How to deal with a bodily injury adjuster
As a auto accident attorney I am oftentimes asked, “I was injured in a auto accident – do I speak with the adjuster if they call me?”
It is important to understand that there are different types of adjusters. Most pertinent in a auto accident case is the property damage adjuster and the bodily injury adjuster.
What will happen with a property damage adjuster
After an auto accident, you (or your personal injury attorney as your representative) are required to report the claim. This puts the insurance carriers on notice of the accident and generates claim numbers.
Claim numbers will be used throughout the case and allow you to obtain benefits from your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
You only have to provide the adjusters with the most basic of facts:
- Where the accident occurred
- When the accident occurred
- The types of vehicles involved
- Any witnesses
- The at-fault’s driver’s insurance.
You do not have to give a statement on how the accident occurred or your theory of liability.
You do not have to discuss your injuries.
If the adjuster continues to ask you questions, politely advise that you (or your lawyer) will discuss the facts at the appropriate time.
Discussing anything but the most basic of facts can only hurt you when your personal injury attorney later demands compensation for your injuries.
You can choose to have your car fixed by the at-fault insurance company or your insurance company. If you choose to have your car fixed by your insurance company, your insurance company will seek to recover your deductible amount from the at-fault driver.
Remember: when speaking to the property damage adjuster you only have to provide the most basic of facts (see above). Your injuries have NO bearing on the property damage claim.
What you can learn about a bodily injury adjuster after an car crash
The bodily injury adjuster (who is different from the property damage adjuster) is employed by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
You should never speak to the bodily injury adjuster. Nothing good can come out of speaking with the bodily injury adjuster.
Only your personal injury lawyer should speak with the bodily injury adjuster.
The bodily injury adjuster will ask you to give a recorded statement about your theory of liability – do not do it.
The bodily injury adjuster will ask you to sign medical authorizations releasing records – do not do it.
Most importantly, the bodily injury adjuster may make you an offer to settle your case “before lawyers get involved” – do not do it.
This offer will be grossly inadequate and will only pay for your out-of-pocket medical bills – not your pain and suffering.
The bodily injury adjuster is trying to take advantage of your naivety about the process to get you release your claim (“enter a bad deal”).
If you have any additional assistance with an adjuster – Let us know!
The car accident attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin offer free consultations. It costs nothing to get some free advice on the process. At that point, you can make the determination whether is in your best interest to hire our firm. Our Plantation, Florida personal injury attorneys do not get paid unless we recover!