After a Car Accident
How to Deal with Insurance Adjusters
This is the most comprehensive guide on how to deal with insurance adjusters after a car accident in 2019.
Adjusters from insurance companies will do anything they can to save the insurance company money – including delaying and denying your claim.
In short: before you start talking to insurance adjusters, you NEED to read this guide.
Let’s dive right in.
Quick Summary of How to Deal with Insurance Adjusters:
- Find Out which Insurance Company the Adjuster Represents.
- If they are from your own Insurance Company, you have a Duty to Cooperate with them.
- If they Represent the other Party's Insurance Company, be Careful -
- Do Not Speak to other Adjuster Directly. Have a Friend or Lawyer Speak to them.
- Do Not give the Other Side a Recorded Statement.
- Do Not Sign any Documents from the Other Insurance Adjuster.
- Do Not Settle Your Claim too Quickly.
- Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights.
How to Deal with Insurance Adjusters from Your Own Insurance Company
Under your insurance policy, you as the insured have a duty to cooperate with your insurance company.
Cooperation means: participating in the investigation of the claim.
Here’s the Deal: You Need to Know which Company the Adjuster Represents
When your phone rings and it is an insurance adjuster calling to talk to you about your claim, find out which insurance company is calling you.
It is extremely important to know which insurance company the adjuster works for when speaking with them and how to deal with insurance adjusters after a car accident to protect your rights.
This is because insurance adjusters interests’ align with the insurance company they represent and the insured.
Sometimes it is your own insurance company, and more often, it is the adjuster who works for the company that only cares about their insured, not you.
What Happens if I Don’t Cooperate with my Own Insurance Company?
In some cases, your insurance adjuster will request a recorded statement from you about what happened.
You must give your insurance company a recorded statement or they can deny paying your claim.
HOWEVER, I strongly advise you only give a recorded statement with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights.
After the recorded statement, your insurance adjuster uses the information to determine who was at fault.
How to Deal with Insurance Adjusters from the Other Party's Insurance Company
If you speak with an insurance adjuster, it’s not just an unimportant, friendly chat.
The insurance adjuster’s job is to save the company money.
Beware of Recorded Statements
If you were not at fault for an accident, the other party’s insurance adjuster will request a recorded statement.
But, in this case, you are not required to give a recorded statement at all.
It is purely voluntary.
Choosing to give one to the other party’s insurance company will never benefit you!
Giving a Recorded Statement to the Other Side Will Never Help You!
You do not, under any circumstances, have to give the other party’s insurance company a recorded statement.
As an experienced personal injury lawyer, I tell my clients to avoid recorded statements to the other party’s insurance.
They can use and misconstrue anything you say in their favor.
What if they Force Me to Tell them My Version of the Accident?
If you absolutely have to give your version of what happened to pay your property damage, tell them you will.
But also say they are NOT allowed to record the statement.
Then, if the adjuster wants to use something you said, they have to testify instead of a playing a recording.
Remember, the insurance company assumes most people don’t know how to deal with insurance adjusters after a car accident.
They can easily take advantage of people during a claim.
Beware of Signing Documents
The other party’s insurance adjuster will ask you to sign a medical authorization to order all your medical records.
As an experienced personal injury lawyer, I strongly recommend you forward your own medical records and bills to the insurance adjuster.
Some of the medical authorizations the insurance adjuster want you to sign give them the power to retrieve more information about you than what they need.
And they don’t have to tell you what records they got with your release.
Dangers of Signing a Medical Release Form
Sometimes they will use the release to talk to your doctors without you even knowing about it.
Or they may go way back in time and obtain records that have nothing to do at all with your injury claim.
Also, the medical release won’t have an expiration date, so they might keep using your release to obtain records even after you have hired a lawyer.
Another major problem is insurance adjusters are usually not lawyers.
Beware of Settling Your Case Too Quickly
Insurance adjusters may attempt to settle your bodily injury case before your medical treatment starts.
An insurance adjuster could show up at the scene of the accident, or show up at your house within 24 hours of a claim trying to settle your case.
They usually try to offer a nominal amount for your “inconvenience.” An offer may be $500.00.
Why Would they Offer Money so Quickly?
Well, they probably know the value of your injury claim a lot better than you do.
And if they can get you to settle before you go to the doctor, then they will have taken advantage of you.
Once you take the settlement money and sign a release, you are probably never going to bring a claim if your injuries or damages and losses turn out to be more than you anticipated.
How Much Time Do I Have to Settle My Case?
There are time limits to all types of cases.
In Florida a car accident time limit is 4 years from the date of the accident, and if you have an uninsured motorist claim it is 5 years.
However, if a wrongful death is involved, then the time limit is only 2 years.
And yes, there is a 14 day time limit to go to a doctor if you want to use your PIP no fault insurance.
The key to time is this, ask an experienced lawyer about how much time you have because there are exceptions to this simple explanation.
For more information on personal injury statutes of limitation in Florida, click here to read a simple explanation.
Why You Should Contact a Qualified Injury Attorney Quickly
You may think you can handle your case by yourself.
You might be able to.
However, more often than not, you need a personal injury lawyer’s help.
When you hire a personal injury attorney on a contingency fee basis – which means you only pay the attorney if they recover money for you…
it does not cost you a penny more to hire them right away.
And by calling an attorney quickly, you get help sooner.
The attorney can start taking steps to collect and save important evidence.
The lawyer will guide you through the whole process, answer your questions and help move your case forward while avoiding costly mistakes.
How Do I Find the Best Lawyer for My Type of Case?
If you have any questions or doubts in your mind, contact an experienced accident attorney for guidance.
Find a lawyer who focuses their practice on helping injured people.
Find a lawyer with prior insurance company defense experience, but who now only represents people – NOT insurance companies.
Board Certified Lawyers are the Best and Don’t Cost Extra!
Look for a lawyer who is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as a Civil Trial Lawyer because this is a distinction that must be earned and not purchased.
For more information on how to choose a personal injury lawyer, click here to read my how-to guide.
Will the Insurance Company Settle with me Now and Pay my Future Medical Bills?
No, the insurance company wants to buy their peace from you.
They want to get a FULL Release of all claims from you so they can close their file and go on to the next claim.
In a personal injury situation, they are not going to agree to keep your claim open for the rest of your life.
Therefore, once you settle your case, it is forever.
Don’t make a mistake and settle for too little.
What has your experience with car insurance adjusters been like?
I hope this article makes you feel more comfortable with how to deal with insurance adjusters after a car accident.
In the comments below, let me know about your experience with car insurance adjusters.
If you would like to speak with a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, call me, Matt Powell.
I would be glad to help you with any questions you may have about how to deal with insurance adjusters after an accident.
Please call my office at 813-222-2222.