Should I talk to the insurance adjuster for the negligent driver?

Before you get home from the hospital, you could be receiving calls from the insurance adjuster for the negligent driver. He may sound like a nice person that is genuinely concerned about your health and your claim. However, talking to him could have disastrous consequences that could reduce how much you receive in your settlement.

What Is an Insurance Adjuster?

An insurance adjuster is an employee of an insurance company who investigates claims and makes decisions on how much compensation is due. He Writing Down Contact Information After Talking to the Insurance Agentwill make a determination as to who was at fault in causing a crash and how much he believes the victim’s claim is worth. An insurance company is a business and is like any other business and wants to make a profit. An insurance adjuster helps with this goal by denying and reducing claims—even when they are legitimate claims. While the adjuster you speak to may be a nice person, you need to keep in mind his overall objectives in talking to you and be extremely wary to not make an inadvertent mistake.

Why Does the Insurance Adjuster Want to Talk to You?

If the negligent driver’s adjuster contacts you, he is trying to get information from you that he can use against you. If you are like many accident victims, you might not realize that this is his underlying goal from the tone of the conversation and what he says. Unfortunately, this causes many people to say more than they should and that can inadvertently weaken their claims. Understand these common insurance adjuster tactics to not make a mistake:

  • Acting like he’s on your side. The adjuster may act concerned about how your injuries are affecting your life and suggest that he is asking for information from you to speed up paying your claim. In reality, he is doing the opposite. He is looking for ways to deny or reduce your claim.

  • Requesting a recorded statement. Do not be surprised if the adjuster asks you to give a recorded statement. You should say no to this request as you are not required to give one and the adjuster is a master at getting you to say things that could hurt your case.

  • Asking for a medical authorization. The adjuster will also ask you to sign a blanket medical authorization for release of information. Do not agree to this either as it provides him with unnecessary information that he could use to dispute your claim—such as a preexisting injury. You should never sign this or any other documents without having an attorney review them first.

  • Following you on social media. With the increased popularity of social media, the insurance adjuster could try to friend you on your social media sites. You should not accept his friend request. He will look at your posts to see if you said anything harmful or that suggests your injuries are less serious that he can use to reduce your claim.

  • Making a quick settlement offer. If the insurance adjuster makes you an offer or settlement soon after the wreck, warning bells should go off in your head. He is not trying to be fair and do the right thing. He is trying to get you to settle your claim quickly—for less than what it is worth.

What Should You Do If You Are Contacted by an Insurance Adjuster?

You are under no legal obligation to talk to the insurance adjuster for the negligent party. Your best strategy is to take down his contact information, hire an attorney right away, and let him contact the adjuster for you. If you must speak to the insurance adjuster, follow these tips:

  • Stay calm and polite

  • Identify who you are talking to and obtain his contact information

  • Give only limited personal information, such as your contact information

  • Do not provide details of the crash other than the basics—such as day, time, and place of the accident, and the vehicles involved

  • Do not discuss your injuries as you have no idea how serious they are, what treatments you will need, or your prognosis

  • Takes notes of the conversation to provide to your attorney

  • Advise the adjuster that you will have your attorney contact him

If you or a family member suffered injuries caused by a negligent driver, let the experienced car accident attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP, take over communicating with the other driver’s insurance adjuster for you. Start an online chat to schedule your free consultation to learn how we can assist you.

 

David W. Hodges
David Hodges is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice on personal injury claims.