One of the first calls you will receive after being involved in a motor vehicle accident is from the at-fault party’s insurance company. The adjuster you speak to might seem very eager to help you, but you should not be fooled by this. Keep in mind that he or she is working to protect the best interests of the insurance company and, unfortunately, what is good for the company is bad for you.
Before you engage in any of these discussions, keep some of the following helpful tips in mind so you can better field your way through any conversations you have with the insurance adjuster handling your claim:
- Stay calm and always be polite: You are likely frustrated, given the circumstances, but taking out your stress and anger on the insurance adjuster will not make things easier for you. While he or she is not serving your best interests, being rude will only aggravate the situation and likely make the adjuster handle your claim at a snail’s pace.
- Find out who you are speaking with: Before you get started, identify the person you are speaking with. Write down the name, a contact number, the company he or she represents, and the individual the insurance company represents. Knowing the name of the insurance adjuster you speak with is critical if you need to refer back to a previous conversation.
- Only provide basic information: At this point, you only need to provide a limited amount of information to the insurance adjuster, such as your name, address, telephone number, and when the accident occurred. You do not and should not discuss your injuries, especially so early on when you might not even know the extent of them yourself.
- Do not provide details regarding the accident: The insurance adjuster will undoubtedly attempt to get a statement from you regarding the details of the accident. Without even formally asking for a statement, he or she might try to engage you in a casual conversation about it to glean as much information as possible from you. Instead of indulging this conversation, politely refuse to discuss the accident and only provide basic facts, such as when and where the accident occurred, and the vehicles that were involved. Remember, you will be providing details at length when you and your personal injury attorney draft a demand letter, so there is no need to dive into it before then.
- Always take notes: You might end up having to speak with the insurance adjuster on several occasions, so take notes regarding whatever was discussed during these conversations, including who you spoke with and any requests that were made.
- Do not be in a rush to settle: Insurance adjusters are also often eager to get injured victims to settle early on. These quick settlements are often not enough to cover the costs of your injuries and other damages suffered. However, these offers are usually made early since it is likely you do not yet know the extent of your injuries or have even a vague estimate of what your claim is worth. As such, it is in your best interest not to accept these early settlement offers. Remember, once you accept an offer, your case will be closed and cannot be reopened simply because you realized it was not enough.
It is also vital that you seek the representation of a skilled personal injury attorney early in the claims process. Your attorney will be able to further advise you on how to handle these conversations or even speak with the insurance company on your behalf.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Oneonta
If you sustained injuries in an automobile accident that was caused by someone else’s careless actions, you must contact a personal injury attorney to ensure you are able to secure the compensation you deserve, which can cover your medical bills, lost wages, and more. At Scarzafava & Basdekis, our personal injury attorneys in Oneonta will fight for the compensation you need to get back on your feet.
For the representation you deserve, call our office today at (607) 228-8404 to schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team