If you were involved in a car crash, you probably reported the accident to your insurance company as soon as you could. Your insurer, after all, is supposed to help your recovery. If the other motorist was at fault, their coverage should protect you, too.
However, talking to an insurance adjuster can be tricky and sometimes damaging to your personal injury claim. After an accident, you might be nervous or in physical pain, and you may give the adjuster wrong information or say something that can negatively impact your compensation. Since car insurance companies are for-profit companies, they will often pursue any excuse to limit your recovery.
Here is important information for what to do if you say the wrong thing to an insurance adjuster.
The Danger of Saying Too Much to an Adjuster
Virginia requires every motorist to insure their vehicle. The whole point of insurance is to make sure that people do not have to pay out of pocket for repairs or medical bills when they get into an accident that was not their fault.
You might naturally think that an adjuster—even the other driver’s—might be sympathetic to your story and want to help you. However, this is rarely true. Car crash victims frequently make mistakes when talking to adjusters:
- You might apologize for the crash, which is then used as an admission of guilt of your own negligence.
- You might speculate on the cause of the accident, which the adjuster interprets to mean you were more at fault than you really were.
- You might give the adjuster inaccurate information because you did not have a full understanding of the crash and its circumstances.
Always know that the adjuster’s end-goal does not align with yours: they want to save their company as much money as possible, even if it means depriving you of a fair settlement. Even if you were clearly the victim, the insurance adjuster is a trained negotiator who wants you to accept the lowest amount of compensation possible. They can and very often will use your own words against you and try to coerce you into providing a recorded statement when you are the least prepared. In fact, car accident attorneys often hear from clients who wake up in the hospital to find an adjuster waiting outside their room. Nobody is prepared to negotiate a settlement or argue with an adjuster immediately following an accident.
What to Do If You Misspeak
If you talk to an adjuster and make mistakes that negatively impact your claim, the best course of action is to contact an experienced Virginia car crash attorney. While you should always call a lawyer after any accident, it is never too late to get help. Your attorney will deal with the adjuster and insurance company on your behalf. If you do have to communicate with the adjuster, a lawyer can advise you on what to say and what not to say.
Unlike the adjuster, your attorney is on your side and wants you to get the best settlement possible. Often, insurance companies are afraid of customers who have legal counsel, and they are likely to offer more money to someone who is represented by a lawyer than someone who is trying to handle negotiations on their own.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, you should not let an adjuster’s interpretation of reality affect your recovery. Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC know how to deal with bullying insurance companies and will aggressively advocate your case, even if it means taking an insurer to court. Send us a message online to schedule your initial consultation today.