After an auto accident, victims may be contacted by an insurance adjuster who works for the insurer that covers the at-fault party.
When this occurs, it is important to understand your rights after filing a personal injury claim and what you should to say to an insurance adjuster. Unfortunately, many auto accident victims’ claims are reduced or denied because they do not know how they should interact with an insurance adjuster.
For this reason, it may be in your best interest to contact D’Amico and Pettinicchi’s auto accident lawyers in New Haven to discuss your claim during a free, no obligation consultation. We have helped numerous auto accident victims through the claims process and will inform you of your rights when interacting with an insurance adjuster.
Report the Accident Immediately
After an accident, you should immediately contact your insurance company to report the collision and tell them that you suffered an injury because of the other driver’s negligence.
When reporting the accident, you should only inform the insurance company about the basic events that occurred during the accident. This should include:
- The parties involved in the accident
- Where the accident occurred
- The injuries you suffered
- Damage inflicted on the vehicles involved
Additionally, the information you reveal should be limited to the facts about the accident as you remember it happening. Do not exaggerate the severity of the accident or speculate what may have occurred.
Do Not Provide a Recorded Statement
When you are contacted by an insurance adjuster representing the other party, he or she will likely ask you to make a recorded statement about the car accident and the resulting injury you may have suffered. This statement will act as your official version of the events that occurred during the accident and cannot be changed.
If an adjuster asks you to make a recorded statement, you should politely refuse. You are not legally required to go on record about the accident, and an insurance adjuster may use your statement against you to reduce your claim’s value or deny it altogether.
For this reason, it may be in your best interest to refuse to provide a statement until you have spoken to an attorney. He or she will help you craft an accurate response to an adjuster’s inquiries that may help to secure your claim and obtain the compensation you need.
Understand the Adjuster Is Not on Your Side
Another thing you should remember is that insurance adjusters are employed by insurance companies, and are not concerned about your best interests. An adjuster’s main goal is to save the insurer money, and he or she will likely try to reduce the amount of compensation you can receive.
An adjuster may use tactics to discredit your version of events by claiming you were at fault for the accident or your actions contributed to causing it. Additionally, an adjuster may offer you a settlement amount that does not fully compensate you for your medical treatment, lost wages and other damages you suffered as a result of the accident.
Furthermore, insurance adjusters may attempt to convince personal injury victims to act against their best interests. This includes:
- Engaging victims in conversation for more details about the accident or their injury
- Discouraging accident victims from hiring a lawyer
- Refusing to talk about money or the settlement amount
- Using the victim’s statements against him or her
- Baiting the victim to admit partial fault in causing the accident
Do Not Sign Documents or Releases
If an insurance adjuster provides you with a document or release form that he or she asks you to sign, politely decline. Any document or release you may sign can have a significant effect.
Before signing anything, you should carefully read over the document. Insurance adjusters frequently attempt to have the victim sign several releases or documents they may not fully understand, such as medical release forms disclosing the details of your injury.
An adjuster may also ask you to sign a release of claim form that absolves the at-fault party from any further liability associated with the accident. This would prevent you from pursuing additional compensation from the at-fault party by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Do Not Accept the First Settlement
Typically, the first settlement offer made by an insurance adjuster will not reflect the true suffering and financial losses you suffered after the accident.
Unfortunately, many personal injury victims are quick to accept the initial settlement so they can receive compensation as soon as possible. Insurance companies often depend on this to pay the least amount of money to accident victims who may not understand the true value of their claim.
For this reason, you should not accept the initial settlement offer made by an insurance adjuster. Instead, contact an experienced attorney who understands how to value a personal injury claim and who will inform you of the true amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Contact D’Amico & Pettinicchi for Qualified Legal Help
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney for help with your personal injury claim.
D’Amico & Pettinicchi’s New Haven personal injury attorneys have helped numerous victims obtain the justice and compensation they deserve after being injured in an accident. We understand how to interact with insurance companies to pursue the maximum compensation available for your personal injury claim.
Contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation where we will review your claim and inform you of your rights when speaking to an insurance adjuster. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we help you recover compensation for your claim.