Being in recovery for injuries sustained in a car accident is a pretty vulnerable state to be in. However, that vulnerability can be magnified by the fear of financial struggle. Insurance adjusters understand that fear and may aim to take advantage of your current frame of mind. After all, their job is to reduce the liability of their employer if you choose to sue. Therefore, to protect your interest, it is always a good idea to get a qualified lawyer who can advocate for you. If you choose to go through it alone, be sure never to do any of the following when approached by an adjuster.
Do Not Admit Fault
It is human nature to be sympathetic, but in certain situations that sympathy can be counterproductive. For instance, you may feel bad for the at-fault driver, and in an attempt to make them feel better, you might tell an adjuster that you looked away for a second, which is enough for them to argue that you may be equally to blame for the collision. Therefore, regardless of how you feel, let police reports determine cause and blame.
Do Not Speculate
Similarly, do not speculate on the cause of the accident. Stick to the facts. You were in a collision and now you are being assessed by your medical team. Do not get too specific and do not guess at what you do not know. You are currently under no obligation to explain the event or its cause. Also, you likely cannot offer an unbiased or authoritative view of the incident, so direct the adjuster to speak with your attorney.
Do Not Record a Statement
Adjusters may also ask to record a statement from you or their conversation with you. Do not allow them to do this. The only reason they want to record your discussion is to tie you to a timeline and a specific recollection of events. The only problem with that is many people immediately following an accident do not have a clear idea of how or why it happened. Therefore, deny permission for a recorded statement and refrain from being too specific.
Do Not Disclose Injuries
Again, the adjuster wants to tie you to specifics. Do not allow this. If they ask about your injuries, tell them that everything will be disclosed when you file your demand letter with the court. There is no need to go into further detail.
Do Not Accept the First Offer
Adjusters are notorious for making low first offers sound enticing, but don’t fall for taking the first offer. Talk with an attorney and wait until you have a better understanding of your injuries.
Don’t be alone with an adjuster. Contact a local car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Washington, DC, to sit in on adjuster meetings with you and protect your claim.
Thanks to The Lawfirm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into what not to do when you are approached by an insurance adjuster after an accident.