After being involved in a motor vehicle accident, you will likely receive a call from the at-fault party’s insurance company soon after. There are some important facts you should keep in mind as you proceed with these conversations in order to avoid harming your personal injury claim. The last thing you want is for a misstep in your choice of words to derail your chances of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve during this difficult time.
We have compiled a list of tips that will assist you in your conversations with your insurance adjuster:
- The insurance adjuster is not on your side: You might think that the adjuster you speak with sounds friendly and helpful, but this is a ruse that is used to put victims at ease, so they can divulge information in a way that will ultimately harm their claim. Never forget who the insurance adjuster is working for or that he or she will do everything possible to protect the interests of their employer. The adjuster will also likely try to convince you not to hire an attorney, which will also serve the interests of the insurance company. The less help you have, the easier it will be to take advantage of you.
- What you say can harm you: The insurance adjuster you speak to will probably be in a rush to obtain a recorded statement from you regarding the accident and your injuries. You are not obligated to provide this, however, no matter how much they try to convince you otherwise. Giving a recorded statement will only hurt your claim, so politely decline this request and only give the adjuster basic information, such as your name, address, the date of the accident, and where it occurred. Many of the questions adjusters ask are phrased in a way that are meant to elicit very particular responses and are designed to hurt you. Giving a recorded statement can be especially harmful when it comes to your injuries. The fact is that it is much too soon to say anything about your injuries since you likely do not know the extent of them yourself.
- Look out for negative comments: An adjuster will try to imply that your case is worth much less than it actually is or suggest that there are issues with your case in order to lower your expectations. If you do not have legal representation and they manage to convince you that your case has little value, you might end up settling for an amount that does not begin to cover the expenses associated with the accident. Never fall for this trick.
- Avoid settlement traps: Adjusters know that you are suffering from injuries and other financial burdens as a result of the accident. They often try to expose these vulnerabilities by pressuring victims into accepting a low settlement offer early on, before a clear diagnosis has even been made. Whatever you do, never settle your case before you understand the full extent of your injuries. If you settle too early, you might later discover that your injuries were much worse than you initially thought, and end up having to bear the burden of having to pay for the expenses that your settlement cannot cover. Remember, you will not be able to reopen your personal injury case after settling, so make sure the decision you make is right for you. The advice you receive from your personal injury attorney will be vital at this stage.
- A delay can hurt your case: This might not directly relate to how you speak to the insurance adjuster, but explaining why you postponed medical treatment is not going to be easy, so do not put yourself in this position to begin with. The longer you wait to receive treatment, the easier it will be for the insurance company to argue that you are exaggerating the extent of your injuries or that you were not really injured.
A personal injury claim involves more than simply negotiating numbers with the insurance company. If your injuries are particularly serious and incur large medical bills, it is even more critical for you to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you since the insurance company will work even harder to ensure they do not have to pay you the fair compensation you deserve.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Massachusetts
If you sustained an injury in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have a right to pursue fair and just compensation. At Percy Law Group, PC, our team of personal injury attorneys in Massachusetts will fight to get maximum compensation on your behalf to ensure you have what you need to cover all costs associated with the accident.
For skilled and experienced representation, contact our firm today at (508) 718-2545 and schedule a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.