After a car accident, you can expect that an insurance adjuster will contact you with questions about the crash. Sometimes, the adjuster will call you within 24 to 48 hours following the accident.
This conversation can be difficult to handle—especially if you are injured or dealing with issues like taking time off work or securing alternate transportation while your car is being repaired. Emotions and anxiety can also run high this soon after a traumatic event. If you don’t know what questions an insurance adjuster will ask, it can be even more difficult to come up with the right answers under pressure.
So what questions can you expect an insurance adjuster to ask? The car accident attorneys from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC want to help prepare you for this conversation. This way, you’ll know what to say—and what not to say. This conversation can have a huge impact on the amount of compensation you can receive for your car accident losses.
Why Is an Insurance Adjuster Calling Me After a Car Accident?
Before you answer any questions after a car accident, keep in mind the reason the insurance company is calling you. Remember, the role of an insurance adjuster is to gather information that will be used to process your claim. An insurance adjuster needs to determine firstly that the accident actually happened. Then, they need to settle the claim a) as quickly as possible, and b) for the lowest amount possible. This is the job of the insurance adjuster, and the reason they are calling you after your car accident.
No matter what your losses actually are, the insurance company always aims for a lower payout to the policyholder. The lower the value of your claim, the more money the insurance company saves. Insurance adjusters are instructed to look for details that can lower the value of a claim. That means that everything you say in a conversation with an insurance adjuster will be scrutinized and could be used against your claim.
Let’s look at the questions you can expect an insurance adjuster to ask you after a vehicle collision.
Questions About Personal Information
Most insurance adjusters start the post-accident phone conversation by asking you the basics about yourself. You can expect to answer questions about your name, phone number, and address. At this point, it’s a good idea for you to take down the name of the insurance adjuster as well. This information could be helpful for you and your car accident lawyer later.
It’s possible that an insurance adjuster will ask you about your occupation. It’s fine to provide the name of your employer and job title. But don’t share too much information about your salary, work schedule, or the nature of your work. This is irrelevant to your car accident situation, and it could give the insurance adjuster reason or justification to lower the amount of compensation they give you.
Questions About the Car Accident
The majority of questions you can expect to receive will be directly about the accident. You can anticipate questions such as:
- Where did the accident occur?
- When did the accident happen?
- How many vehicles were involved?
- How did the accident happen?
- Was there a police report made?
- Were there any injuries?
- Was your vehicle damaged?
- Was anyone else in the vehicle?
- Where were you going at the time of the collision?
When it comes to talking to insurance adjusters, one of the most important pieces of advice to remember is this: Never discuss fault. At the time of the conversation, most people don’t have enough information to accurately assess liability.
Even if you think you may have been partially or fully responsible, do not tell the insurance adjuster you are at fault. It’s also not good to blame the other driver or make any assumptions about the cause of the accident. Only tell the basic facts. At any point, it’s okay to say you don’t know the answer to a question. Tell the adjuster you want to speak to your car accident lawyer before answering any more questions.
Questions About Your Injuries
If an insurance adjuster tries to ask about your injuries in the day or days after an accident, do not give them any details. Don’t let an insurance adjuster trick or pressure you into giving an answer. Your condition is still developing, and you don’t have adequate knowledge about the many ways your condition may progress in the upcoming days, weeks, and even months.
An adjuster may ask seemingly innocent questions like:
- How are you doing?
- Are you doing okay?
- How have you been feeling since the accident?
- Have you been having much pain?
Many people’s natural reaction is to answer with something like: “I’m fine, thanks for asking.” However, this harmless word “fine” may be used against you to undervalue your claim. An insurance adjuster can easily twist a courteous answer to make it seem as though you aren’t seriously injured. Later, when your medical bills begin to pile up, the insurance company can point to your initial answer as an indication that you didn’t really need compensation for medical expenses.
An insurance company may try to ask for your medical records. Speak to your car accident attorney before giving access to your medical history. One tactic an insurance adjuster might use is to search your medical history for a preexisting condition that could indicate your injury wasn’t caused by the crash. Your car accident lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC will make sure that doesn’t happen. We can help you provide sufficient evidence that your injury and the entirety of your medical expenses were a direct result of the car accident.
Protect Your Rights After a Vehicle Collision
There are many other questions an insurance adjuster may try to ask after a crash. Some of them are tricky, aggressive, or dishonest. If anything that happens during the phone call makes you uncomfortable, stop the conversation immediately. Never agree to a settlement amount offered in the first conversation. Don’t agree to have your conversation recorded until you’ve had time to speak with your lawyer and consider your answers. While it may seem that simply telling the truth will protect you after a car accident, things don’t always work out so simply.
The car accident attorneys at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC know the tricks insurance companies use to undervalue or deny claims. We have a long history of successfully dealing with insurance adjusters on our clients’ behalf. If you have been involved in a car accident, let us advocate for you. We can work to make sure you are fairly compensated to the full extent of your losses. Call or fill out our no-obligation contact form online for more information.