When you’re in a car accident, you can typically receive compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault party, even if that party is you. If another driver was responsible for your accident, it’s possible his or her insurance company will be contacting you in the coming days. Do you have to speak with the adjuster? The following are some steps you should take.
- Politely Decline to Speak
You have no obligation — legal or otherwise — to speak with the insurance adjuster of the at-fault party. Adjusters are tasked with negotiating claims in order for the company to pay out as little as possible. The adjuster will use tactics that are tricky and confusing, and could cause you to say something you shouldn’t. They could also use your words against you, misconstrue a message you are trying to portray, and a variety of other tactics. When an insurance adjuster calls you, politely decline to speak to him or her, giving the option for the adjuster to get in touch with your lawyer instead.
- Be Careful About Your Activity
It’s possible the insurance company will have someone watch you to catch you in a mistake that could show your injuries are less than they really are. For example, if you are standing outside your home holding a large, yet empty cardboard box, a picture could be taken from across the street. The insurance company could claim your back injury isn’t very bad because you were able to pick up a very heavy box. The picture would provide the evidence the company needed to support their cause, even though you know the box was empty.
- Contact Your Attorney
Chances are, after an accident, you’ll already be in contact with a car accident attorney. When an insurance adjuster contacts you, call your lawyer right away. Let him or her know what was said and what the adjuster was trying to do. Your lawyer may advise you on how to handle the situation, or he or she may handle the situation personally. Even though insurance companies can have someone watch you after you file a claim, there are some lines that could get crossed, and your lawyer can help you watch out for those and take action if necessary.
Getting Started Today
To learn more about the legal process and what an insurance adjuster has the right to do, contact a lawyer.