An insurance adjuster is an individual who investigates claims and determines whether someone is owed compensation and, if so, how much. You will speak to at least two insurance adjusters—one from the other driver’s auto insurer and one from your own—after the accident.
The insurance company is not your friend. They will seek to limit their own liability at every turn, starting with whatever information they can draw out of you. If you’ve been injured in a car crash through no fault of your own, you’ll need to know what not to say to an insurance adjuster after an accident.
You do not have to deal with the insurance company on your own, either. At Prince Law Firm, we take over negotiations and handle all communications with the insurance company on behalf of our car accident clients. Our goal is to give you the opportunity to rest and focus on your recovery while we fight to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
Should I Talk to an Insurance Adjuster?
Ideally, you’ll want to refer all conversations to your attorney. Prior to securing the services of an attorney from Prince Law Firm, you’ll likely have a few conversations with an insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company as well as your own. It is not unheard of for insurance companies to continue to contact victims even after being asked to only communicate with an attorney, so it is important to know how to handle these conversations.
What Not To Say To An Insurance Adjuster After an Accident
When speaking with an insurance adjuster, we recommend that you refrain from discussing the below matters. If you do choose to speak about any of the following, know that you may be putting yourself at risk for a lower settlement or missing out on compensation altogether.
Never Admit Fault
Do not make any statements that could be interpreted as you admitting fault. Statements like “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t realize what the speed limit was” could be misconstrued and used against you, even if the other driver was clearly at fault. You cannot ever fully retract an admission of fault, so choose your words carefully. Don’t be afraid to take your time to carefully consider each question before answering, even if the insurance adjuster is trying to rush you.
Never Speculate About the Cause of the Car Accident
You may be asked your opinion about what caused the accident. It is never a good idea to speculate about liability or what caused the crash, as an insurance adjuster could be trying to get you to make conflicting statements. If you appear confused about what happened or are perceived as changing your story, your opportunity to secure compensation could be at risk.
Never Describe Your Injuries
Never try to describe the extent of your injuries. Instead, leave this up to your attorney and any medical experts they have hired. While you might have access to your medical records, most people lack the medical expertise required to correctly interpret test results and diagnoses. For example, disclosing that you have a broken arm might paint an incomplete picture if you are not aware that this injury is also expected to cause permanent nerve damage.
Never Downplay Your Injuries
We live in a society where it is polite to downplay serious injuries or illnesses when speaking to someone with whom we are not familiar. Engaging in social niceties can be your undoing in a personal injury case, though. Never try to make it appear as if your injuries are not a big deal or are not causing you too much pain. The insurance adjuster is trying to gauge your level of injury and discomfort, and how that has impacted your life. If you tell them that you are handling things well enough, your compensation could be slashed.
Choose Your Words Carefully
Always choose your words carefully when speaking with anyone from the insurance company. The insurance adjuster may tell you that they are here to help you, but their real job is to save their employer money by lowering settlements or denying liability altogether. Meet with your lawyer to prepare in advance how you will answer certain questions. Be prepared to repeat, “My lawyer will be answering all questions on my behalf” as many times as necessary.
Do not let them bully you into answering any questions that make you feel uncomfortable or that you do not know the answer to. Tell your lawyer if the insurance adjuster continues to contact you even after you’ve stated that all communications should go through your attorney.
Let Prince Law Firm Do the Talking for You
As experienced trial lawyers, we are well known to the big insurance companies. We know all the tricks and tactics the auto insurers use to try to eliminate their own responsibility in accident cases, and we never allow them to push around our clients.
You deserve strong representation after a car crash. From medical bills and lost wages to mental anguish and physical pain and suffering, an auto accident can completely upend your life. You deserve full and fair compensation for your damages, and we will do everything in our power to make sure you receive what you are owed.
Under Illinois state law, you have only two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Do not allow this time limit to run out. Contact our law office, conveniently located in Marion, IL, to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.