You got hurt in a car wreck. Your vehicle has a lot of damage, and you face some time off work. You need the insurance company of the driver who caused your wreck to step up and pay your claim quickly and fairly.
Don’t count on everything going as you might hope. All it takes is a single mistake on your part when dealing with the insurance adjuster — or a few dirty tricks on their end — and your claim could be devalued or denied.
What are the most important things to remember when dealing with an insurer?
There are several things to keep in mind when you’ve been in a wreck:
- You aren’t required to give a recorded statement. The adjuster will absolutely ask for one, however, so you need to be assertive about not wanting to be recorded.
- You never want to respond to simple questions with the “social” answer. The adjuster will probably express their sympathy and ask how you are feeling. A lot of people reply with a socially acceptable response, like, “I’m okay,” or “I’m fine.” That’s not really accurate, nor what you actually mean — but you can bet it will come up later as part of the reason the insurer doubts the validity of your claim.
- You never want to offer incomplete, inaccurate information. Even if you aren’t intentionally lying about the circumstances of the wreck, any inaccuracies will be used to cast doubt on your claim. It’s better to decline to answer a question than answer incorrectly.
- You give the insurer too much information. For example, you may have hurt your back quite badly in the wreck — but that’s no reason to mention that you’ve had prior back trouble until they ask.
Finally, the biggest mistake you can make is failing to seek legal counsel before you speak to the insurance company. After a serious wreck, seeking help is the wisest thing you can do.