If you've been seriously injured in an incident caused by another person's negligence, it won't take long before the liable party's insurance adjuster starts calling.
Think carefully about how you want to handle the phone calls from the insurance company in advance. You may not be feeling your best at the time, so here are some tips:
1. Recognize the adjuster's primary objective
No matter how personable or friendly the adjuster may seem, he or she has one job: saving the insurance company money. The adjuster will try to:
- Establish a friendly rapport with you (because you're more likely to be talkative if you feel like you're talking to someone who is sympathetic to your situation).
- Give you the impression that you have nothing to worry about as far as your claim (in the hopes that you won't seek out a personal injury attorney's services).
- Get you to go on record saying something that can later be used to devalue your claim (such as a statement like, "I'm doing okay," even though you are just being polite).
2. Know your right to decline to go on record
More than likely the insurance adjuster will ask to record the conversation -- hoping that something you say can be twisted to try to deny you fair compensation.
Here's the reality: Right after your accident, you may not really know how badly hurt you really are. Some injuries take a while to develop. You may also be on painkillers that are impairing your judgment or dulling the pain of your injuries. Politely decline to be recorded. You don't have to offer a reason, just say, "No, I would prefer not to be recorded, thank you."
3. Be conscious of traps that the insurance company sets
If the insurance company is offering a quick settlement, that usually means the insurance company is trying to trap you into a binding settlement agreement that's unfair. Some of the most common traps include settlements that:
- Are designed to close a case before delayed injuries manifest
- Are disproportionately low for the type of injuries you suffered
- Ignore your future medical expenses when your injuries are severe
- Don't take into account any medical liens against you
If you've fallen victim to someone's negligence, don't be victimized again by the insurance company. Contact our office about your situation and let an attorney handle the adjuster.