Following the shakiness and stress in the aftermath of a car accident, you’re certainly going to speak to an insurance adjuster who will actively (and quite creatively) try to get you to say anything to diminish your fair compensation. It’s easy to slip up so remember to keep these notes in mind if you’re ever on the other side of a call with an insurance adjuster.
1. Avoid TMI! When speaking to another person’s insurance company, avoid giving TMI (or too much information) to paint a picture of the accident. These details are often blurry and ultimately biased. Thinking about talking about the weather the date of your incident? Prepare for an adjuster to lay blame on you for not wearing sunglasses. Yes, this actually happens.
2. Don’t Say You’re Sorry! Accidents are awful for everyone. However, even if you made a horrible mistake on the road, it’s CRITICAL to avoid accepting any blame. Most accidents have so many factors, often out of your control, which could have contributed to any type of accident. The moment you claim you’re at fault, you’ve likely lost any chance of receiving any sort of compensation, even if you’re injured.
3. Don’t Be Unfriendly! Sure, insurance adjusters are usually not on your side. They may even seem aggressive, or manipulative to try to get you to say anything on the record to hurt your claim. But even in the heat of your anger and frustration, remain civil, cool, and professional. It’s not uncommon for adjusters to “accidentally” not file your claim or even delay your investigation, simply due to an unfriendly exchange.
4. Don’t Play Detective! Avoid estimating anything. “In my opinion,” and “I think,” statements could be held against you. Only state the facts as purely as you can. Any questions that are held to a subjective light could ultimately hurt your claim.
5. Don’t Play Doctor! Wait until you see a medical professional before assessing your injuries. Especially in accidents, your injuries may not even present themselves until a few days or even weeks later. Do not tell adjusters of your pain or, worse, that you’re “fine.” Leave it to the doctors to report your injuries.
6. Do Not Agree to Recorded Statements! You have no obligation to give a recorded statement, to anyone, anywhere. It’s simply unconstitutional.