Getting your thoughts in order after a car accident can be difficult. Car accidents are frightening events that can take a toll on your mental health, especially when they were someone else’s fault. However, the words you use when talking to an insurance adjuster can make or break your claim.
An insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. These companies are for-profit entities that want to see profits remain high. High-profit margins can mean keeping payouts low. No matter how friendly they seem over the phone, an insurance adjuster is not your friend, and they do not generally have your best interests at heart.
Before you make a statement to the insurance provider after an accident, get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney for help handling your claim. Also, keep in mind some of these common phrases that you want to avoid using when talking to an insurance provider. These phrases can potentially hurt your claim and diminish its overall value.
Do Not Apologize
Living in a polite society, you may be accustomed to apologizing, even if something is not your fault. An apology can be seen by the one making it as a form of condolence, like a “sorry this happened,” type of statement. However, that is not how an insurance adjuster will view an apology. Uttering, “I’m sorry,” can be seen as an admission of guilt. To an adjuster, you are acknowledging that you are sorry for causing an accident, which means an adjuster may be able to diminish the value of your claim.
Do Not Say You’re Fine
Again, a casual part of the way people speak to each other is an acknowledgment of being okay. “How are you today?” “Oh, I’m fine.” This seems like a normal exchange. However, not to an insurance adjuster. Saying that you are okay can be taken as an admission that you are not injured. Therefore you are not entitled to medical reimbursement.
It is exceedingly important to seek medical attention immediately after a car accident. It is also crucial that you do not make comments to an adjuster about your condition until you have been evaluated by a medical professional. Downplaying your injuries or pain to seem brave or save face can backfire. An adjuster can use these statements to reduce your claim’s value.
Do Not Talk About Your Injuries
Medical documentation can tell the story of your injuries. Steer away from answering questions about your injuries. You do not have to disclose sensitive medical information. Again, seek professional medical treatment after an accident.
Do Not Give Verbal Consent to Record an Official Statement
Insurance adjusters will want an official statement from you about the circumstances of the accident. Often, they will ask to record your phone conversation and use this as their recorded statement. They may make it sound routine and like “no big deal.” It is. These recorded statements can be picked apart and scrutinized to limit an insurer’s liability and diminish the value of your claim.
If you forget a detail, omit information, or otherwise misrepresent yourself in any way, your claim could be in trouble. It can be difficult to recall all the key pieces of a traumatic accident when you are put on the spot. If the insurance adjuster needs an official statement, it is best to complete this statement in writing and submit it to the insurer. Stick to the facts and keep it simple. Do not speculate or use the terms that imply opinion. Your only concern should be stating facts.
Stay Off Social Media
This can be tricky as you are not “officially” giving an insurance adjuster information about the accident. However, in a way, you are. Often, an insurance adjuster will seek out additional information about an accident, and social media is one avenue for finding it. Your online words, no matter how innocent, could be used against you. An insurer can attempt to diminish the value of your claim through your online presence. If your online account differs from your statement or if you admit partial fault, the value of your claim could be jeopardized. Do not share details of the accident online.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Before Talking to an Insurer
If you have been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney with Spiros Law, P.C. An attorney can manage communication between you and the insurer, so the burden doesn’t fall on your shoulders. A skilled car accident attorney can also advocate for you and negotiate a settlement with your best interests in mind, not the insurer’s.
If you are ready to talk, reach out to our team today by calling (815) 929-9292 for a free case evaluation.