Having to speak about an accident may seem like the most natural thing to do. Many victims want and need to speak about what they went through. However, accident adjusters may not be the best person to open up to. Read on for some guidance on how to handle these communications.
Accident Claim Adjusters: Who Are They?
You may be speaking to a representative of your insurer or the other driver's insurer. In most cases, you will need to speak to your own insurer soon after an accident. They need to know about the accident for their own records.
Speaking with the other driver's insurance adjuster is another matter. They work for the insurer that is covering the driver that caused your accident. They are there to protect their client and to reduce how much money they must pay to you once the fault has been determined.
These adjusters are trained to be extremely personable. They will be sympathetic, polite, and easy to talk to. However, they are also skilled in extracting information from you. For their part, they want to get information that could weaken your case.
How to Deal with Adjusters
Most personal injury lawyers advise accident victims not to speak with claims adjusters. However, if you do speak with an adjuster, keep the following tips in mind:
- Answer only questions that pertain to the case in a general manner.
- Keep in mind that the adjuster can get information from the accident report rather than speaking with you. The report will contain basic facts about the time, date, how the accident occurred, and more.
- You should never discuss your injuries with the adjuster. Tell them you are still having your injuries evaluated.
- Let the adjuster know that you will be working with both your own insurer and a personal injury lawyer. Knowing that you are considering representing yourself is an invitation to lowball offers to settle the case that are far from enough.
- Don't sign anything emailed or mailed to you from the other side. You might be giving them access to your private medical records and that is never a good idea.
- Even when the adjuster seems nice, don't reveal any personal information at all. The adjusters are good at using what you tell them against you.
Finally, save yourself from having to deal with the insurance adjuster by speaking to a personal injury lawyer. They will usually evaluate your case for free and then represent you for no upfront money.