Do I Need a Lawyer Before Talking to the Insurance Adjuster?
Speak with an Injury Attorney Before Talking with an Insurance Adjuster
Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers have found that insurance adjusters have one primary goal — minimizing the amount of an accident victim’s financial recovery. No matter how friendly this person may seem on the phone, they are not on your side in this situation. Call Riddle & Brantley today at 1-800-525-7111 for a free consultation so you can learn more about communicating with insurance adjusters. We believe that Justice Counts!
Tips for Communicating with an Insurance Adjuster
It’s always a good idea to hire an attorney prior to talking to an insurance adjuster, as this can help protect your legal rights and maximize the amount of your financial compensation. However, if you decide to speak with an adjuster before hiring a lawyer, we have some recommendations:
- Send the adjuster all documentation related to your car accident, from accident reports filed by the police, to medical bills, to pictures of your injuries and property damage, to records of time missed from work due to your injuries, and more.
- Insist that all communication with the insurance adjuster occur in writing or a recorded statement to the insurance company. This way, you have more time to think through the possible ramifications of your answers. In addition, you will have a complete and accurate record of what you have said and what the adjuster has said. We always advise that accident victims since with an attorney before giving any statement(s) to the insurance company.
- If you speak with the adjuster, you should expect that each conversation will be recorded and that every word you say may be framed to negatively impact the value of your claim. For example, you may say that you are sorry and mean that you are sorry that it happened. However, the insurance adjuster may try to spin it as an admission of fault. Be careful.
- Be fully honest with the adjuster. In general, the more serious your injuries are, the more money your claim may be worth. This means the insurance adjuster will expend more time and resources to discover as much relevant information as possible. If you are caught in a lie, that undermines your credibility and could limit your financial compensation.
- Set deadlines for responses or compliance. Adjusters do not work on your schedule and often have an incentive to delay as long as possible. By politely and professionally requesting a response by a specific date and then following up via email on that date, you can help ensure that your case continues to move along.
Beware of These Insurance Company Strategies When Filing an Injury Claim
Additionally, there are other strategies that insurance adjusters commonly employ in these cases, and you need to watch out for them:
- Insurance adjusters may discount your medical costs. They may provide an estimate, but this will very likely amount to much less than what your bills actually are.
- They may offer you a lowball settlement amount in the hopes that you will accept it before speaking with an experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer. You may have medical bills piling up, be unable to work or generate any income, and you may not be able to function. Any amount of money you can get immediately may seem appealing, and insurance adjusters love to capitalize on that. Do not make this mistake. Talk with an injury attorney before accepting any settlement.
- If you tell the adjuster that you were injured, they may say that you have a right to see a doctor, but it is probably not serious. They may also recommend that you wait a few days to see if the pain subsides before seeking medical attention. The longer you wait, the more opportunity you give the defendant to poke holes in your case by calling into question the severity of your injuries. Do not fall for this trick.
$1.25 Million Truck Crash Settlement
One client of ours, a 75-year-old woman, suffered serious ankle, sternum, and hip injuries in a truck accident. Her medical bills totaled approximately $88,000. However, her doctors determined that she had suffered permanent impairment of her right leg. Our attorneys at Riddle & Brantley negotiated a settlement of $1.25 million on her behalf (see disclaimer below).
Free Consultations are Available
You do not have to do this alone. At Riddle & Brantley, we are here to fight for justice on your behalf. With more than 220+ years of combined experience, our attorneys would love to help you however we can.
If you have been injured in an accident in North Carolina, call Riddle & Brantley today at 1-800-525-7111 for a zero-cost consultation. You will not pay any attorney fees unless you win your case.
“This settlement changed me and my family’s lives.”
– Linda B., Riddle & Brantley client
Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.