Dos and Don’ts of Speaking With Auto Insurance Adjusters
Auto insurance adjusters are the professionals with the task of investigating your claim and determining its validity. Auto insurance companies hire adjusters to process clients’ claims. A claims adjuster’s job is to contact the client, investigate the case and decide whether the insurer should take it (and how much to offer, if so).
Expect a phone call from an auto insurance adjuster shortly after your automobile accident in Arizona. The adjuster will typically work for the other driver’s insurance company, not yours. Since the adjuster works for the insurance company, he or she is not on your side. It is important to keep this in mind when deciding what to say and what not to say.
Do: Be Polite
Even though the auto insurance adjuster is not on your side, be courteous during your conversation. Stay polite while speaking with an adjuster. Do your best to avoid getting angry, frustrated or yelling. Try to remain calm and cooperate as best you can with the adjuster while still protecting your rights. You want the adjuster to perceive you as trustworthy and credible.
Do: Tell the Truth
Never lie, exaggerate or speculate to an auto insurance adjuster. Your conversation with him or her will give the insurer information it can use to make decisions about your claim. Lying to the insurance company could hurt your claim if used as proof of your inaccuracy as a claimant. It could even result in the insurance company denying your claim or charging you with insurance fraud.
Do: Document the Conversation
Record the conversation with the adjuster if you can. If not, write down everything you can remember about the phone call right away. Obtain the adjuster’s name, official title and the name of the company.
Do: Prepare With an Accident Lawyer
Call a Phoenix car accident lawyer to discuss your car accident case and the claims process in more detail before you speak to an adjuster. An accident attorney can give you tips as to how to talk to the adjuster without hurting your chances of obtaining benefits. You have the right to tell the adjuster to postpone the call until you have had time to talk to a lawyer.
Do Not: Admit Fault
Never tell an insurance adjuster you believe you caused the car accident. Admitting fault could make you lose any right to recovery. Even if you think you caused the accident, someone else could at least share fault. Do not use conjecture about who could be at fault. Stick to the facts.
Do Not: Give a Recorded Statement
While you are talking, the claims adjuster may request to record a statement. The recorded statement is a large part of the insurance company’s case against you. Do not say yes to providing one. No law requires you to do so. The adjuster could twist the statement you make around to hurt your claim. Do not grant the adjuster permission to record you.
Do Not: Volunteer Information
Be careful what you say to the adjuster. Answer the questions asked if you know the answers, but do not give long narratives. Keep your answers to, “yes,” and, “no,” as much as possible. Do not offer any information the adjuster does not ask to hear. You can answer, “I don’t know,” and ask questions for clarity. Take your time thinking about your answers. Do not let the adjuster rush or intimidate you.
Do Not: Agree to Anything Without Talking to an Injury Attorney
Always take your car accident claim to a lawyer for a review before signing anything or agreeing to anything the auto insurance adjuster asks of you. A personal injury lawyer will serve your best interests, not an insurance company’s. You can trust the advice you receive from a Phoenix personal injury attorney. Do not accept a settlement without learning what your case is worth in a lawyer’s opinion. Do not sign anything, including release forms, until a lawyer has read them. You might be signing over rights you are unaware of. A lawyer can talk to an insurance adjuster on your behalf to ensure the proper handling of your auto accident case.