When you are hurt in an auto collision and file an injury claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company, you expect to be treated with fairness and honesty. As such, a few days after the incident, you are happy to get a call from a friendly insurance adjuster. This person will claim to need some basic information about the incident. If you comply and answer just a few questions, you will settle quickly and receive prompt payment.
The problem is that the claims adjuster is an employee of the insurer who is trained to pay out as little as possible to accident victims like you. Every word you speak could adversely affect your rights, giving the insurer grounds to make a lowball offer or deny your claim. You should trust a Baltimore County, MD car accident lawyer to handle these conversations, so you do not accidentally utter one of the following five things you should never say to an adjuster.
I may have had something to do with the accident.
You could walk away with nothing if you admit any fault in the collision. Maryland applies law on contributory negligence, which means you are barred from recovering compensation if you are even partly to blame in causing the crash.
My injuries were pretty minor.
Even if you believe this to be true, you should not make assumptions about the level of your injuries. If you concede that you were not hurt badly, you are giving the insurance adjuster grounds to lower any offer to resolve your claim. Your medical records will provide any information the insurer needs to settle the matter.
Yes, I am available to make a recorded statement.
While you should never make any statements without guidance from an attorney, you should absolutely NOT agree to have your words recorded. Points #1 and #2 above are the reasons why you do not want anything you say to be documented proof.
Sure, I’ll sign this release.
A release is a legal document where you state that you will never take legal action regarding your claim after receiving the agreed-upon payment from the insurance company. Even if you figure out later that the amount is far too low, there is nothing you can do about it. Never sign a release without first speaking to a lawyer.
I do not have an attorney representing me.
You should not make this statement because you SHOULD have a lawyer handling your claim. If a claims adjuster knows you do not have legal counsel, he or she will assume that you are vulnerable from a legal knowledge standpoint. You can be sure this person will take advantage of the situation.
Contact a Baltimore County Car Accident Attorney for Assistance with Insurance Adjuster Claims
When you have an experienced auto collision lawyer to advocate on your behalf, you do not have to worry about saying the wrong thing to an insurance adjuster. Your attorney will handle all conversations and ensure you get fair, reasonable compensation for your injury claim. For more information, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to set up a free consultation.