Chances are the insurance company is going to want to ask you a few questions regarding the accident to see if they’re actually liable for your damages or if they can minimize what they have to pay you later on.
Whether you’re talking to your own insurance company or the other driver’s, take head and don’t say these five things to the claims adjuster.
1. “I caused the accident.” We understand that you may have high moral standards, but car accidents are high stress events and can blur your memory as to what happened. Additionally, you’re not in a position to interpret the law as it applies to your case. Let lawyers do that.
2. “I’m not hurt.” These words are music to the insurance company’s ears. Injuries can and most commonly will present themselves days after an accident. If you find yourself talking to a claims adjuster immediately after or a couple days after an accident, you may not feel anything then, but you’ll probably feel something soon later. Saying you’re not hurt will most certainly devalue your claim.
3. “I agree to a recorded statement.” You’ll likely be required to give a recorded statement to your own insurance company, but you’re not required to give one to the other driver’s. Claims adjusters are trained to elicit information that’s damaging to your case. Remember, their goal is avoid liability and to minimize how much they have to pay you.
4. “I agree to accept that settlement.” If you’re not represented by an attorney, claims adjusters will take advantage of that. They know you likely don’t know how to negotiate, nor do you know how much your case is worth. Insurance adjusters will offer low settlements in hopes that you’ll agree before you hire an attorney.
5. “I agree to give you my medical records.” Don’t discuss your medical treatment with the claims adjuster. Claims adjusters will attempt to get your medical records to see if there’s something in your medical history that they could blame your injuries on, which have nothing to do with the accident you were involved in. Specifically, they’ll look to any preexisting medical conditions you may have had prior to the accident.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, contact us now at (510) 340-4LAW. We’re experienced and trained to talk to insurance companies and their claims adjusters to maximize the value of your case.