Let’s uncover this common tactic insurance uses to quickly and cheaply settle a claim.
In the days following a car accident, somewhere between the calls you’ll receive from concerned friends and those you’ll make to doctors and auto repair shops, one phone call will stand out from the rest: an insurance adjuster representing the other driver. They will want to ask you some questions about the accident and your injuries. Then, they will give you some news that seems too good to be true: They are prepared to settle your case today!
What should you say to an adjuster? What should you do when an insurance adjuster calls?
First, it’s important to know that this is very common. Many insurance companies use this tactic!
Adjusters offer a settlement within the first few phone calls to car accident victims for one simple reason: it saves the insurance company time and money. A quick resolution may seem appealing at first, but you shouldn’t take the bait.
Why Shouldn’t I Accept a Quick Settlement Offer?
While it might seem like a time-saver, accepting this initial settlement may cost you dearly. In the first days or weeks after a car wreck, you can’t yet know what your claim is really worth. Do you have injuries that will require extensive medical attention, therapy, or surgery? What is the true extent of the damage to your car? Will you lose wages from missed days of work or experience accident-induced anxiety that keeps you from caring for your family? It takes time to understand the wreck’s true impact on your life.
Once you agree to a car accident settlement, it’s game over. You cannot negotiate for another settlement afterward. That’s why a personal injury attorney will not begin negotiations until you’ve been released by a doctor and have all the data on property damage, lost wages, and more. You deserve fair compensation for the loss and injuries you’ve endured.
What Should I Say to the Insurance Adjuster?
Now that you know NOT to accept the initial offer, our Taylor King Law legal team has a few tips to help you handle these phone conversations with insurance adjusters.
- Remain calm. While your frustration or anger may be completely justified, those emotions can cloud your judgment and cause you to say things that will damage your case.
- Ask for the name and contact information for the person with whom you’re speaking. This may be helpful later on, as you’ll often speak with multiple people within one insurance company.
- Avoid sharing too much personal information. Beyond your basic contact information, you are not required to share personal details of your life with the adjuster. You can simply say, “I’d prefer not to share that information at this time.”
- Decline giving details of the accident or injuries. You can confirm the basic facts: when and where the accident occurred, and with whom.
- State that you are still investigating the accident and are not ready to discuss any settlement offers. If the adjuster continues pushing a settlement, repeat your statement.
- If you’ve hired an attorney (or plan to), tell the adjuster that you will submit a written statement when your attorney has finished compiling all of the information.
Hiring a Trusted Arkansas Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been the victim of a car wreck in Arkansas, it’s important to have someone on your side. The insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you. When you hire Taylor King Law, you get a statewide team of expert attorneys who will be On Your Side, By Your Side.
We have decades of experience in dealing with insurance adjusters and will protect your rights to a fair settlement. You’re one call away from getting help today. Call us at 1-800-CAR-WRECK (227-9732) or visit our website to submit a free case evaluation form.
Photo: Tom Holmes