What to Say to an Insurance Adjuster
When people are involved in a car wreck, it triggers a series of events. First, regardless of who causes the collision, insurance companies have to be notified, then the insurance companies will begin their own investigations. At this point, insurance companies will have their own people start contacting everyone in order to gather information in order to determine whether the companies are responsible for paying. No doubt, insurance companies play dirty. If you are in a car wreck, you should absolutely speak to an attorney before talking to an adjuster.
What is an adjuster?
An ‘adjuster’ is an employee of the insurance company who is hired to handle the investigation of claims and the payment of money to claimants. This person’s primary job is to save the insurance company money. He or she may lie to you or misrepresent facts or policy information, all in an effort to get you to drop your claim or take way less money than you deserve. They may or may not have a lot of experience, but they typically understand motor vehicle insurance law pretty well. Here’s what you should say to an adjuster.
- Can I call you back? If an adjuster calls you before you can get a chance to talk to a lawyer, politely explain that you are busy at the moment but would like to call back shortly to discuss. Get the adjuster’s full name, direct phone number, fax number, the insurance company the adjuster works for, an e-mail address (if they have one to give you), the policy and claim number for their file, the policy coverage limits (if they will share this with you). When you hang up, immediately call a lawyer who handles auto accidents.
- I would like you to speak to my attorney before we discuss further. Once you have hired a lawyer, if you get a call from an adjuster – even from our own insurance company – simply mention that you have hired an attorney to handle the matter. Kindly explain that you would appreciate it if the adjuster would please call your attorney. Give the adjuster the attorney’s phone number and fax number, as well as the name of the firm. After you hang up, contact your attorney and let them know the insurance company has contacted you.
Are there ever times when I should talk to the insurance company?
Yes. There are some situations that necessitate you talking to an adjuster. For instance, most insurance policies include contractual provisions that require you to cooperate with your own insurance company. Of course, you have a right to talk to your attorney first, and in some situations, your attorney will want to be present. Also, sometimes people have serious injuries that require an attorney, but their own insurance company is handling minor vehicle damages. In these cases, some attorneys will authorize the adjuster to speak with the client directly, but only for the limited purpose of arranging transportation, getting title issues worked out, or getting the car repaired. You should always follow your lawyer’s advice, because each case is unique.
Hiring a Pinellas County Accident Lawyer
If you are hurt by someone else’s careless or negligent driving, you have certain legally protected rights. Hire a law firm that understands just how to handle insurance adjusters. The law firm of Roman & Roman, P.A. in Clearwater has helped thousands of clients achieve settlements and verdicts. Call (877) 767-1032 today for a free and confidential consultation.