What Not To Say To Insurance Adjusters
A claims adjuster is a person the insurance company pays to investigate claims and determine the insurer’s potential liability. An insurance adjuster may act friendly and might seem genuinely concerned about your health and wellbeing, but you should never assume they are on your side.
In most cases, the adjuster will be actively working against you. Insurance adjusters are trained to foster casual conversations in which they try to get victims to make damaging statements about their cases. Remember that they are employed by the insurance company, and often, their ultimate goal is to save the company money by paying you as little as possible – and ideally nothing.
You may have to provide specific details to an insurance adjuster, but you need to be very careful about the information you share. In general, you should always try to say as little as possible. The best option is to let an attorney handle all communications for you.
If you are being bombarded by phone calls from an insurance company’s claims adjuster after a car accident in South Carolina, make sure that you hire an experienced car accident attorney to help you navigate this challenging situation. An attorney will be able to assist you in providing the necessary information to insurers without jeopardizing your claim.
Stewart Law Offices has offices in Rock Hill, Spartanburg, Beaufort**, and Columbia, as well a North Carolina location in Charlotte. To discuss your case during a free consultation, call us or contact us online now.
What You Can Say to an Adjuster
If you have already hired an attorney, you should not say anything to a claims adjuster or anyone else. Simply refer them to your lawyer.
If you don’t already have an attorney, you can give an insurance adjuster your basic information, such as your name, address, and phone number. We recommend that you do not provide any additional information about yourself, such as your employment status.
Also limit the information you share about the accident. It is acceptable to tell an adjuster the time, date, and location of an accident, as well as information about the types of vehicles involved and any possible witness contact information.
Do not discuss how the accident happened. Refuse to provide a written or recorded statement on the accident, even if pressed.
What You Should Never Say to an Adjuster
Never say that you are sorry or admit any kind of fault. Remember that a claims adjuster is looking for reasons to reduce the liability of an insurance company, and any admission of negligence can seriously compromise a claim.
Do not say that you feel fine (especially important to keep in mind when answering the common initial question of “How are you?”) or better than you did. Make no mention of your current health.
Do not speculate about injuries that you think you might have sustained. If your actual diagnosis ends up being more serious than your self-diagnosis, your statement could cause problems.
You should also refuse any offer to make any recorded statement. Insurance adjusters will usually try to get victims to make recorded statements during their initial calls, and they may even claim that the recording is for the victim’s own protection. Do not be fooled. Recorded conversations can sabotage your case.
What Do Insurance Adjusters Look For?
Claims adjusters investigate accidents specifically to determine how much an insurance company may have to pay to settle a claim. The adjuster will look for any possible reasons to reduce the value of the claim.
The first concern for many insurance adjusters is making sure that a claim is not fraudulent. In most cases, an adjuster will physically inspect the vehicles involved in car accidents.
The insurance adjuster will often become very invested in learning more about a victim’s medical history. The adjuster may contact medical providers to try and gauge not only the costs of your medical care, but also determine if any prior injuries of yours could be used to reduce your current claim.
How Do Adjusters Calculate Personal Injury Compensation?
After an insurance adjuster concludes their investigation, they may offer the victim a settlement if they believe liability is clear. In virtually every case, this initial amount is much less than what a victim may actually be entitled to. The offer is made in hopes of making a claim go away for as little money as possible.
The claims adjuster could take one of many different routes in their handling of the settlement process. In some cases, they may claim that your accident was not a very valuable claim and they will not be able to offer you much money.
Lowball offers are intended to quickly close the cases of the most desperate victims. In more serious crashes, the adjuster may offer a more sizable amount, but it will still typically be less than the amount of compensation that the victim actually deserves, and potentially less than they could receive if they hired a lawyer.
How Do Claim Adjusters Determine Vehicle Damages?
Most automobile insurance policies cover the actual cash value of motor vehicles, and an adjuster calculates the actual cash value by using many different forms of data. The first step in determining vehicle damage is for the adjuster to inspect the damaged vehicle.
The adjuster will usually assign a percentage of the vehicle that was damaged and then makes a determination on whether it is in the company’s best interests to pay for repairs. The adjuster may consider a vehicle totaled when the cost of repairs is excessive. However, the cost of repairs do not need to equal or exceed the value of the car for it to be totaled. That’s because a wrecked vehicle still has salvage value.
The actual cash value of the vehicle and the estimated cost of repairs play important roles in the determinations of adjusters. They also play important roles in the settlement you are initially offered.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
Stewart Law Offices understands how challenging it can be to deal with insurance companies. We do it every day and we know how they work. Our firm steps in and handles all of these conversations on your behalf and will work to help you seek all of the compensation you need and deserve.
Is an insurance adjuster attempting to contact you to discuss your recent car accident in South Carolina? An experienced lawyer could be enormously helpful for you to ensure you don’t accidentally say anything that damages your claim.
Stewart Law Offices has been helping injured individuals deal with insurance companies for more than two decades. We know their tricks, and we help to avoid them taking advantage of you. You have enough on your mind after a severe injury accident, so let us go to bat for you. Call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation.