How To Deal With an Insurance Adjuster After a Car Wreck – Part Two
This is the second part in a blog series about how to deal with an insurance adjuster. If you have not already read part one of this blog post series, it would probably be helpful to read that first.
The wreck wasn’t my fault so why shouldn’t I give the adjuster a recorded statement?
The reason that the insurance company wants to take a recorded statement is that they want to get you to commit to the details of the wreck and your injuries before you have had a chance to fully understand what those details are. The adjuster is hoping that getting this statement early will give them something to use against you later.
What can I say to the adjuster?
If your vehicle was damaged, it is ok to talk with the adjuster about your property damage claim. You can talk with the adjuster about getting a rental car and getting your car repaired. The property damage claim is separate from any injury claim, so you do not have to give the adjuster any information about your injuries in order for him/her to be able to address your property damage claim.
How do I keep the adjuster to those topics?
The easiest way is to tell the adjuster that you do not yet know the full extent of your injuries so you can’t talk about that, but you would be happy to discuss your property damage claim.
Should I fill out the forms the adjuster sent me?
The short answer is no. Adjusters will often send forms that will authorize them to get your medical records. The adjuster will most likely tell you that this is to make sure they can get all the records and bills for your treatment so that there won’t be any delays in them making payment. They may even tell you that they will “take care” of the bills they receive.
The problem with these authorizations is that they are not limited to the medical records and bills from your injury. If you sign the authorization, the insurance company will have access to all of your past medical records. Once the insurance company gets those records, they will scour them looking for anything they can use to reduce the amount they pay for your injury.
Why does any of this matter?
While it may seem obvious, it is important to remember that insurance adjusters work for the insurance company. The adjuster is looking out for the insurance company’s best interests. While the adjuster that contacts you may seem friendly and helpful, you should keep in mind that she is trying to get information that the insurance company can use against you when it comes time to settle your claim.
The insurance company will try to use any information you give them to keep the amount they pay you for your claim low. Insurance adjusters have been trained to ask questions in a way that gets the answer that is most beneficial to them. The insurance adjuster is counting on the fact that people are often faced with uncertainty and confusion after an injury. The adjuster hopes to use this to benefit the insurance company by pushing you into a quick settlement.
If you have been injured, don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you by rushing you into a settlement. Give us a call or fill out the “Need Help” form on the right for a free consultation with one of our attorneys who specializes in personal injury cases so we can help you get a fair result. If you want to read more helpful information on what else to do after a car wreck, take a look at Dan Howard’s series “You’ve Been in a Car Wreck, Now What”.