How to Speak with Insurance Adjusters After a Car Accident
The car accident lawyers at Foster Wallace know that when you have been in a car accident, sometimes it can be as stressful dealing with the insurance adjusters as it was being in the accident, especially if this is the first time you have been in an accident or have had to deal with insurance adjusters.
This part of the process can be frustrating. Here is how the process can go:
- If you have been injured, you probably just want to recover so you can get back to work and pay your medical bills.
- But you can’t get to work if you don’t get your car fixed.
- You can’t get your car fixed if you don’t talk to the insurance adjuster.
- You can’t talk to the insurance adjuster because they won’t return your calls.
- They won’t return your calls because they don’t have all the documentation they need to assess your claim.
- They don’t have all the documentation they need because you don’t know what documents they require to process your claim.
- And so on, and so on.
If you don’t know what to expect when dealing with insurance adjusters, it is easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated until eventually you agree to an unfair settlement just to get the process over with.
At Foster Wallace, we understand. And we want you to know that it does not have to be like this. We want to help you with every aspect of your claim, from helping you to know what to do at an accident scene to recovering compensation that will help you recover from your injuries and go back to work.
If you have been in an accident and have not been able to speak with us yet, here are seven things you need to know before you speak to the insurance adjuster.
The car accident lawyers at Foster Wallace will do this for you
Our job is to help you to recover maximum compensation for your claim for property damage and personal injuries. A critical part of doing that is dealing with the insurance adjuster. We are trained and experienced at doing this successfully.
- You do not have to be stressed
- You do not have to feel pressured
- You do not have to worry if you are negotiating a fair settlement.
- You do not have to deal with the insurance adjuster at all.
- We at Foster Wallace will handle this critical aspect of your case for you. This is what we are trained to do.
The insurance adjuster does not represent you
Most likely the insurance adjuster you are dealing with is from the insurance company of the person who caused your accident. They are not representing your best interest. They are representing the other party and the insurance company that will have to write you a check for your damages. They are trained to get you to agree to the lowest possible settlement. That is their job. They do their job well and they are rewarded for it. In fact, they are rewarded with the money they save by getting you to agree to less than a fair settlement.
- You need someone to represent your best interest.
- You need someone who knows the insurance industry and how insurance adjusters operate.
- You need someone with experience at knowing what certain damages are worth.
- You need someone who understands what kind of settlement is fair for the injuries you sustained.
- You need someone who will not be bullied or become frustrated.
- You need someone who will work hard to negotiate a fair settlement but who is not afraid to fight back when insurance companies do not act in good faith.
- You need an experienced car accident lawyer.
You should never agree to give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster
Under no circumstances should you give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster. No good will come from this. The adjuster is not recording your statement to help you receive a higher settlement. Even though your statement is the absolute truth, it will only be used against you to undermine your case.
The easiest way to avoid making any kind of statement to an insurance adjuster is to tell them that the car accident lawyers at Foster Wallace are representing you in this matter and that they need to deal with Foster Wallace. As of that point, they have no business with you unless we are with you.
If you do deal with an insurance adjuster before speaking with us, be calm, kind, and patient
We want you to receive a settlement that is fair. Any advice we offer you will be based on what we know to be effective in achieving that goal. If you have to deal with insurance adjusters without us, we encourage you to be calm, kind, and patient.
Insurance adjusters are well trained to save money for the insurance company, but they are just like you and us—they want to do their job, pay their bills, and enjoy their families at the end of a long day. They are not going to be anxious to invest time responding to claimants who are angry, unreasonable, and impatient. After all, the insurance adjuster is the person who is going to hand you a check. You will want to be civil with that person.
We are not suggesting that the adjuster will increase your settlement just because you are calm and kind, but we encourage you not to give the adjuster a reason to avoid working your case and reaching a fair settlement in good faith. That is the goal. Being calm, kind, and patient can be effective in achieving that goal. If the adjuster is not responsive or not acting in good faith and more aggressive measures are needed, we at Foster Wallace are experienced with knowing how to be assertive with insurance companies and still be effective at obtaining maximum compensation.
Don’t be too patient
Do you know how much compensation you will receive for your injuries if your file sits on the insurance adjuster’s desk?—None.
We encourage you to be patient in the sense that you should not be over-anxious to agree to the first settlement offer that the insurance adjuster proposes. The adjuster expects that you will counter-offer with a higher proposal, much like a car dealer selling cars. But if the adjuster is dragging their feet, not returning your calls, or not offering a reasonable settlement, do not be afraid to set a deadline by when you expect to receive a better offer, have phone contact, speak with a supervisor, or whatever you feel you have been delayed in receiving. Do not be afraid to be assertive.
When you speak with the insurance adjuster, be organized and prepared
The best evidence in support of your claim is documentation. When you deal with the adjuster, you must be organized with all of your documentation, including:
- Medical bills
- Doctor’s reports
- Health insurance claims
You must also be prepared to submit copies of these documents to the adjuster. The more you document and submit, the more evidence there is of what you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
Ask to speak with the supervisor
If you are not receiving the answers you need or the attention you deserve, do not be afraid to ask to speak to the adjuster’s supervisor. Most decisions the adjuster is authorized to make are approved by a supervisor. This is not necessarily the solution to settling your case—the supervisor may respond with the exact same answer as the adjuster. But you are now on their radar as one who is not going to be content to sit idle and wait. Setting reasonable deadlines for the process will also warrant attention. There is an advantage to being assertive.