Ulysses S. Grant had Robert E. Lee, the Capulets had the Montagues, and car accident attorneys have insurance adjusters. Whereas a personal injury lawyer is there to help you gain maximum compensation after being in a crash, insurance adjusters are employed by insurance carriers to ensure you get as little as possible without breaking the law. This is not to say that insurance adjusters are villainous or misguided, but they certainly aren’t there to help you.
Responsibilities of an Insurance Adjuster
An insurance adjuster is assigned once a car accident claim has been filed. Some of an adjuster's main responsibilities include:
- Requesting a copy of a police report
- Collecting photos of the vehicle
- Requesting medical records
- Speaking with witnesses present at the accident
- Inspect vehicles for damage
Insurance Adjuster Secrets
Insurance adjusters try to gain the upper hand in your claim through a variety of means, most of which are kept secret. The first step in empowering yourself and turning their advantage into your own is knowing the secrets they’d rather keep from you.
Here are the top five car insurance adjuster secrets you should know to help strengthen your claim:
- Apologies translate to liability: If you accidentally knock over someone’s drink, you are probably going to apologize profusely. This common courtesy needs to be set aside, as unfortunate as that may be, after a car accident, for insurance adjusters like to listen for apologies and twist them into admissions of guilt. They might even ask you if you are sorry for what happened and use your answer to put more liability onto you.
- Silence is golden: An insurance adjuster knows the fastest way to get someone to admit guilt is to let them talk, or encourage them to do so. If you are told that you must give a recorded statement before you can gain compensation, you’ve been deceived. Don’t give any sort of official statement to an insurance company without consulting with your attorney first.
- No pleading the Fifth: In criminal court, someone cannot testify against themselves unwillingly. In civil court and car accident claims, the Fifth Amendment won’t protect them, and insurance adjusters know this. Any sort of statement you do give to them – see secret 2 above – will ultimately be construed in such a way that makes you look negligent or liable.
- Unwelcome second opinion: After you see a medical professional for your injuries, don’t be surprised to find an insurance adjuster butting in to review your records. You should also not be shocked if they claim that a certain procedure was unnecessary and therefore not covered in compensation. They don’t even need to be a doctor to refute your medical record, they just need to try to save their company money. Don’t accept any sort of second opinion and notify your attorney at once that you believe dishonest insurance tactics might be at play with your claim.
- Ready for negotiation: Don’t make the mistake of thinking an insurance adjuster is just a random person who needed a full-time job. Insurance companies invest millions in training their insurance adjusters to be professional negotiators that seek out the smallest exploits that turn the tables in their favor. Remember: they may seem helpful and are probably quite friendly, but they are not employed to protect your best interests.
If you want to confidently approach your case and avoid the pitfalls of a smooth-talking insurance adjuster, you need to stand with a highly-experienced personal injury attorney. At Accident Attorneys, you can team up with our Lancaster car accident lawyers by contacting us online or by filling out a FREE case evaluation form. We are willing to come meet up with you to discuss your claim, even if you are at home on the weekend or in a hospital bed in the middle of the night!