What Not to Say to An Insurance Adjuster After a Car Accident
If you were recently involved in a car accident, you need to act quickly. First and most importantly, you should immediately seek medical attention. You should also speak with a qualified California car accident attorney.
Insurance companies handling car accident claims want to settle your case quickly and cheaply. Insurance adjusters will often contact you immediately after a crash and try to gather the information they can use to lower your insurance claim.
Before speaking to an insurance company, it’s essential that you know what not to say to an insurance adjuster. You should seek advice from a qualified personal injury attorney who can help guide you through the process and protect your interests.
Who Are Insurance Adjusters?
Automobile insurance adjusters work as employees for insurance companies. They work with a team of investigators to evaluate and settle insurance claims. They inspect the facts of a car accident to determine how much their employer should pay to a claimant.
Insurance adjusters review information such as:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Recorded statements from persons involved in the crash
- Accident reports
- Medical records and history
Always keep in mind that insurance adjusters usually work for insurance companies. They primarily focus on finding ways to minimize insurance claims and reduce insurance payments.
Information that may influence the amount of your claim includes:
- The type and severity of bodily injuries
- The amount and value of property damage
- Who was at fault
Without realizing it, you may be giving the insurance adjuster important information they can use to reduce or deny your claim. We recommend you speak with an experienced attorney before making any statements about your accident.
Types of Questions an Insurance Adjuster Might Ask
After an accident, an insurance adjuster will likely try to contact you as part of the insurance company’s investigation. The adjuster will ask for a recorded statement. You do not have to agree to give this statement. Do not assume that an insurance company will be fair or reasonable.
Often, insurance adjusters are looking for evidence of fraud. They may think you are giving false information simply because you are asserting your right to an insurance claim. A qualified personal injury lawyer knows how to talk to an insurance claims adjuster and can walk you through the process.
If you do happen to speak to an automobile insurance adjuster, below are some common types of questions they might ask.
Questions About Fault or Liability
If an insurance adjuster determines you contributed to your car accident, your insurance claim may be reduced or denied.
They may ask questions such as:
- How fast were you driving?
- Where were you coming from before the accident?
- How did the accident occur?
- Were you wearing your seatbelt?
- Was the weather a factor in your accident?
- Were you using any electronic devices such as your cell phone while you were driving?
How you answer these questions may allow an insurance company to argue you were at fault.
Questions About Your Injuries
Many questions will focus on what types of injuries you sustained from the accident. How you answer the questions will affect how much the insurance company must pay for your medical expenses. Often insurance adjusters will contact you immediately after a crash when you are most vulnerable. You haven’t had time to gather your thoughts or understand the full extent of your injuries.
Types of questions the adjuster may ask related to your injuries include:
- Were you injured?
- What kinds of injuries did you suffer?
- Did the airbag deploy?
- Were you taken to the hospital?
- Were you transported by ambulance?
- Did you have any previous injuries?
- Did you miss any days of work?
Although answers to these questions may feel routine, you may inadvertently reveal information that the insurance adjuster can use to reduce the amount of your claim. Further, if questioned immediately after an accident, you might tell an insurance adjuster you have no injuries. However, you may not be able to determine the full extent of your injuries at the time of a car accident.
The symptoms may not appear until several days or even weeks later. But your recorded answers can later be used against you to try and prove you made false statements or attempted to commit fraud.
Adjusters Offering Immediate Settlements
Often an insurance adjuster will try to settle your case immediately and may even send you a check in the mail. Do not accept these first settlement offers. While the offer of a quick payment may be tempting, the first settlement amounts are usually lowballed offers that significantly undervalue your claim. Insurance companies want to settle a claim as cheaply as they can. The insurance company’s sole mission is to pay you as little money as possible.
Why Should I Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
Insurance companies will act to protect their own interests. They have powerful legal teams and money to defend their businesses. Personal injury attorneys help even the playing field. Our attorneys at Levinson Law Group commit to building better communities by providing victims of car crashes support through challenging times in their lives.
Gordon Levinson has successfully represented more than 3,500 people involved in car crashes and has won tens of millions of dollars for his clients. He has decades of experience dealing with insurance companies and will provide you the expert advice and support you need.
Our dedicated team of professionals will support you by:
- Speaking with insurance companies, police, and hospitals on your behalf
- Providing you a clear path to obtaining relief
- Supporting you throughout the entire claims process
Contact Our Offices Today
The Levinson Law Group offers free legal consultations and accepts new cases on a contingency basis. This means that you will not pay any legal fees unless we win or settle your case and provide you with a monetary award.
If we do not recover a monetary award or that award is less than the financial losses you suffered, you will not owe our firm any money for our services.
Our professional support staff will answer any of your questions and help you navigate this difficult process. Call our offices or fill out an online form today.