insurance adjuster recognizes that you have a valid claim, he may make a quick settlement offer. Warning bells should go off in your head if this happens. He is not trying to do the right thing and pay you what you deserve. He is trying to trick you into settling your claim for far less than it is worth.
What Is the Best Strategy for Handling Insurance Adjuster Calls?
Even if you try not to talk to the other driver’s insurance company, you may not be able to avoid this. What should you do? You should politely obtain his contact information and inform him that you will have your attorney contact him. Then you should end the conversation.
David Brauns began his legal career defending insurance companies where he learned about the many insurance adjuster tactics to reduce and deny claims. This gives him a distinct advantage in representing victims of car accidents. If you suffered injuries in a crash caused by a negligent driver, let David Brauns take over the communications and negotiations with the insurance company—giving you a better chance of obtaining the settlement you are entitled to. Call (404) 998-5252 to schedule your free consultation.