Once you have told the relevant parties that you intend to file a claim you will hear from at least one insurance company. It can be quite nerve-wracking talking to an insurance adjuster for the first time, but knowing what to say and how to behave could affect your insurance claim. It would also be helpful if you knew what not to say as saying the wrong thing could negatively affect your claim.
Identifying who the Insurance Adjuster is
Before you talk about your accident and injuries you need to identify who the insurance adjuster is, the name of the company they work for, who they represent, and their telephone number. All of this information should be recorded and kept in a safe place should you need to speak to the adjuster at a later date.
You may be feeling quite upset and even angry about your injuries, but you need to be polite and calm when you’re talking to an insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters may be used to talking with upset claimants, but if you sound angry or are abusive, you may not get the help you’re looking for. Be calm, be polite, and understand that the adjuster is only doing their job. If you’re calm and friendly the adjuster may even think about handling your claim quickly. Being angry and abusive will not help your claim in the slightest. Be polite and calm, and you’re more likely to be believed.
Give a Small Amount of Personal Information
While you may be tempted to talk about your income, your family, your job etc. for the time being you only need to give your name, address, and telephone number. You may need to discuss your job and income at a later date but for now, just give a small amount of personal information.
Do Not Talk about your Accident in Great Detail
You should refrain from giving the details of your accident to an insurance adjuster who is representing another persons’ insurance company. If you are speaking with an insurance adjuster that represents your insurance company you will need to give them all of the information about your accident.
If an insurance adjuster asks you to sign a document please make sure you read it thoroughly. If you are unsure about the content please speak to your lawyer as soon as you can.
Insurance adjusters may ask you to make a statement about the accident, or they may ask you about what happened. You need to refuse to speak about the accident in any great detail at this stage, but you can talk about:
- When the accident occurred
- Where it occurred
- What type of accident it was
- If there were any vehicles involved
If you are pushed to give a statement about the accident simply state that your investigation is still continuing and you’ll discuss the details at an appropriate time. When you make a written claim for compensation then you can describe exactly what happened.
During your conversation with the adjuster, you may be asked if there were any witnesses to your accident. State that there may be some witnesses and you’ll discuss the details at an appropriate time. Do not agree to identify any witnesses or to provide the adjuster with witness statements. If the adjuster asks if you know about any witnesses, ask him or her if they know of any.
During your conversation, you may be asked about responsible parties and their insurance. Give the adjuster the name and address of the responsible parties (If applicable), and lightly mention how they were involved in the accident. Do not go into a lot of detail at this time, but ask the adjuster if they are aware of any responsible parties.
Although the insurance adjuster may want to know about your injuries, you should refrain from giving too much information at this stage. At a later date, you may discover that you have even more injuries that you are not currently aware of, or your injuries may be worse than you realized. There is also a chance that you may forget to mention a few details which could affect your claim.
When you know the extent of your injuries, and the treatment that you need you can include the details in a letter. This letter will give a thorough description of your injuries and your treatment. For now, simply tell the adjuster that you injured your ankle, or you have back pain. It would also be wise for you to mention that you do not yet know the extent of your injuries. You should also mention that you will continue to receive medical treatment. If you have not yet sought medical help, please tell the adjuster that you will be looking for medical help.
Do not mention which doctors you are seeing, and do not give the names and addresses of the doctors or any other medical professionals that you are seeing. You can give them the information at a later date.
Talking to an insurance adjuster for the first time can be quite nerve-wracking but knowing what to say and how to behave could affect your insurance claim. Make a note of all the details you need to give the insurance adjuster so you have it on hand before you speak to them. Be polite, stay calm, and do not go into a lot of detail about the witnesses, responsible parties, your injuries, or your treatment. Speaking to an insurance adjuster will get easier over time, and if you’re calm and friendly each time they may even be prepared to settle your claim sooner.
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