What to Know Before Speaking
With an Insurance Adjuster
April 12, 2022
After an accident, you expect your insurance company to help you with the process and provide you with the compensation to which you are entitled. However, it can be challenging to deal with insurance companies and their representatives—including adjusters—because insurers care about protecting their own best interests and bottom line.
If you have been involved in an accident, it’s important to seek legal counsel from a skilled attorney to help you deal with the insurance adjuster and fight for the maximum financial coverage you deserve. At Johnson Law Firm, our personal injury attorney in St. Joseph, Missouri, can help you with every stage of the claims process, including communicating with an insurance adjuster and reaching a favorable outcome on your behalf. We represent accident victims in St. Joseph and surrounding areas in Missouri and also in Kansas.
Who Are Insurance Adjusters?
Many people think that since they are paying their insurance provider for the coverage, their insurer will protect their interests. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Insurance companies protect their own bottom line by using insurance adjusters, also known as claims adjusters.
Insurance adjusters are employed by insurance companies to represent their employer’s interests and protect the company’s bottom line. Claims adjusters are trained to investigate claims filed by policyholders, determine fault for the accident, and establish the available insurance coverage. An insurance adjuster’s responsibilities include:
Determining whether the claimant’s damages are considered a “covered loss”
Filing the necessary paperwork
Communicating with the claimant
Investigating the accident to determine fault
Inspecting and assessing the claimant’s damages
Preparing a detailed report to the insurance company
Representing the best interests of the insurance company
Before you speak with an insurance adjuster after your accident, speak with a skilled attorney to protect your rights and ensure the fair and proper handling of your claim.
Reasons to Refuse an Adjuster’s Requests for a Statement
After an individual files a claim, they will usually get a call from the insurance adjuster within hours or days. One of the things the adjuster may ask you is whether or not you agree to provide a recorded statement. However, there are at least several reasons why giving a recorded statement can hurt your claim:
The statement can be used against you to jeopardize your claim. Even though an insurance adjuster may try to convince you that providing a recorded statement can speed up the claims process or that you have an obligation to give a statement, giving a statement can negatively affect your chances of receiving fair compensation.
The extent of your injuries may not be apparent. Often, insurance adjusters ask claimants to tell them more about their injuries when providing a recorded statement. However, the extent of your injuries may not be apparent when you are asked to give a statement.
Your words can be used in court. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask tricky questions in order to force claimants to provide contradictory statements or say things that may end up weakening or damaging their claim in court.
If the insurance adjuster is using dishonest or fraudulent tactics in an attempt to force you to provide a recorded statement, contact an attorney right away.
Rules of Dealing with Insurance Adjusters
When speaking with an insurance adjuster, there are certain rules to keep in mind:
Ask for the adjuster’s information. Before you tell this person anything about your accident and injuries, you need to ask the adjuster to provide their information, including their name and number.
Do not share too much information. It is critical to keep your conversations with insurance adjusters brief and stick to the facts. There is no need to provide too much information. The insurance adjuster only needs basic information about the accident, including the location and time of the accident, the type of the accident, and the number of parties involved.
Do not agree to provide a recorded statement. Remember, when speaking with an insurance adjuster, it is not advisable to give a recorded statement.
Do not settle your claim before you consult with an attorney. Often, insurance adjusters make quick settlement offers in the hopes that a claimant will accept the offer before they get a chance to contact legal counsel. It is vital to consult with an experienced attorney before you agree to settle your claim.
Dealing with an insurance adjuster can be challenging. That is why many people seek the legal assistance of a knowledgeable attorney to protect their interests and ensure that their claim is handled correctly and promptly.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Speaking with an insurance adjuster can add more stress to your situation in the aftermath of an accident. Not only do you have to cope with the physical and emotional effects of the crash, but you also need to deal with a claims adjuster. At Johnson Law Firm, our attorney represents car accident victims in St. Joseph, Missouri, and surrounding areas. Our lawyer will not let insurance adjusters take advantage of your vulnerable state and lack of legal knowledge. Contact us today for someone in your corner.