In the aftermath of a wreck, dealing with insurance adjusters is an inevitable step in the process of filing a claim. The role of the insurance adjuster is to investigate the accident and negotiate the settlement on behalf of the insurance company. While they may appear helpful, it is crucial to remember that their primary allegiance is to their employer—not to you. Understanding what to share, what to avoid, and how a lawyer can protect your interests is vital in these conversations.
The Adjuster’s Role and Tactics to Watch Out For: An adjuster’s main objective is to minimize the payout for the insurance company. They employ various tactics that could lead you to undermine your own case. They may ask for a recorded statement or press you to settle quickly, often before the full extent of your injuries and damages can be assessed. Early statements and agreements can inadvertently limit your compensation. Before responding to requests for information from an insurance adjuster, ask yourself: “Is providing this information actually necessary to resolve my claim?” Many times, the answer is no.
Information to Share: When speaking to an insurance adjuster, you are only required to share the basic facts about the wreck. This includes the three “W’s”—where the wreck happened, when it happened, and where your vehicle is located. Providing access to your vehicle allows the insurance company to evaluate the property damage you incurred, which is a necessary step in determining compensation for those specific damages.
Information to Avoid Sharing: There are details that you should not discuss with an adjuster without legal representation. This includes any statements about fault, details of your injuries, your employment, or any other personal information. Do not agree to give a recorded statement or sign any documents without consulting an attorney. These actions can be, and usually are, used to devalue your claim.
How a Lawyer Can Help: A personal injury lawyer serves as your advocate and representative in discussions with the insurance company. They can advise you on the information that should be disclosed and handle all other communications to ensure your rights are protected. Lawyers are familiar with adjusters’ tactics and can negotiate effectively on your behalf, often securing a more substantial settlement.
The Pitfalls of Speaking Too Much Early On: Speaking extensively with an insurance adjuster without representation, especially in the days immediately following a wreck, can lead to problems in your case. Over-disclosure can give the insurance company material to dispute your claim or reduce your compensation. An experienced attorney can guide you on what information is necessary and what can and should be withheld until the proper time.
See What Gary Bruce Says About Dealing With The Insurance Company After A Wreck:
It is important to approach conversations with insurance adjusters with caution, understanding their role in the process and their interests. If you find yourself preparing to engage with an insurance company after a wreck, take a moment to review Gary Bruce speaking on “Legal Break” for insights into dealing with adjusters and protecting your rights. And before you answer that call from the insurance company, consider reaching out to the Law Offices of Gary Bruce. Our team can provide the expertise and guidance you need when handling the adjuster, responding to questions, and ensuring that you do not settle for less than what your claim is truly worth. Contact us for more information or if you have any questions about representation and pursuing claims to seek full compensation for your losses.
For a free consultation to discuss your options with your case in the Columbus, Georgia, Phenix City, Alabama, and Ft. Moore, Georgia area, contact us at the Law Offices of Gary Bruce, (706) 576-4279 and we will help you fight for what you deserve. This link will take you to the video: http://www.garybrucelaw.com/video/wtvm-legal-break-dealing-with-the-insurance-company/