How To Deal With An Insurance AdjusterJacksonville Accident News
Statistics show that the average American driver is involved in three to four car accidents in their lives. Every year, an average of 6 million car accidents occur in the United States. The state of Florida is what is known as a no-fault state, which means individual drivers are required to file a claim through their insurance company regardless of who is at fault. Florida also requires drivers to carry personal injury protection along with their car insurance policy. Some insurance companies will require anyone involved in a car accident to report the accident within 30 days after the accident occurred.
Having to talk to a claims adjuster from the insurance company shortly after a car accident is inevitable and something that nobody looks forward to. These adjusters are looking to get you to settle for lower than a fair amount of compensation, so it’s critical to know what to say and what not to say when it comes to dealing with them. We at Sheftall Law have put together a little guide on how to handle contact with an insurance claim adjuster.
Be Calm And Courteous
It doesn’t matter how upset you are about the accident, the person on the other end of the conversation is only doing their job by contacting you on the insurance company’s behalf. Keep calm and be polite throughout the duration of the conversation. Starting things off on the right foot with the insurance claim adjuster can hopefully get you a fair settlement for your claim. The adjuster may try to get you to sign documents or give a statement right away. You are not legally obligated to do so if you don’t feel that you are ready.
Only Give Basic Information
The only kinds of information that you need to give the insurance claim adjustor are your name, address, and anything else that can be found in your accident report. You can also inform the adjuster that you are currently under a doctor’s care. The adjuster may ask about your employment, and you can give out the company name and phone number. However, we advise against giving the adjustor information such as who was at fault for the accident, your view of how the accident occurred, if you’ve taken time off work to recover, or the extent of your injuries.
If you choose to give a recorded statement, make sure that you are in the right frame of mind to do so. Anything that you tell the adjuster outside of the basic information mentioned above can be used against you and can diminish your settlement amount. It’s important to remember to not give a statement if you’re upset, tired, taking pain medication, or if you’re in pain. If you don’t feel like you’re up to give a recorded statement, you can refuse to be recorded.
Wait Until You’re Fully Healed To Discuss Settlement
The adjuster will try to offer you a settlement during the initial conversation. Don’t fall for this trap. Remember, it is their job to try and get you to accept a lower amount before even thinking about it. These people are only looking out for the benefit of the insurance company, and not paying you the full amount that you deserve. While you’re still receiving care for your injuries, it is advised to avoid talking about a settlement until you are fully recovered, so you can include all of the medical expenses in your claim. You have up to 4 years after your personal injury accident to file your claim with the insurance company.
Keep All Documentation Organized
After the initial discussion with the insurance claims adjuster, you’re going to want to ask for documentation proving that you and the adjuster had the conversation and that you filed a claim. If you haven’t done so already, also ask for your claim number. You will receive all sorts of mail from the insurance company about your claim. Creating a claim file will help you keep your paperwork from the insurance company and medical documentation organized and ready to go when it is time to discuss a settlement.
Limit Communications With The Adjuster
After the initial conversation with the insurance claim adjuster, you have no other information to offer other than the basics mentioned above. If the adjuster requests a follow-up conversation, we recommend that you respectfully decline. A second conversation could be another trap set up by the insurance company to get you to disclose information that can be used against you.
Make Sure You’re Prepared
Before you sign any paperwork or give a recorded statement, you need to be sure that you’re prepared to take on an insurance claim adjuster on your own. If you suffered only minor injuries and it is clear who was at fault for your accident, you might be able to reach a fair settlement without the help of an attorney. However, if you sustained serious injuries and are unsure of who the at-fault party is, you’re going to need the help of an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer. Regardless of the extent of your injuries, we recommend that you contact a Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible so you can focus on recovery while they handle the insurance claim adjuster for you.
Contact A Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a car accident in Florida that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to demand compensation. Insurance claim adjusters aren’t always on your side, looking to close your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. Our dedicated and compassionate auto wreck lawyers at Sheftall Law are here to answer any questions you may have about your accident and will handle the insurance adjusters on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available to you. With decades of combined experience, you can be confident in our team’s ability to advocate for your needs and rights. Call us today at (904)-638-7712 or visit sheftalllaw.com to schedule your free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation.