If you've been involved in a car accident, your health and recovery should be your first priority. Among your other priorities, you'll have to deal with the matters of insurance and the investigation of the accident. Shortly after the accident, you'll need to speak with an insurance adjuster regarding the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, the nature of the wreck, and the damages incurred by the other driver and vehicle(s) involved. Insurance adjusters assess damages from both sides and assign monetary figures to those damages. These damages, along with the facts from the investigation of the case, determine who is eligible for compensation and the amount of that compensation.
The manner in which you speak to the insurance adjuster(s) you're assigned to can have a surprising impact on your case and the result of the investigation. It's important to remember that insurance adjusters work for the insurance company and are therefore on the side of the insurance company. One of their main goals is to save money for the company they work for. This means they may use tactics that try and minimize the compensation you're awarded.
Here are some tips to help you when speaking with insurance adjusters:
- Don't admit to fault. Even if you're unsure of whether or not you played any role in causing the accident, don't outright admit to fault when speaking with anyone from the insurance company. Doing so may cause them to place you at fault without properly investigating every piece of evidence from the crash. You will want to describe everything that happened in a factual matter without admitting to fault.
- Don't talk lightly of your injuries. Be careful when discussing your injuries and any treatment courses set up by your doctor. It's somewhat natural to downplay things like pain when speaking with someone over the phone or in person, but this is one area where you'll want to be careful to be absolutely honest regarding the nature of your injuries and what you've experienced after the crash. Even politely answering with "I'm fine" when asked how you're doing at the start of a phone call can downplay your injuries. Downplaying your injuries can cause the adjuster to think they're less severe than they actually are.
- Never agree to an early settlement if it feels wrong to do so. Most adjusters will try and push to complete your claim as quickly as possible, often without investigating every aspect fully. This tactic will often save their company money. Never agree to settle early if you feel there's more to be investigated or that you should be receiving more compensation to help recover the costs of your medical care.
If you ever feel like there are facts about the case that should be investigated more or that the insurance company isn't cooperating or treating you or your case with respect, you should reach out to a car wreck attorney who can assess your case and tell you if legal recourse may be an option. An attorney can investigate every aspect of the accident and determine what party was really at fault for the crash and may be able to help you receive the full amount of compensation you need to recover.
For more guidance, make an appointment with a car wreck law firm.