How to Deal with Insurance Adjusters During Personal Injury Claims
In most personal injury cases, victims don’t actually pursue compensation from the liable party directly. Instead, they seek damages from their own PIP insurance carrier or the insurance company of the at-fault party. Whether you were injured because of a pharmacy error, slip and fall, motor-vehicle collision, or another type of accident, you can expect an insurance company to be involved in the claims process.
Since insurance adjusters are essentially professional negotiators who represent their employers, it’s important that you know what to do (and not to do) to protect your claim. One misguided statement could be all it takes to cause a dispute that delays the proceedings, reduces the value of your claim, or prevents you from recovering any compensation at all.
Read on to learn a few dos and don’ts for dealing with insurance adjusters during personal injury proceedings:
Do Save All Correspondence
The insurance company may try to reach out via phone, email, or snail mail. Save all correspondence you receive from them including voicemails, text messages, and letters. If you have any conversations over the phone, write down everything that was said as soon as possible. But of course, the best way to handle correspondence with insurance adjusters is not to speak with them at all but rather to direct them to your attorney.
Do Consult with an Attorney Before Providing Any Statements
The insurance adjuster will probably ask you to provide a recorded statement fairly early in the proceedings. Since there’s no way to predict how they might use the statement to deny or devalue your claim, it’s best to consult with a lawyer before giving one.
Don’t Admit Fault
If insurers can shift at least some of the blame to the claimant, they might not have to pay 100 percent of the damages. Florida follows a pure comparative fault system, which means if you file a claim following an accident for which you were partially liable, your final payout will be reduced by your own percentage of fault.
Don’t Accept Social Media Requests from People You Don’t Know
Since most people have at least one social media account, these websites are primary sources of evidence for insurance adjusters. Even if your account is set to “private,” there are tactics the insurer might employ to access your photos, videos, and other posts. One such tactic is to send a friend or connection request to you which, if accepted, would allow them to view your content. It’s best to disable your social media profiles while your case is ongoing or, at the very least, to avoid accepting new connection requests. Also, never discuss your accident, injuries, or case online.