The Insurance Adjustor: Beware of Recorded Statements
So, you were in an accident and it wasn’t your fault? Whether it was a car wreck with someone who was texting and driving, or you slipped and fell on a spill at the grocery store, chances are you are going to receive a phone call from an insurance company.
The person calling you is commonly known as an insurance adjuster; also referred to as a claims representative, associate, specialist, etc. These folks will often present themselves in a friendly manner, but they are not calling to be your friend. Their primary job is to minimize the cost and payouts resulting from your no-fault accident.
YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE A RECORDED STATEMENT
You will likely be asked to provide a recorded statement about the incident or auto accident. They will want to discuss specifics about the car accident (or other unfortunate occurrence), ask you to talk about your alleged injuries, and try to get you to divulge any details they think they might be able to use to limit your recovery. Their success is based on you getting as little money as possible, but their success also depends on you, the injured party. While there is no reason for you not to be friendly and truthful with the adjustor, understand you are NOT REQUIRED to give a recorded statement.
WHAT THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER LOOKS FOR FROM YOU
In our experience, the insurance adjustor works quickly to get in touch with the injured party, especially in the case of auto accidents. One of the first things they will likely ask you is whether you mind giving a recorded statement. Many of the questions they ask are to acquire the facts surrounding the accident from your perspective as the injured party. However, they might also ask some questions which lead to answers that could hurt your case. Car accidents are especially complicated, and your answers could severely jeopardize the settlement process or trial. For example, the adjustor might call and ask you,
“Could you have avoided this somehow……..maybe by……….?”
While questions like this seem innocent, too many people give answers that don’t reflect what actually happened. You could be easily fooled into speculating about what might have happened to cause the accident, only to have your recorded answers turned against you. Too often, innocent comments are used to wrongly place blame on the no-fault party, despite the fact that they played no part in causing the accident.
INSURANCE COMPANIES DO NOT WANT ATTORNEYS INVOLVED
The adjustor might tell you that you don’t want lawyers taking any of your money. Don’t buy it! We offer FREE consultations, and are always more than willing to offer a few pointers. Insurance companies know that people who are represented by a lawyer in an accident case are much more likely to obtain a larger settlement than someone who settles their claim without the advice of an attorney.
It just makes sense to call a lawyer and at least ask some questions before settling with the adjustor. Even if choose not to hire an attorney, you can at least acquire some pointers to prevent the adjustor from taking advantage of your lack of knowledge. Before you talk to the insurance adjustor, you might want to give us a call. We will be happy to speak with you.