What You Should Know Before Speaking with an Insurance Adjuster
March 27, 2023
Even under the best circumstances, no one looks forward to dealing with an insurance provider over the phone or in person. Many people report feeling pressured or rushed to complete a claim or accept a settlement, leading to less-than-ideal outcomes. To top it off, if you’re seeking compensation after a car accident, you’ll also be dealing with your physical health or injuries, as well as the emotional trauma of being involved in a crash. When questions like, “Do I have to talk to the insurance adjuster?” and “What information will an insurance adjuster ask me to provide?” come up, you’ll need a trusted authority to turn to.
If you’re in the Edinburg, Texas area, including McAllen, Mission, or the Rio Grande Valley and would like to connect with a car accident attorney, reach out to me. At The Law Office of Aaron Fonseca, I’m here to help you move forward.
Insurance Adjuster’s Role
Speaking with an insurance adjuster is a necessary part of filing a claim and negotiating a settlement, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything they say or answer all their questions. Their main priority is to open and close your claim as quickly as possible which means trying to secure a statement from you and trying to get you to agree to a settlement amount. The more time it takes for this to happen, the more it costs the insurance provider, so it’s in their best interest to handle it in a timely manner. However, it’s in your best interest to wait to speak with a personal injury attorney before giving any detailed information. In most cases, this will increase your final settlement amount.
Requests for a Statement
Why you should refuse
It’s not uncommon for an adjuster to call you one to two days after an accident and request a statement. In nearly all cases, you should refuse to do this on their timeline. If you make a statement too soon, you may inadvertently leave out crucial information and they may try to use this against you to reduce compensation or question your claim. Additionally, some adjusters may intentionally ask you contradictory questions to create inconsistency in your statement which they’ll later use to discredit you.
What to say if you choose to give a statement
If you do choose to provide information, there are a few basic guidelines you should follow. First, ask that your phone call not be recorded. If there’s an audio record of your statement, it will be extremely difficult to make any changes to what you said later. Also, you should only provide basic information about the accident such as who was involved, where it happened, what time of day it was. Never admit guilt or try to explain why the crash occurred. Don’t feel pressured to respond to questions you don’t know the answer to and never volunteer information that wasn’t specifically requested. Lastly, never agree to sign anything until you’ve had a chance to review it with your attorney.
What Information Will They Ask Me to Provide?
At minimum, the insurance adjuster will want some basic information which you can provide. This includes your contact information and your line of work and employer, but you should not give information about your income or work schedule. Any other information regarding who was responsible or your injuries should not be provided at this time. Instead, contact a lawyer and wait for them to advise you on your next steps.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney First
For more help filing a personal injury claim, negotiating with an insurance provider, or learning what not to say to an insurance adjuster, reach out to me at The Law Office of Aaron Fonseca in Edinburg, Texas. Set up a one-on-one consultation as soon as possible.