Many drivers do not understand how insurance adjusters work after an auto accident. As a result, motorists sometimes say or do things that impact their injury settlements.
These are the little-known facts drivers should know about how insurance companies evaluate injury claims.
Speaking to adjusters
While drivers must notify their own insurers about any auto accident, they do not legally have to speak to the other driver’s insurance company. They can also appoint an attorney to speak on their behalf. Insurance companies use driver statements to determine fault and limit the cost of their payouts.
Drivers should also avoid providing a recorded or written statement about the accident to the insurance company, especially right after the accident. Some injuries, including debilitating traumatic brain injuries, may not arise until days after the event.
Negotiating a settlement
Insurance adjusters may also attempt to get injured parties to settle quickly. Instead, drivers should take time to gather medical records and estimate the full cost of their injuries, including projected future medical care and lost wages if he or she can no longer work.
Working with an attorney
Some insurance adjusters tell their customers that they do not need an attorney because the insurer’s attorney represents their interest. In fact, an injured person may consider hiring a lawyer at any point during the negotiation process with the insurance company. He or she does not have to wait for a settlement offer to have legal representation.
Above all, drivers should remember that the job of the insurance adjuster is to save the company money with the lowest possible claims payout.