Don’t Give A Statement To The Insurance Adjuster After A Crash
Posted in Car accidents on November 14, 2019
In the aftermath of a vehicle crash, you may face confusion about what you need to do, particularly if you or a loved one have been injured. Many things will be happening at once, including reports made to the insurance carriers. Yes, you are required to report the incident to your insurance carrier within a reasonable amount of time, but what happens after that is in your control.
Whether the other driver is at fault in a crash or you were, an insurance adjuster will call you and request a statement. They will be friendly, but there are some things you need to keep in mind throughout this process.
Insurance adjusters are not your friends
Insurance adjusters have one goal – to lower ensure the insurance company pays as little as possible in a settlement. They are good at their jobs. Aside from being friendly when they call to develop a rapport with you, they may casually mention that you need to give a recorded statement before they can process a claim and get you compensation.
This is not true. You are not required to give a statement. Adjusters will use whatever you say against you to lower your claim. Their goal is to get you to say something that will devalue your claim or make a comment that is an omission of fault for the crash. What some things said in a statement that could be used against you:
- Mentioning that you had a previous injury that could have caused the same symptoms as a crash injury.
- Telling them that you are actually feeling better now and that your pain is gone or was never “that bad.”
- Being unsure whether you were driving the speed limit or not.
If an insurance adjuster tells you that this is “all part of the process” or “just their policy,” remember that you do not have to give a recorded statement.
Should you ever speak to the other driver’s insurance company?
In rare circumstances, it may be okay to speak with the other driver’s insurance carrier or their adjuster. However, you should really let your insurance company be the ones to talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If there are significant injuries or damages, you should consider securing an attorney.
An attorney will be the one to handle all communications with everyone involved. They will ensure that nothing is said that could lower the amount of money you should receive in compensation. Your attorney will negotiate skillfully to recover:
- Compensation for your medical bills
- Lost wages and benefits if you cannot work
- General household expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Possible punitive damages against the other driver
Do not sign anything
The insurance adjuster may ask you to sign certain documents. This could be to allow your medical records to be released. While they will need proof of your injuries that occurred due to the crash, they may attempt to get you to sign a release for your full medical history. They could use any preexisting injuries as proof that the crash did not cause you any harm.
You should also not be quick accept a settlement. They may offer money fairly quickly in the process, but signing your acceptance will keep you from recovering more compensation if your injuries end up being worse than initially believed.