If you’ve just recently been involved in an auto accident where you’ve been injured, you might receive a call from an insurance adjuster to ask you questions about the accident. Or the call might come from another representative of the person at fault for the accident.
Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to be careful about what you say and don’t say. You never want to go into a call with an insurance adjuster blindly because then they’ll be able to use what you said against you, which might harm your personal injury claim for being in an auto collision.
You’ll want to call a local personal injury attorney right after the auto accident so that they can help you with your case. They’ll most likely also coach you on what to do if the at-fault party’s insurance gives you a call. A personal injury lawyer is hired to protect your rights and they want to make sure that nothing messes with your case – not even an unexpected call from an insurance company after an auto accident.
Here are some tips on what to say (and what not to say) when the insurance company for the at-fault driver contacts you after an auto collision:
As soon as you find out that an insurance company or adjuster is on the other end of the line, don’t panic. Simply remain calm no matter what your emotional state is. You might still be angry about the auto accident and any injuries you’ve sustained, so the last thing you want to do is take out your frustration and anger on them.
Instead, you’ll want to be polite no matter how you may be. Keep your cool and always remain professional so that they won’t do anything harsh with your case. If you’re rude or upset on the phone, the adjuster may ride your claim for longer than it needs to be or add in nasty notes that can hurt your claim.
Get the Person’s Info
Before you start talking about anything, always get the person’s info. You’ll want to jot down their name, address and telephone number as well as the insurance company’s name. Don’t forget to ask for their titles. Save this information and then pass it along to your personal injury lawyer to add to your claim file.
Always Provide Limited Information
Don’t think you need to tell the insurance company or adjuster on the other end of the line your entire life story. You only need to provide them with limited personal information. You’ll want to inform them of your name, telephone number, and address.
You can also provide them with the type of work you do and where you work. But after that, you don’t really need to tell them anything else about your personal life. They don’t need to know your work schedule, your income or anything else.
Don’t Give Details About the Accident
When on the call, the insurance adjuster might want you to give them a statement about the accident, what happened and any other details they can get out of you. You might find that the call starts friendly as they try to steer the conversation to the accident in hopes of getting you to divulge information.
As soon as this happens, simply refuse to talk about any facts, except the basics. You don’t have to go into specifics and just need to provide them with the when, where and type of car accident. You can tell them that those are all the facts you’ll give them and that the investigation of the auto accident is still continuing.
You can end the call by telling them that you’re willing to discuss any other facts at a later time. Your personal injury lawyer will later send a personal injury demand letter that will describe what happened in detail.
Never Give Details of the Injuries
An insurance company or adjuster will not only try to get details about the accident but also try to find out about your injuries. You don’t want to give them and detailed description just yet since you could leave something out or have another injury later on.
If you must tell them something, just say that you are still getting treatment and don’t answer anything else. If you want, you can simply let them know that you won’t be discussing any details on the call, thus setting limits right at the beginning. This is a good thing since some adjusters will continue to call you as a way to get you to settle quickly. They figure if they bug you enough, you’ll want to setter faster.
Always Take Notes
As soon as you get off the phone, you’ll want to write down everything you talked about with the insurance adjuster. Write down any information you gave them, what they asked you and whom you spoke to so that you can give it all to your personal injury lawyer.
Don’t Give Recorded Statements
Some insurance claims adjusters might make you do a tape-recorded statement, claiming it will protect you in the end. Never agree to this. You don’t have any legal obligation for the call to be recorded. The reason why it’s better to refuse is that some people tense up when being recorded.
You might forget to say important things or say something that you shouldn’t. A verbal statement is never as accurate as a written letter, so don’t give in if an adjuster persists that it’s better for your case.
Always talk to your personal injury lawyer after an insurance adjuster has called you. Let them know what the call was about, and they’ll be able to walk you through the next steps.