Suffering an injury in an accident caused by another’s negligence is stressful, and having to deal with insurance adjusters should not add to your burden.
Insurance companies and their adjusters are not focused on your best interests and will try to pay as little as possible for your insurance claim. Knowing how to handle an adjuster’s questions will help you avoid issues and maximize your settlement.
If you are having difficulty handling an insurance adjuster or obtaining the compensation you need, our personal injury lawyers can handle the details of your claim for you.
What is an Insurance Adjuster?
If you have been injured in an accident, you will likely be contacted by the other party’s insurance company to discuss the incident and the details regarding your injury.
An adjuster will evaluate any information you provide about yourself, your injury, income, previous medical history and the accident. It is his or her job to:
- Investigate the accident
- Determine liability in the accident
- Advise the insurance company of the appropriate compensation
- Negotiate and settle claims
The adjuster’s responsibility throughout the claims process is to save the insurance company money when compensating your claim, which means he or she is not concerned with your best interests.
What You Should and Should Not Say to an Adjuster
When you first speak with an adjuster, he or she will likely ask to record your statement and request that you sign a release for your medical records.
You are not required by any law to provide a statement to an insurance adjuster the first time he or she contacts you.
Furthermore, our attorneys recommend that you refrain from providing a statement until after you have spoken with an attorney who can advise you of what to say.
This is because your statement will be a part of your insurance claim’s official record and you will be bound to the account you provide. Any information you provide an adjuster during your statement can be used against you to downplay the seriousness of your injury or to make it appear you were at fault for the accident.
Your statement holds extreme significance to the validity of your claim and your ability to receive full compensation for your suffering. This is why you should be fully prepared before providing a statement and have a detailed account of your injuries, personal expenses, and treatment costs you incurred during the recovery process.
You should also never admit to any level of fault when speaking with an adjuster. This could severely impact your claim and may reduce its value or prohibit you from recovering compensation.
Nevada uses the standard of comparative negligence when determining fault in personal injury cases. This means that multiple parties, including the victim, can be held liable for an accident. If a court finds that your fault is greater than the other party’s, you may lose your right to recover damages.
This is why you should only state the facts as you know them and never deviate from your original statement. If you are unsure of the event that occurred, do not speculate or exaggerate the events to fit your account.
Limit Information to Insurance Adjusters
You should remember that any information regarding your medical history is considered private and you do not need to discuss it with the insurer.
You should never provide any detailed information regarding your injury until you have fully recovered and undergone all treatments prescribed by a medical practitioner.
The initial information you should provide should be as basic and broad as possible and never provide details of the full extent of your injuries or your prognosis for treatment and recovery.
Only after you have recovered from your injuries and understand the full cost of your treatment should you speak with an adjuster regarding a claim. You should then provide a medical description of your injuries in writing from your attending medical practitioner.
An adjuster may push you to provide more information than just basic facts about yourself or your injury, in which case you should state that you have been advised not to disclose those details.
Keep Track of Any Communication with Insurance Adjusters
A useful tactic for holding insurance companies accountable during the claims process is keeping records and notes of all communication you have with an adjuster.
You should collect the adjuster’s name, contact information, the name of the insurance company, and the name of the client the adjuster represents.
It may also be useful to note the time and date for each occasion the adjuster attempts to contact you, as well as the nature of every conversation you have with an adjuster.
Any information you record or store can be used to establish a timeline that details the interactions and communications you have had with the insurance company. This can be very useful if your claim reaches the point of legal action and needs to be settled through arbitration or a courtroom trial.
Recovering the Compensation You Deserve
Once an insurer makes an offer or settlement based on the adjuster’s assessment, you should be absolutely sure that it reflects expenses and pain and suffering you endured.
You should never accept an offer or settlement that does not accurately reflect the damages you suffered. Do not accept any offer that seems unfair or provides an inadequate amount of compensation for your injury or condition.
You should always complete the treatment your physician has prescribed before accepting an offer in order to gain an accurate understanding of the compensation an insurer owes you. If an insurer offers an amount lower than the cost for your treatment, you should immediately contact a personal injury lawyer.
At Henness & Haight, we are qualified and determined to defend our clients’ rights against insurance companies to help them obtain fair compensation for their claims.
If you feel that an insurance company has made you an unfair offer, you should immediately contact our experienced personal injury lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will review your claim to determine if you are entitled to damages or legal action.
We will handle all negotiations and communications with an insurance company on your behalf while working on a contingency fee basis. This means we will not charge you any upfront fees and only require payment if we reach a fair outcome for your claim.