Before insurance companies agree to pay car accident claims, they rely on adjusters to investigate accidents and determine whether they believe the company should be liable. Insurance adjusters often come across as friendly and sincere, but it’s essential to remember these individuals act on behalf of insurance companies and not in your best interest.
Anything you say to an insurance adjuster can significantly impact the way they perceive your case. That could end up costing you money if you’re not careful. Since you will likely need to speak to an insurance adjuster at some point after your accident, Truitt Law Offices has provided the following guide to help you understand what you should and should not say to them.
If you were involved in an Indiana traffic collision and are dealing with an insurance adjuster, Truitt Law Offices can help. We can handle communications with the insurance company on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options in a free initial consultation.
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What Should I Tell the Insurance Adjuster After an Indiana Accident?
Anytime you speak to an insurance adjuster, keep in mind that they are constantly looking for ways to save their employer money by minimizing your claim. Generally speaking, it’s best to simply have all communication with the insurance company go through your lawyer.
However, if you don’t have legal representation yet, you can provide the adjuster with basic facts and details, such as:
- Your full name
- Your address and contact information
- The time, date, and location of the accident
- The other driver’s information
- Identifying information about any vehicles involved
- Contact details for any eyewitnesses
You should avoid sharing the following types of information or statements:
- Do not provide personal information such as your employment or financial status.
- Do not provide unverified information or guesses about what happened.
- Do not apologize or admit fault for any aspect of the crash.
- Do not indicate that you feel okay or discuss your injuries or overall health.
- Do not provide any written or recorded statements.
What Do Indiana Insurance Adjusters Look For?
When insurance adjusters investigate accidents, their main goal is to determine whether the insurance company is responsible for paying money to settle a claim and, if so, how much. If an adjuster finds that the insurance company is liable, they will begin looking for possible reasons to reduce the amount of money the insurer owes.
First, adjusters will look into the accident to determine its cause and whether the claim is fraudulent. Adjusters often perform physical inspections of the vehicles involved. They may also look over accident reports, witness statements, and other types of physical evidence.
Next, the adjuster may try to investigate your medical history. They may even ask you to sign a release to grant them access to all of your medical records to determine whether you have any prior injuries or pre-existing conditions that they can use to justify reducing your claim. For this reason, it’s important to never sign a release before talking to an attorney.
The insurance adjuster may also attempt to speak with you. They may behave like a good-natured customer service representative to put you at ease and nudge you into making casual statements that could damage your case. Their priority is to find any excuse to save the insurance company money by paying you little to nothing.
How Do Indiana Claim Adjusters Determine Fault and Compensation?
Claim adjusters determine who they believe was at fault in an Indiana car accident by evaluating various evidence related to the case. They may also review the text of local laws and court cases to determine whether any of the parties involved committed any legal violations.
Once an adjuster assigns fault in an accident case, they will look into multiple factors to determine how much money the company owes. In most cases, the value of an initial settlement offer from a claim adjuster is substantially lower than the total value of the case. Adjusters make these lowball offers in the hopes that accident victims will accept them out of desperation and save the company money.
If you receive a settlement offer early in your case, don’t accept it without first consulting with a knowledgeable attorney. Once you take a settlement offer, you can’t go back and demand more money later, even if you discover new injuries or symptoms related to the accident. A lawyer can help you calculate the full extent of all your losses in the car accident and demand the compensation you deserve.
Do Indiana Adjusters Have the Final Say in My Case?
While insurance adjusters have the authority to settle a claim from the insurer’s perspective, they do not have the final say in your overall case. That responsibility ultimately lies with the courts.
Insurance companies often authorize adjusters to make settlement offers over the phone. If you accept an offer, the adjuster can finalize your case. However, adjusters are typically not allowed to make offers that exceed specific dollar amounts.
Adjusters are trained not to reveal the upper limits of their ability to make settlements unless they want to make offers worth more than they can authorize. If this occurs, the adjuster must typically request approval from a claims supervisor or manager.
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How Can an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Help You After an Accident?
At Truitt Law Offices, we know how intimidating it can be to handle an insurance claim on your own. But, you don’t need to do that. When you work with us, we can communicate with the adjuster on your behalf and manage the most challenging aspects of your claim while you focus on your recovery.
Contact us today to start your free, no-risk case review for more information about how we can help.