How to talk to an insurance claims adjuster if you’ve been in a car accident
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Texas, it’s important to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you are able to, whether you are at fault or not. If you are not at fault, reporting an accident in a timely manner can help support your case, which may help you later on if you are trying to collect damages from another driver.
Remember that even though you have to speak to your own insurance company after a car accident, you still need to be careful of what you say so you don’t hurt your case. Stick to the facts surrounding the accident and avoid trying to explain the why and how. It’s important to be honest, but don’t volunteer any additional information or explanations without speaking to a personal injury attorney first.
Here are some tips to help you speak to an adjuster at your insurance company:
Know who you’re speaking with. Take the time to write down the name, address and phone number of the adjuster, as well as the company they are with – you don’t want to accidentally speak to another party’s insurance company thinking it’s your own.
Keep things professional. A car accident can leave you angry or upset, but it’s important to remain calm and avoid venting to an adjuster.
When you contact your insurance company, be prepared to provide them with the following information:
- Date, time and location where the accident occurred
- Name, address and contact information for any other drivers or passengers
- Insurance policy information for any other drivers involved in the accident
- The law enforcement agency responding to the accident
If there were other drivers involved in the accident, you will probably get a call from their insurance company as well, and this is where you really need to be careful.
Speaking to the other driver’s insurance claim adjuster
We cannot stress this enough: you do not have to speak to the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies know they can pay you far less money if they settle with you early, before you even know the extent of your injuries and damages. That’s why they try to contact you so soon after a car accident. If at all possible, let your attorney or a representative from your own insurance company communicate any necessary information to them.
However, if you do decide to speak to the other party’s insurance company for whatever reason, always remember that their primary goal is to pay you as little money as possible. They want to find evidence that you were at fault for the accident, or that your damages or injuries are minor or nonexistent.
If you do speak to the other driver’s insurance company, follow these rules:
- Know who you’re talking to. Just like with your own insurance company, make sure you get the name, address, and telephone number of the person on the phone, as well as the name of their company and the person or business they represent.
- Try to stay calm and remain polite. Just like with your own insurance adjuster, it’s important to remain calm and try to avoid getting angry.
- Don’t consent to a recorded statement. Once you do, it cannot be changed. This statement may be used to deny your claim or allege that you provided misleading information when you provided your version of the accident.
- Limit the information you provide. Only volunteer your name, address, and telephone number with the insurance adjuster. You may also tell them where you are employed and what type of work you do, but don’t discuss your work, your schedule, or your income, as these details could affect your case.
- Only discuss the facts of the accident. If the insurance adjuster or representative tries to get you to talk about the accident, stick to the facts. Tell them when and where it happened, that it was a car accident, and give them the names of anyone who was involved or witnessed the crash. Don’t give long answers or provide any more information that what is necessary.
- Do not discuss your injuries. There is a good chance that the insurance adjuster will ask how you are feeling or whether you were injured, but you might leave something out or discover an injury later on, or your injury may turn out to be worse than you thought. Even though an adjuster may pressure you regarding any injury, you are not required to answer any of their questions.
- Be honest. Don’t lie or guess about what happened, and if you don’t know the answer to any question or can’t remember, say so. “I don’t know,” “I didn’t see it,” or “I can’t remember” are all appropriate answers if they are true. If you guess, you run the risk of being wrong, which may be used against you in your claim for compensation.
- Don’t let them pressure you into settling early. When it comes to personal injury cases, it’s common for insurance companies to offer a low settlement early in the process when you are vulnerable and in need of money. However, if you accept their initial offer, you may receive inadequate compensation, and it limits any recourse for unforeseen losses in the future.
If you were injured in a car accident, GreeningLaw P.C. can help.
You are entitled to fair compensation if you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence. But if you talk to the other driver’s insurer before speaking with a personal injury lawyer, you may not know all of your rights. Don’t take it upon yourself to deal with the insurance companies alone.
GreeningLaw P.C. is one of the most recognized personal injury law firms in the state. GreeningLaw P.C.’s skilled attorneys have years of experience investigating and litigating personal injury cases stemming from auto accidents. In addition, we work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t owe us anything unless you receive compensation for your case.
Contact GreeningLaw P.C. now to schedule a free consultation today.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal.