If another driver caused your motor vehicle accident, they will most likely report the collision to their insurance company. Don't be surprised if you receive a call from their insurance company within a few days after the crash occurred.
What You Should & Should Not Do When Talking to an Insurance Company
Even if you did nothing wrong to cause the wreck and have nothing to hide, you need to be very careful about what you say to their insurance adjuster. Otherwise, you could weaken your case and be unable to obtain the full value of your claim in your settlement. Here are some tips on how to handle a call from them to protect your rights.
Even though you may be understandably upset with the driver who caused your injuries, you should remain calm and polite with the insurance adjuster. If you are respectful when talking to them, you will make a good impression that may help you down the road when your lawyer is negotiating the terms of your settlement.
Obtain Contact Information
One of the first things you want to do if the adjuster calls you is to obtain their name and contact information. You should also get your claim number because you will need it for reference later on.
Remember: The Adjuster Is Not Your Friend
In any discussions with the insurance adjuster, you must keep in mind that they are not your friend. They may be friendly and sound genuinely concerned about your injuries. However, they work for the insurance company. Their goal is to deny your claim or pay you as little as possible in order to save the company—their employer—money. You need to remember this every time you have a conversation with them.
Give Only Limited Information
You should give only limited information about yourself, the accident, and your injuries. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Provide your name, address, and place of employment. Do not discuss details about your job duties or your salary.
- Limit what you say about your accident. Just tell the adjuster the basics of the time, place, and location of the crash.
- Do not discuss your injuries in any detail. Right after your crash, you have no idea how serious they are or the medical treatments you will need.
Know That Your Statements Can Be Used Against You
The insurance company can use any statements you make against you in settlement negotiations and in court. To avoid making damaging statements, you should limit your calls with them and give as little information as possible to them about your crash and injuries.
Don't Agree to a Recorded Statement
You do not want to agree to a tape-recorded question-and-answer session with the adjuster. The insurance adjuster has been trained in how to ask tricky or confusing questions to get you to say something damaging to your case. They will also compare your answers to other statements you make for inconsistencies. If you change your story, they can argue that you are not a credible witness. You are not obligated to give a recorded statement to settle your case. If the insurance adjuster asks you to agree to this, politely say no.
What's the Best Way to Handle a Call?
Your best strategy is to leave all communications with the insurance company to your lawyer. If you must speak to the adjuster, be polite and inform them that you will have your lawyer contact them. Then hire an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney right away if you have not already done so.
Have You Been Injured In a Kansas City Area Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you've been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need to speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. It will cost you nothing to hire us because we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis where you only pay us if we win your case. We will also front the costs and fees you could incur. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.