Someone with the title of insurance claims adjuster will contact you shortly after you file an auto accident insurance claim in Texas. It is important to understand the adjuster’s goals for your conversation, as well as to prepare what you will say ahead of time. Otherwise, you could make a critical error. The claims adjuster will generally want you to settle for as little as possible for the insurance company’s benefit. Properly dealing with insurance adjusters after a car crash could help you maximize your financial recovery.
Understand Their Goals
Some basic knowledge about how insurance claims work and the role of the adjuster can help you say and do the right things during claim negotiations. In general, the adjuster will know less about your car accident claim than you do. An adjuster reviews multiple cases a month. The adjuster also works for the insurance company and its investors – not for you.
Even if you have a valid claim to damages, the adjuster’s goal will be to minimize your payout or deny your claim, if possible. Be respectful and polite when speaking to a claims adjuster, but understand that you are not on the same team. Prepare to protect your rights and prove the value of your accident claim before achieving a fair settlement.
Never Admit Fault
It is critical not to say you were at fault for the auto accident during conversations with claims adjusters. This can be enough to bar you from financial recovery. Admitting fault could mean the end of your case – no investigation is necessary since you are taking full responsibility. Even if an unknown factor caused or contributed to the wreck, such as another driver’s comparative fault or a roadway defect, you might bear 100% of the fault for telling an adjuster you caused the crash. Refrain from claiming fault during conversations with an insurance company.
Be Honest, But Be Wary
Do not lie to an insurance claims adjuster. If you know the answer to a question, such as how fast your vehicle was traveling, answer with facts. If the question requires you to guess or speculate, politely explain that you cannot answer right now or wish to speak to a lawyer first. If the adjuster asks how much damage your vehicle sustained before you have had the chance to talk to a mechanic, for example, say you cannot answer the question yet. Only give the claims adjuster the information he or she has requested – nothing more. If the adjuster asks you for a recorded statement, politely decline. This is a tactic the adjuster could use to trip you up later.
Know the Value of Your Claim
A major mistake many claimants make is going into negotiations with an insurance claims adjuster without understanding the true value of their accident claims. Many clients assume the adjuster will provide an honest evaluation. In reality, the initial settlement offered could be far less than the actual value of the case. Speak to a car accident lawyer in Texas before saying yes to a settlement offer from a claims adjuster. Do not believe an adjuster when he or she says it is the “best” or “final” offer you will receive. Contact a lawyer for an accurate portrayal of your claim’s worth before making a decision.
Retain a Car Accident Attorney
Going to trial is not the only reason to hire an attorney. A car accident attorney can be instrumental during car accident insurance settlement negotiations as well. Your lawyer can review evidence, accident reports and medical records to give you a full and accurate estimate of your case’s value. Then, your lawyer can take over communications with the insurance adjuster so you can ensure the protection of your rights. While you focus on healing from your personal injuries, your car accident attorney in San Antonio can speak with an adjuster and negotiate for just compensation. Working with a lawyer can give you all the information you need to properly deal with insurance adjusters and achieve a fair settlement after a crash.