It’s very important to contact your insurance company immediately after an accident, whether you were at fault or not. However, there are certain things that you should not be talking about with your insurance adjuster because it might hurt your personal injury case going forward. Because most people are not aware of what to say and what not to say, it’s advisable to have your personal injury attorney present to talk to the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
The following are some statements to avoid when you contact your insurance company.
Statements to Avoid When Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
1. “It Was My Fault”
You should not admit guilt even if you know you were at fault. This is because it automatically shifts all blame onto you even if the other driver might have been partially at fault. Other words that can be troublesome are “I’m sorry.” Avoid apologizing to anyone at the scene or to your insurance adjuster because they will use it against you, even if you were just being polite.
2. “I Think”
Avoid opinion-based statements at all costs and stick to facts that can be proven. If you are unsure of an answer to a question, you are better off saying you don’t know than you are speculating and making things worse. You can also start giving unnecessary details that no one asked about that can be used against you.
3. “I’m Fine”
This statement downplays your injuries and could be interpreted that you don’t need the money for medical bills. You should first see a doctor before answering any question regarding your injuries. Some injuries manifest later, especially psychological ones; therefore, you might want to wait for a doctor’s evaluation before volunteering such information.
4. Don’t Give Official Statements
If your insurance adjuster asks that you give them a recorded statement on the accident, say no if you don’t have an attorney with you. Formal statements can be taken out of context, especially if they were made shortly after an accident. The insurance company will comb through your statement looking for inconsistencies and use that as an excuse to deny your claim.
Don’t give insurance companies names of your family members, friends, or doctor or their contact information. The insurance company will often go behind your back and try to find out about the accident and any contradiction to the statement you gave them can be used against you.
6. “I Accept”
Don’t accept any offers made by insurance companies immediately after an accident, especially if you have not consulted a personal injury attorney. Most insurance companies will try to take advantage of you when you are vulnerable and desperately in need of money. This is usually the lowest offer they can give you, which would be higher if you had a lawyer by your side.
7. “They Came out of Nowhere”
This statement implies that you were not paying attention or were driving while distracted, thus implying you are a fault. This might not be what you mean, but it can be misconstrued and used against you by the insurance company. Use vague wording when describing the events of the accident to avoid admitting fault.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
An insurance adjuster will definitely take advantage of you if they find out you don’t have a lawyer. They will give you a lowball offer and try to convince you that it’s the best they can do. A personal injury lawyer knows all these tricks and will represent you from the initial meeting to the final negotiations.