If you have recently experienced a car accident, one of the first things you likely did was report the accident to your insurance company. After all, the insurance company works for you, right?
While this is partially true – insurance companies exist to ensure you are able to receive compensation for property damages and injuries as the result of a car accident – you are not the only interest protected by the company.
It is in the insurance company’s best interest to settle your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. After all, the less payout to insurers, the better for their bottom line. Insurance companies receive backing from a number of stakeholders. The company stands to benefit from saving stakeholder money rather than awarding you a large settlement.
Some insurance companies do their best to convince you to take a quick, low settlement, in the hopes that you will settle for less to receive compensation quickly. In addition, quick settlements often fail to account for all the medical and property expenses you need to shoulder after an accident. If you settle too quickly, you could be giving up a major portion of a fair settlement.
Insurance adjusters exist to determine how much each insurance company should pay towards your losses. However, it is important to be careful what you say to the adjuster. What you say could be twisted to accepting fault or a too-low settlement. Avoid saying these things to the adjuster.
You can tell the adjuster your name, address and phone number, as well as your place of employment. You do not need to discuss your wages or work schedule.
Do not feel pressured to give a statement regarding the accident. Instead, give the date, time, and location, and type of accident, and say that the rest is still under investigation at this time.
Even if the accident was your fault, you are under no legal obligation to say so.
If you give a description of your injuries at this time, you may not be able to include any injuries you discover later or have forgotten about. Do not discuss your injuries until you have the opportunity to make a comprehensive list.
If you agree to a settlement in the first phone call, you do so without knowing the extent of your injuries and damage and may be falling short of your possible compensation.
Regardless of the question, you do not need to give a recorded statement regarding the accident. Verbal statements often fail to include important details of the accident. You are better off giving a detailed written statement at a later date.
Even if you are under stress as the result of the accident or from the insurance company’s conversation, it is essential that you remain calm and polite. Do not give the insurance company a reason to believe you may accept a lower settlement.
It is important to know which insurance company you are dealing with, as well as the name and extension number of the adjuster for future reference.
Let the adjuster know you do not plan to continue to speak by phone until you have accurately recorded all the pertinent information in written form. Until then, stick to the most basic information.
If you follow these tips, you can avoid insurance companies pushing you into a low, early settlement, and can retain your right to gather your information and pursue your claim at your leisure. If the insurance company seems predatory, it is often best to speak with a WV car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the process. Contact our firm today to schedule your free consultation.