Insurance adjusters are looking out for the best interest of only one party – their insurance company. If you are involved in an automobile accident that results in property or physical damage, you need to protect yourself and your rights. Whether it’s the at-fault driver’s insurance provider or your own, it is crucial that you speak with an attorney before you speak with any insurance company representative.
Don’t Speak Directly With the Insurance Adjuster
You’re going to get calls, probably several, and when you do get those inquires, let someone else speak to them. Because anything that you say to the insurance adjuster can be used against you in court but any statements from your mother/sister/brother cannot! As such, if a property damage adjuster does call you, it is best to have a family member or friend talk to them.
Have your proxy relay the name and contact information for the attorney representing you or tell them that your lawyer will be in contact with them within a few days. Keep the conversation as brief as possible, especially with an adjuster from the other side’s insurance company, and use the following guidelines:
- Do not agree to have the telephone call recorded. It is even a good idea to specifically state that you do not give permission to record the conversation. However, please understand that you also are prohibited from recording the conversation without permission.
- Inform them that you have hired an attorney to represent you, and that you do not wish to make any statements at this time.
- Do not discuss how the accident took place. Simply verify that you were in an accident and that you need your automobile repaired.
- Do not indicate whether or not you were injured.
- Do not meet with any type of insurance adjuster in person, whether it be to inspect your vehicle, injuries or any other reason. Remember, the adjuster is only interested in what is in the insurance company’s interest, don’t give them the opportunity to come up with statements to be used against you.
Attorneys have the resources and experience to deal with insurance companies, so a personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate a better settlement for you than what you can get for yourself. An attorney is a hired agent who protects your rights and any time that you feel like you are dealing with a hostile person or one not looking out for your best interests, including the adjuster for your own insurance company, it is a good idea to have an attorney representing you and protecting your interests.
The Benefits of Having a Personal Injury Attorney
Of course there are many factors to each and every case, but depending on the complexities and specific details of your accident and injury, a personal injury lawyer can help you with the following:
- Communication with the other party’s insurance provider
- Obtaining the necessary evidence and information in regards to liability
- Organize your medical records and bills pertaining to the accident/injury
- Work closely with your doctors to ensure that they provide all medical information helping you prove damages
- Prove liability and damages by organizing and presenting all of the evidence
- Work to potentially reduce lien holder claims against any potential settlement
- Negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf
While it may seem that with an accident clearly showing damage and injury that an insurance company would, and should, settle fairly, the fact is that no one is watching out for your rights. Unless you hire a personal injury attorney. An accident with injuries can be earth shattering and life-changing, don’t let the penny counters or opposition’s attorneys make it even worse. Following the guidelines above and contact a personal injury attorney immediately.