I am routinely advised by individuals who were recently involved in a car accident that the at-fault’s insurance adjuster contacted them to discuss their claim and what obligation do they have to speak with them?
You as an injured party have absolutely NO obligation to speak with the at-fault’s insurance adjuster.
You are only obligated to speak with your insurance adjuster as your insurance company can potentially deny benefits if you don’t cooperate. Ideally, however, you should speak with your insurance adjuster only after consulting with a personal injury attorney as the process can be complicated.
The at-fault insurance adjuster is not on your side!
The at-fault insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and not for you.
Despite their “we’re here to help” attitude, their goal is to try to settle claims as quickly and inexpensively as possible and/or find ways to deny your claim (liability, pre-existing injury, etc.). The at-fault insurance adjuster will seek to record your statement so it can be used against you in the event your case proceeds to trial.
Although it goes without saying, never sign anything presented to you by the at-fault insurance adjuster – especially a “medical release” or, worse, a “settlement release” without consulting with a personal injury attorney.
In the event your vehicle is damaged and you wish to file a claim through the at-fault’s insurance, and not your own insurance, you will need to speak with the at-fault’s (property damage) adjuster.
Please be advised, that you ONLY need to put the at-fault’s insurance company on notice that you are seeking to file a claim against them for property damage. You are only required to advise them of basic details on how the accident occurred.
Do NOT talk about your injuries, period – it is not relevant to file a claim for property damage. Discussing your injuries and treatment with the at-fault insurance company serves no legitimate purpose except to potentially damage your claim.
Do NOT discuss your prior medical treatment, prior car accidents or prior anything!
Watch your words carefully – do NOT admit fault, even in jest.
If you have any questions about this process or if you wish to know the benefits of going through your own insurance company to repair your vehicle – as opposed to the at-fault’s insurance company consult with a personal injury attorney.
Bottom line, if you are contacted by the at-fault insurance adjuster after an auto accident, politely decline to answer their questions and consult with a personal injury attorney. Our car accident attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin offer a FREE consultation.
Our office is conveniently located in Plantation, Florida. We are happy to explain how our services can increase the value of your case to more than offset our fee.