After you file an accident claim with an insurance company, whether for a car accident or after a natural disaster (e.g., a hurricane), you can expect to have an insurance adjuster report to the accident scene or reach out to you to get more information. During this conversation, the adjuster will ask for your statements on the accident/event to compare to what they observed at the scene.
If you intend to pursue compensation for your damages and injuries, knowing what to expect with insurance adjusters can be a good way to protect your case. Our attorneys at GED Lawyers often handle communications with insurance representatives so that our clients’ statements remain accurate. The following explains what you should consider if you speak with adjusters.
Insurance Adjusters Often Reach Out to Injured Persons After Their Accidents
Insurance companies are quick to send out adjusters to accident or disaster scenes so that they can assess immediate damages and determine basic information, such as:
- Who was involved in the accident/event
- The cause of the accident and/or damages
- Who may be held liable for the accident/damages
- What kind of damages occurred (e.g., property damage and physical injuries)
Insurance representatives may rush when handling claims, so there is room for mistakes to occur when they assess a scene. You should also keep in mind that adjusters work for insurance companies, so they may try to shift the blame onto you.
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What You Should Ask Your Insurance Company
When speaking with an insurance adjuster, your main concern is and should be: when are you getting paid? People purchase policies so that their damages are covered when accidents occur, so it’s good to hold insurance companies accountable for following through with their policies.
Some questions you might ask include:
- How much am I entitled to collect for my damages? The insurance adjuster may be able to give you a quote based on your policy and their damage assessment. If you work with a lawyer to calculate the value of your damages, you can use this quote to determine whether the insurance company is being fair toward you or not.
- Will I be able to receive a partial payment now or right away? Depending on your case, you may be able to get an immediate payment for certain damages while the insurance company reviews other factors of your case. For example, if your vehicle was totaled in an accident and needs to be replaced completely, you may be able to get payment for the actual cash value of your vehicle before being compensated for your physical injuries.
- When can I expect to hear back from you or the insurance company? Insurance companies must respond to claims within 30 days (Florida Statutes § 627.736), but your insurance adjuster may be able to provide more information on what to expect from the claims process. This can also be an opportunity to ask what you can do in the meantime, such as providing evidence for your claim or whether there are steps you can take to speed up the process.
What You Should Avoid Doing When Speaking with an Insurance Adjuster
As mentioned, insurance adjusters are on the side of insurance companies. So, when speaking with adjusters, you should be careful about the information you give and how you give it. Keep the following in mind:
- Try to avoid apologizing or excusing the other party: With insurance claims, a percentage of fault needs to be assigned to both parties to determine who may be held liable for damages. If you apologize for certain factors of the accident, the adjuster might interpret this as partial blame on your behalf.
- Don’t say anything that suggests inaction: Adjusters hear more than you say. When retelling the accident, minor details you might omit might be interpreted as minor actions you didn’t do. For example, if you said you “made a turn at the light,” that does not indicate whether you signaled before turning, made sure no one was crossing the intersection, or that you had the right of way at the light. These are all omissions that can be used against you.
If possible, try to avoid having your statements recorded. If you have already retained a lawyer, you can also opt to have the insurance adjuster get a statement from your lawyer as a way of protecting your case.
Call GED Lawyers Today to Get a Free Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident and are interested in learning your legal options for pursuing compensation, you can get a free consultation with our team at GED Lawyers by calling our firm. We help people fight for the financial recovery they need through legal representation. Rather than try to handle communications with insurance adjusters on your own, allow one of our personal injury lawyers to handle those tasks for you.
Our team works on a contingency fee basis, so we do not charge any attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Call now to learn more about our legal services and start your legal journey today.