After an accident, how you speak to the insurance adjuster will determine how your claim is valued and ultimately, settled or denied. This is because anything you say to the adjuster can be used negatively against you and the adjusters will use any and all tactics to make you say anything needed to lower the value of your case. Thus, it is in your best interest to always consult with a trusted and qualified personal injury lawyer before speaking to the insurance company. Here is a list of what to watch out for and what you should say, so that the amount of compensation you receive will not be reduced:
1. DO REMAIN CLAIM AND POLITE – Always remain calm and be polite with the insurance company while providing just simple facts that you can remember. Do not give too much information regarding the injury or treatment. Just state you were injured as a result of the accident, caused by the negligence of another, and that you are seeking treatment for the injuries suffered.
2. DO NOT SPEAK TO THE ADJUSTER WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY – The adjuster will ask you to complete a recorded statement of the accident and injuries. However, always consult with a qualified attorney to understand how and what you should say, as your recorded statement may preclude any claim for damages.
3. DO STATE WHAT YOU CLEARLY KNOW: Never state anything that you are not 100% confident about what happened during the accident. If you are not sure what happened or do not remember. Only state what you remember on what may have occurred.
4. DO NOT APOLOGIZE: apologize to the other driver or let an insurance company force you to accept fault as this can cause your claim to be denied.
5. DO NOT ACCEPT THE FIRST OFFER: Never accept the first offer as the insurance company will always attempt to settle any claim quickly without you realizing the total value of your claim. The first offer is most always lowest and doesn’t cover all costs.
Never underestimate the total value of your claim or try to handle your personal injury case on your own. A qualified personal injury attorney will explain the total value of your claim, so you do not fall for any trick by the insurance company, and your attorney will also send a demand letter to the insurance company in order to recover all damages. These include: all present and future medical treatment, lost wages, physical pain, and mental anguish.
About the Author: Mala Sharma has been practicing family law and personal injury with her family at the Law Offices of Sharma & Associates, founded in 1997 with over 42 years of combined experience. Mala is a Board of Advocates for the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association GP Solo YLD, member of the Houston Bar Association, President Emeritus of the Houston Northwest Bar Association, and prior board member of the South Asian Bar Association.
This material is available for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you require advice on any particular legal question, you may contact Sharma & Associates at 281-893-8644 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.