Car accidents happen without warning and can have a devastating impact on your life. When you are involved in any type of accident, your first priority is to ensure you are safe and address the nature of your injuries. Along with the immediate concern for personal health and safety comes the unexpected and overwhelming reality of dealing with insurance companies.
No matter what the scope of your injuries are or the circumstances surrounding the accident, insurance adjusters are savvy, accident investigators with one goal in mind — dispute and deny claims. Unfortunately, I have witnessed countless cases where insurance adjusters have contacted an accident victim while they are in the hospital in the initial hours following the accident. Adjusters can take advantage of vulnerable moments when an accident victim may be confused or angry and use their inadvertent statements as leverage to deny fault and liability. This is a sad, but very real reality for accident victims.
If you have been involved in any type of car accident, you have rights! Don’t assume you are required to speak with an insurance adjuster and that they will have your best interest in mind. Put your needs first and get accurate advice from a trusted Missouri City, Texas, personal injury attorney. At, K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law, I help accident victims and their families navigate insurance companies and pursue the compensation they deserve. Let me fight the legal battle while you focus on your recovery and wellness.
WHAT IS AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER?
An insurance adjuster is someone who investigates claims on behalf of an insurance company. When assigned a claim, the responsibility of the insurance adjuster is to determine liability and the amount of money owed to compensate for damages and loss.
To investigate and evaluate a claim, an insurance adjuster will:
- Speak with the injured person(s)
- Assess vehicle and/or property damage
- Gather evidence such as photos or video footage
- Contact witnesses for statements
- Read accident and police reports as well as any other important documents
Once the insurance adjuster has concluded their investigation, they will report their recommendation to the insurance company. Included in the report are the perceived cause of the accident, the extent of damages, and the injuries that resulted from the incident. Because this process is completely subjective, there is a considerable margin for error in determining the amount of compensation a person may be entitled to. Even if you think your case is a slam dunk, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can analyze your situation and give you affirmation or redirection regarding the claim.
REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS
When you are in any type of car accident, two insurance companies will contact you — yours and the other party’s. When dealing with your own insurance company, it is in your best interest to report the basic facts of the accident. This includes the date, time, place, location, and the names of the individuals involved. You should not share any information regarding the nature of your injuries or how and why the accident happened.
Remember, you should NEVER give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster without first consulting a personal injury attorney. Here are three reasons why:
- Your statement can be used to pin fault and negligence on you.
- Your statement can be used to reduce compensation.
- Insurance adjusters are expert negotiators and question askers. They will use this to their advantage to try and create inconsistencies in your statements.
If you have been contacted by an insurance adjuster and you hear the phrase, “This call will be recorded,” or are asked to provide a specific statement regarding the accident, these are red flags, and you should politely end the call and follow up with an attorney.
Should you choose to give a statement, you need to be careful that what you say is not misconstrued or used against you. Here are a few tips that will protect your rights and can still hold the negligent party responsible:
- Request the conversation not be recorded.
- Never admit fault.
- Keep it concise.
- Don’t attempt to answer any questions you don’t understand or know the answer to.
- Never volunteer additional information.
- Don’t agree to sign or put anything in writing.
HOW LEGAL COUNSEL CAN HELP
Hiring a personal injury attorney increases an individual’s chances of winning more settlement compensation. But even when you aren’t convinced you’ll win any settlement, even the most minor of car accidents can quickly become overwhelming when dealing with an insurance company. No matter what the nature of your injuries or the circumstances surrounding the accident it is always in your best interest to let a professional car accident attorney negotiate on your behalf. This will give you the peace of mind you deserve and the best chance for damage recovery.
At K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law, I serve accident victims and their families in Missouri City, Texas, as well as the surrounding communities of Sugar Land, Katy, Friendswood, Pearland, and Fresno.
Make the decision to start talking to the right person today. Call my firm now and get the advice you need.