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What Not To Say to an Insurance Adjuster

Published on Mar 26, 2024 at 2:44 pm in Car Accidents.

About 95% of personal injury cases are settled out of court. One of the first steps in this process is talking to an insurance adjuster. These individuals will investigate the incident and reach a conclusion based on the evidence, including what you say to them.

When filing insurance claims, effective communication with the insurance adjuster can be the key to a successful claim. However, certain phrases can hinder the claims process and lead to delays or even denials.

You need to be mindful of what you say during your interactions with the adjuster to avoid making statements that could negatively impact your claim. Let’s take a closer look at some phrases you should avoid saying, along with examples of why they can be problematic.

Don’t Speculate About the Accident

Never make any assumptions about the incident. You never want to give your opinion about what could have led to the accident. Remember, it is up to the insurance adjuster to take all the information to reach a conclusion.

You always want to stick to the facts. Along with that, make sure to avoid guessing about the other party’s actions. For example, if you slip and fall at a grocery store, don’t speculate about the cause of the incident. So, avoid saying something like, “Maybe they didn’t clean the spill.” Instead, state the facts like “I slipped on a wet floor near the produce section.” This way, you can avoid making incorrect assumptions.

Avoid Discussing Fault

Feeling defensive and denying any fault is normal when involved in a car accident. However, denying fault outright can hinder the claims process, leading to potential complications.

You always want to provide an accurate and factual account of what happened. Avoid making a “It wasn’t my fault” declaration. Instead, you will want to provide a detailed description of the event. If you were involved in a car accident, say, “I was driving straight in my lane when the other vehicle suddenly changed lanes and collided with my car.”

The insurance adjuster can use facts to determine who is at fault. In turn, that makes the claims process smoother. Whenever you talk to an insurance adjuster, provide an accurate and honest account of what happened in the event of an accident.

Don’t Get Too Personal

When you report an incident, you always want to give the adjuster relevant information without oversharing personal details. Sometimes, it is fine to provide context, but this is not the time. Oversharing personal information can be detrimental to your safety and privacy.

For instance, if you report a personal injury claim, avoid providing unnecessary details like, “I was jogging in the park, and I usually take this route every evening.” A better statement would be, “While jogging in the park, I tripped on a broken sidewalk near the playground. I fell and injured my ankle.” In these scenarios, you’re not providing any personal information that could be used against you.

Never Downplay Your Injuries

When filing a claim for an injury or damages, you will want to avoid talking about your injuries too much. Once again, you will want to avoid any assumptions or giving too many details about your medical treatment. Sometimes, you may inadvertently minimize the injuries, which can negatively affect your claim. Remember that insurance adjusters will make a decision based on your statements and other evidence. They may not fully understand the extent of the harm you’ve suffered and may not offer you the compensation you deserve if you say something such as, “It’s just a bruise.”

You may want to state that you have “a bruised hip and are currently receiving treatment for it.” If you provide too many details, that can also not be in your favor. Sometimes, the adjuster may claim that the injuries were not as severe, only requiring minimal treatment. While you don’t want to go into full details of your treatment, downplaying your injuries can also lead to an adverse result in your case.

Don’t Accept the Initial Offer

When negotiating with an adjuster, keep in mind that their initial offer may not be the best option for you. In fact, many times, it will be a less-than-fair one. Insurance companies are ready to settle your claim and move on. They are not interested in giving you an offer that is in your best interests.

Before you accept the offer, assess the damage and repair costs. By doing so, you can determine a fair amount that reflects the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs. For instance, if the adjuster offers $5,000 for property damage, you can negotiate by saying, “Considering the repair estimates, I believe $6,500 is a fair amount.” With this approach, you can advocate for yourself and ensure that you receive a fair settlement offer.

Never Make Statements Without Consulting with Your Attorney

One of the biggest mistakes people make is providing a recorded statement without seeking legal advice. Recorded statements can be used against you in court or other legal proceedings.

Sometimes, insurance adjusters and other parties involved in the incident may use them to minimize their liability or shift blame onto you. For that reason, you will want to consult with legal counsel before providing any official statements.

If an insurance adjuster requests a recorded statement, you can politely say, “I’d like to consult my attorney before recording any statements.” With that, you can protect your legal rights and ensure that you don’t unintentionally say something that could be used against you in the future.

When dealing with a personal injury claim in West Virginia, you will want to have the assistance of an experienced lawyer to help with your case. By setting up a consultation with DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, you can make sure that you don’t say anything that can jeopardize your insurance claim.