After a car accident in which you were not at fault, the insurance adjuster stands between you and your compensation for the damages you suffered. An experienced adjuster has most likely dealt with dozens, if not hundreds, of car accident cases. He or she knows the finer points of negotiating. Unless you are skilled at negotiating, it is possible that you could be bested. To help you avoid this, here are some tips for dealing with the insurance adjuster.
Remember the Adjuster Is Not Your Friend
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that the insurance adjuster is your friend. It is not uncommon for adjusters to be overly friendly during negotiations. Adjusters know that some people are uncomfortable with haggling over the settlement amount with friendly and helpful people.
It is important to remember that the adjuster is doing his or her job. Insurance companies want to make a profit, and paying large settlements is not the way to do it. As a result, part of an adjuster's job is to negotiate for the best settlement possible for the insurance company. Giving you a large settlement is not going to accomplish that goal.
Avoid Giving Too Much Information
Immediately after the accident, the insurance adjuster might contact you to learn the details of the accident. It is important that you limit the details that you give him or her.
Any statements that you give the adjuster can be used to deny your claim or reduce your settlement amount. If you are contacted by the insurance adjuster, stick to the basics. The basics include verifying the cars that were involved, the drivers, and the date and time. Inform the adjuster that you need time to assess the accident and that you will provide a written statement at a later time.
Do Not Sign a Medical Records Release
The insurance adjuster might try to pressure you to sign a medical records release form. The form would give the insurance company permission to view your medical records. Although the insurance company does have the right to see proof of your injuries, you should never give them complete access to your records.
Unless the release form limits the insurance company's access to certain records, the adjuster could request additional records. The adjuster could access records from five years ago to look for any past accidents in which you were involved. He or she could blame your injuries on that accident, and you could struggle to prove otherwise.
Work with an experienced personal injury attorney at a law office such as Erickson Law Office to learn other tips for handling an insurance adjuster.