Why You Shouldn’t Speak to an Insurance Adjuster After an Accident
An unfortunate reality of operating a vehicle is that accidents are going to occur every now and again. Nobody wants to be involved in a crash, but it is important for accident victims to understand what to do in the event an incident does occur. In order to secure maximum compensation for a car accident claim, an injury victim needs to understand that speaking to an insurance adjuster could present challenges in their case.
Dealing With the Adjuster
In the aftermath of being injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you will be dealing with two insurance companies – your own insurance carrier as well as the insurance carrier of the party who caused the accident.
When dealing with your insurance company, you will need to call them and inform them that an accident has occurred as soon as possible. You want to provide them with the basic facts of the incident, such as where it happened, the date and time the accident occurred, and the names and contact information of anybody else involved. You do not have to give any additional information to your insurance carrier at this time, and you should not discuss your injuries or who caused the crash.
Soon after an accident occurs, the at-fault party’s insurance carrier will contact you. It is important to understand that you are not under any obligation to speak to them. Regardless of how friendly the at-fault party’s insurance claims adjuster may seem, they are not your friend, and they will do what they can to try to limit the amount of money they pay in a settlement. The single most important reason you should not speak to an insurance adjuster is that they do not work for you – they work for the insurance company.
The other party’s insurance adjuster will try to contact you before you even realize the full extent of your injuries. It is very likely that you will be offered an initial settlement amount that may seem enticing to take. However, please understand that most initial settlement offers are far below what you should be receiving. As soon as you accept a settlement offer, you will lose the ability to recover any additional compensation later.
You may be told by the insurance claims adjuster that it is necessary to get a recorded statement from you or that it is required that you sign a release form for your medical records. You need to be aware that any conversation you have with an adjuster could put your claim in jeopardy, and you do not have to give a recorded statement. You should also not sign any documents, particularly one that releases your medical records. Insurance adjusters are trained to use your past medical history against you in an effort to lower your settlement amount or even deny a claim.
Will You Need an Attorney to Handle a Case?
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you should call an attorney. Most experienced Ontario car accident lawyers offer free initial consultations for a case, and this will allow a victim the opportunity to understand what their options are moving forward. Generally, an attorney will handle all communication with an insurance claims adjuster and will work to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your claim.