Dealing with insurance companies following a car accident is a notoriously frustrating experience for most drivers, but inevitably the majority of U.S. drivers will need to file an auto insurance claim at some point.
If you find yourself in this situation, you will eventually need to speak with an insurance claims adjuster who will evaluate your claim and look for reasons to approve it, deny it, or adjust the amount of your settlement.
Speaking with an insurance claims adjuster can be an uncomfortable and daunting experience. Ultimately, it is not in the insurer’s interest to pay out on your claim, so the adjuster’s job is to minimize the insurer’s financial responsibility to the policyholder within the terms of the policyholder’s coverage. However, insurance claims adjusters have a duty to process all claims and handle all claim investigations in good faith, so knowing how to speak with claims adjusters can be a tremendous asset after a car accident.
Keep the following tips in mind if you need to discuss an insurance claim with a claims adjuster. Remember, it is always best to hire an experienced Denver car accident attorney before speaking with an insurance company. An experienced attorney can help coach you on how to speak with the claims adjuster, help with your initial demand letter for coverage, and handle negotiations on your behalf.
Having an attorney review your claim and submit a demand letter on your behalf will encourage the insurance carrier to take your claim more seriously and handle it more professionally. This will also discourage unnecessary or unjust pushback against your legitimate claim. An attorney can also help prepare you for your conversation with the insurance claims adjuster.
Never say anything the adjuster could construe as an admission of fault, even a phrase as seemingly innocent as “I’m sorry.” Taken out of context these phrases could hurt your credibility in the eyes of the insurance company and result in unnecessary delays with your claim.
An insurance claims adjuster may use uncomfortable silence to coax you into talking more after answering a question. Answer all questions directly and matter-of-factly with as little subjective input as possible. If you answer a question and the claims adjuster seems to expect you to say more, simply wait for them to follow up on your response and ignore any conversational awkwardness.
You may be feeling better from your injuries by the time you speak with a claims adjuster, but this does not mean you should tell the adjuster you are “fine” or “better.” Explain your symptoms and experiences following the accident objectively and refer the adjuster to your medical report for detailed information concerning your injuries.
Always have a Denver personal injury attorney review anything a claims adjuster asks you to sign before signing it. You have no legal obligation to submit to a recorded statement, as doing so could provide the insurance company with the opportunity to misconstrue your words and deny or reduce your coverage.
Answer all the claims adjusters’ questions as honestly and concisely as possible and be careful of your phrasing. An attorney can coach you on how to speak with claims adjusters and what kind of questions you can expect from them.
As long as your claim is legitimate and you follow these guidelines, you should have minimal trouble securing an insurance settlement for your claim. However, it is always best to secure legal representation before approaching any kind of insurance claim.
Having legal representation automatically lends authority and credibility to your claim, and your attorney can assist with the entire claims process in various ways.