The Dos & Don’ts of Speaking with an Insurance Adjuster
March 26, 2022
If you have filed an insurance claim following an automobile accident, it is likely that you will be dealing with an insurance adjuster, whether you file a claim with your own or the other driver’s insurance company.
However, it is vital to understand an insurance adjuster’s responsibilities and what not to say when speaking with an adjuster. Knowing the do’s and don’ts of communicating with an insurance adjuster will help you get the compensation to which you are entitled.
At Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP, we are committed to helping accident victims navigate the insurance claims process. One of the things we do when handling car accident cases is communicate with insurance adjusters on behalf of our clients. With a law office in Pearland, we provide legal counsel to accident victims in Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi, Austin, and San Antonio, Texas.
What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
When you file an insurance claim after a car accident, the insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to your case. An adjuster has a responsibility to investigate and process your claim to determine the value of your case. The adjuster will speak with you (the claimant) and review all available documentation to make an informed decision on the settlement.
The 5 Golden Rules of Dealing With an Insurance Adjuster
There are specific rules to keep in mind when dealing with insurance adjusters following an automobile accident. These rules include:
Do not admit fault or say that you are “sorry.” You could harm your insurance claim even if you apologize when speaking with an insurance adjuster. Your words could be taken out of context, not to mention that insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions in a way that will make a claimant provide a statement that may inadvertently hurt their claim.
Do not provide a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters will usually contact an injured victim to get a recorded statement in the hours or days following the accident. However, contrary to popular belief, you do not have an obligation to provide a recorded statement. Insurance companies often use recorded statements for reasons to devalue or deny claims. An adjuster may ask “tricky” questions, make you provide inconsistent statements or use statements against you. You must consult with an experienced attorney before providing any statements to the adjuster.
Do not accept a first settlement offer. Insurance adjusters employ a wide variety of tactics to protect their company’s bottom line. One of the tactics is making a lowball initial settlement offer. When making a quick settlement offer, the adjuster’s goal is to take advantage of the claimant’s shock and stress. The initial settlement offer may not be enough to cover your losses and damages. Your attorney will make sure that you do not settle for less than your case is worth.
Do not sign the authorization for the release of medical records. One of the things an insurance adjuster will do when processing your claim is asking you to provide access to your medical history. This can be done by requiring a claimant to sign the authorization to release medical records. An adjuster will use your medical history to find excuses to deny or devalue your claim. Have your attorney review any documents and forms provided by the insurance adjuster before signing them.
Contact a skilled personal injury attorney. Insurance adjusters do not have claimants’ best interests in mind when handling their claims. Adjusters are trained to protect their employer’s bottom line. For this reason, you may want to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to help you protect your rights and deal with an insurance adjuster assigned to your case.
Keep in mind that you have options for compensation even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company denies your claim. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, you can file a claim with your insurer if the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to pay the claim.
Get Legal Counsel Today
If you have filed an insurance claim after getting injured in an accident, you might want to seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney to help you deal with an insurance adjuster.
At Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP, we have the necessary expertise and resources to assist each client and help them navigate the claims process following the accident. Our personal injury attorneys handle claims in Pearland, Texas, Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi, Austin, and San Antonio, Texas. Get a free case review with our attorneys by reaching out today.