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How to Protect Your Injury Claim When Speaking to an Insurance Adjuster
Within hours after an injury accident, such as a car accident, motorcycle accident, semi truck accident or other injury accident, an insurance adjuster or other representative of the other party involved will call. What you say during this call could greatly hurt your injury claim. The following are some tips for what to say if an insurance adjuster contacts you that can protect your claim.
Remain Calm and Polite
You may be angry and upset about the accident and your injuries. However, it is important that you remain polite and calm while on the phone with an insurance adjuster or other representative of the other party. Taking out your anger on the insurance adjuster won’t help you get a fair injury settlement. It is always best to keep your cool and stay professional.
ID Who You Speak With
Before you discuss anything, get the name, address, and phone number of the person you are speaking with. You will also need to get the name of the insurance company he or she is with, and the name of the person the company represents (the “insured”).
Give Only Necessary Personal Information
The insurance adjuster should only need your full name, address, and phone number. You could tell them where you work and what type of work you do. However, you need not explain or discuss anything further about your work, your schedule, or your income.
Do Not Share Details Regarding the Accident
An insurance adjuster or other representative may ask you to “give a statement” about how the accident happened. Or they may subtly try to get you to tell them about the accident while engaging with you in conversation. It is important to politely refuse to discuss any specific details about the accident. Most basic facts such as where, when, the type of accident, the vehicles involved if it was a motor vehicle accident, and the identity of any witnesses. Simply state that the investigation is ongoing and that you will discuss further details at a later time. But don’t worry. Once you hire Brent Gordon Law Firm, we will handle all conversations with the insurance company, so you don’t have to worry about it any further. Your hired experienced lawyer will later be sending a personal injury demand letter which will describe the accident in detail.
Avoid Describing Details of Your Injuries
In addition to wanting information about the accident, the insurance adjuster will likely want to know details of your injuries. Now is not the time to get a detailed description of your injuries. If they continue to press, simply say you are “still treating.” The reason you don’t want to give any other information at this time is you might leave something out or discover additional injuries later. Another reason is your injuries may turn out to be worse than originally thought.
Refuse to Give a Recorded Statement
Many insurance adjustors will immediately push you to give a tape-recorded or written statement. Or they may ask if they can record your phone conversation claiming it will protect you later. DO NOT AGREE to have any conversation recorded. You have no legal obligation to be recorded. It is against the law for an adjuster to record you without your permission.
The reason you want to refuse is that most people will forget important details or describe things incompletely when being recorded. A verbal statement is never as precise as written correspondence that you will be sending later. Recordings are also used as evidence against you so the insurance company can make a lower settlement offer.
Decline an adjuster’s request politely but firmly. Tell him or her that you are not comfortable with being recorded but will be happy to provide a written statement when your information is complete.
Resist the Urge to Accept a Settlement
An insurance adjuster will sometimes offer a settlement during the first or second phone call. A quick settlement usually saves the insurance company time, money, and work. Most important, this small settlement amount is usually not what your injuries and damages are worth. Don’t take the bait. Though the money may be tempting, and it may seem like an easy way to get the settlement process done, but it will almost certainly cost you money, even many quite a bit.
Set Conversation Limits
During the first conversation with an insurance adjuster, make it clear that you will not be discussing much without an attorney. Make it clear that you do not want further phone contact and that they can contact your attorney to discuss further matters. Letting them know this upfront will hopefully limit any further attempts to get more detailed information from you or any further quick settlement offers.
Once you’ve ended the conversation with the insurance adjuster, write down all the information you received as well as any information you gave including any requests.
Contact Personal Injury Attorney, Brent Gordon
Southeast Idaho personal injury lawyer Brent Gordon, at Brent Gordon Law Firm, is an experienced personal injury lawyer who is a strong advocate for the injured clients he represents throughout Southeast Idaho, including Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Rexburg and Rigby. Injury lawyer Brent Gordon handles car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, dog bite injuries, slip and fall cases and other personal injury cases for clients in or around Pocatello or Idaho Falls, Idaho. Call our Idaho Falls law office at (208) 552-0467 or Pocatello law office at (208) 23-CRASH now for a free consultation. You pay nothing until your case is settled. We will aggressively fight for every penny you deserve. Let us handle the insurance companies and take the stress off of you.
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