After an auto accident, you'll meet another insurance company representative: the adjuster. While pleasant and charismatic, she acts on behalf of the other driver’s insurance company when he negligently injured you. She’s matter-of-fact and businesslike, and, because insurance companies are in the business of making money, her primary goal is to minimize your claim.
To receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and property damage, there are four types of statements you should never make to an insurance adjuster.
1. “In My Opinion” or “I Think”An adjuster may ask you several things in several ways, and all your answers will be used to prevent you from getting your claim's maximum value. If you do not know the answer to a question, say nothing and only state the facts. Don’t guess or estimate anything.
2. “I’m Sorry” or “It Was My Fault”
3.“I’m Not Hurt”Volunteer nothing. Just because you may not have any visible injuries, it does not mean you are fine. Some injuries may not show up right away and the initial shock's adrenalin may prevent you from feeling the pain you may experience in the ensuing days. Have a doctor document any pain you may be feeling and avoid signing a medical release without speaking to an experienced accident attorney.
4. Recorded StatementsYou have no obligation to give a recorded statement. Because what you say to an insurance adjuster can be taken out of context, never agree to provide a recorded statement.
Many accident victims are not aware of their claim's value and may be tempted to accept the insurance company's first offer. Do not rush into a settlement without consulting an attorney able to calculate your claim's value, taking into consideration immediate and future injuries and expenses such as medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the impact an injury may have on your life.