If you’ve been in a car accident, you’re probably dealing with a lot of stress – on top of the physical pain and damage to your vehicle. Dealing with the insurance company can be just another headache. But it’s important to remember that how you communicate with the adjuster can impact how quickly your claim is processed and how much money you receive. Here are seven things you should never say to an insurance adjuster.
1. “I don’t need a doctor.”
Even if your injuries seem minor, getting a professional opinion is important. This will help you understand the extent of your injuries and create a medical record that can be used as evidence in your personal injury claim. Denying or waiting too long to see a doctor may give the insurance company grounds to say that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
2. “It was my fault.”
No one wants to admit they were at fault in an accident. However, insurance adjusters are trained to look for clues that you may be responsible, even if the accident wasn't entirely your fault. If you admit fault, the insurance company may use that against you to deny or reduce your claim.
Additionally, the insurance company may raise your rates after an at-fault accident, meaning you'll pay more in the long run. It's important, to be honest with the insurance adjuster, but you should also be aware of the potential consequences of admitting fault.
3. “I’ll give a recorded statement.”
Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions that will elicit information that can be used to minimize or deny your claim. They may also try to trick you into making admissions that can be used against you later.
For these reasons, giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster is generally not a good idea. If you have already given a recorded statement, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to see if there is anything you can do to mitigate the damage.
4. “I think….”
No one likes to think about being in an accident. But if you are involved in one, it's important to be aware of the potential consequences of speculating about what happened. Insurance adjusters are trained to look for any statement that could be used to deny or reduce a claim. If you speculate about what caused the accident or who is at fault, you may unwittingly give the insurance adjuster ammunition to use against you.
Even if you are absolutely certain about what happened, it's best to let the investigation play out before making any statements. In the meantime, focus on getting the medical treatment you need and document the expenses incurred due to the accident. These will be important elements of your personal injury claim, regardless of who is ultimately found to be at fault.
5. “Do you recommend a repair shop?”
The insurance adjuster's job is to investigate the accident and determine how much the insurance company should pay out. However, insurance adjusters also have a financial incentive to minimize payouts. As a result, they may try to steer you toward a repair shop that offers lower prices or with whom they have a financial relationship.
This can end up costing you more in the long run, both in terms of repairs and any personal injury claims you may make. This is why it’s crucial to do your research before deciding. Otherwise, you may end up paying for it in more ways than one.
6. “I’ll sign a medical release.”
When you are injured in an accident, you may be tempted to sign a medical release for the insurance adjuster. However, this can be a mistake. Insurance adjusters are trained to look for ways to minimize the insurance company's liability. They may use your medical records to find preexisting conditions that they can use to deny your claim.
In addition, the insurance company may use your medical records to try to prove that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. For these reasons, it is generally best to avoid signing a medical release for an insurance adjuster.
7. “A settlement is fine.”
If you've been injured in an accident, you may be tempted to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company. After all, the insurance adjuster may make it sound like a fair deal, and you just want to put the whole ordeal behind you. But what you may not realize is that by agreeing to a settlement, you could be losing out on significant compensation that you deserve.
It's important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before agreeing to any insurance settlement. An attorney can help you understand your rights and make sure you are getting fair compensation for your injuries. Agreeing to a settlement without knowing its full value could cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. Don't let the insurance company take advantage of you - get an attorney involved early on in the process.
We’re Here to Help
Taking on an insurance claim on your own is a very challenging and complex process. The Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia team has years of experience taking on some of the toughest insurance companies. If you’re in need of legal assistance in the San Jose area, do not hesitate to contact our office.
Call our office at (408) 650-8955 or fill out a consultation request form to get in contact with one of our attorneys.