What Not to Say
to an Insurance Adjuster
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates the annual economic cost of motor vehicle accidents to be $242 billion. When you are injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover damages for your injuries. After filing a personal injury claim, you will likely receive a call from an insurance adjuster inquiring about the accident. It’s important to remember that the insurance adjuster isn’t on your side. Instead, their job is to look for ways to reduce the amount of compensation you will receive.
The Hoag Law Firm is committed to offering experienced legal guidance and comprehensive representation to injured victims who have been involved in an auto accident. As your legal counsel, Attorney Brian M. Hoag can fight compassionately to protect your rights and help you pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries and damages. Attorney Hoag is proud to serve personal injury victims throughout Tampa, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, Florida.
What Is The Role of an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster — often referred to as a claims adjuster, claims specialists, or independent claims analysts — is an expert who is usually called upon by the insurance company to investigate injury claims and determine the amount of financial compensation that the insurer should pay for any injuries, property damage, or loss sustained in a car accident. The roles and duties of the insurance adjuster are as follows:
- Investigate, assess, and settle personal injury claims
- Assess the extent of the injury and property damages sustained from the accident
- Speak with the claimant and other witnesses to determine a fair settlement
- Determine the fair compensation the insurance company should pay the claimant
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the claimant, their attorney, or representatives
- Assess whether the insurance policy covers the damages claimed
- Ensure that injury claims are fully transparent
- Meet with the claimants’ doctors or employers to uncover false claims
- Work with attorneys and legal counsels on personal injury claims when necessary
- Approve payments and ensure that claimants are fully compensated
- Deny injury claims or refer the claimant to a private investigator
While they perform these roles, they are usually performed with the intention to reduce a victim’s compensation. Thus, reducing the insurer’s expense and liability.
How to Handle Requests for a Statement
When conducting an investigation about an injury claim, the adjuster may request a statement from the claimant. Unfortunately, giving a statement to the insurance adjuster without consulting with an attorney may hurt the outcome of your case. This is because the adjuster can:
- Use your statement against you
- Take your statement out of context
- Use your statement to reduce compensation
- Ask contradictory questions to create inconsistencies in your responses
Even when telling the truth, you may be harming your case unintentionally. These insurance adjusters are professional interrogators who interview witnesses and claimants regularly. They may get you to make inconsistent statements using aggressive questioning techniques. This approach is intentional and designed to discredit your version of events and reduce the amount of compensation that the insurance company will payout.
What to Say If You Choose To Give a Statement
If you do choose to accept the claims specialist’s request and provide a statement, it’s important that you remember the following:
- Ask the adjuster not to record your statement, but always assume the conversation will be recorded anyway
- Never admit that you were at fault or guilty of anything
- Don’t answer questions you don’t know the answer to
- Keep your statements and the conversation brief
- Don’t volunteer any additional information other than what is asked of you
- Do not sign any document without the consent or approval of your attorney
In an effort to err on the side of caution and avoid hurting your case, you can always politely decline to give a statement. If they insist, tell them that you’d like to speak with your attorney before giving any statement. Remember, you are never required to give any official statement without speaking to an attorney first.
What Information Will The
Insurance Adjuster Ask Me to Provide?
The insurance adjuster may ask you to provide the following information:
- Personal details such as your full name, address, phone number, and employer
- Details regarding your injuries, property damages, or lost items
- Details about the accident such as when, how, and where it happened, cars involved, who was at fault, and the type of accident
- Information about your medical costs, medical records, physician reports, and other additional records
- Accident scene photos
- Identities and statements from any witnesses
- Results from an Independent Medical Examination (IME)
How the Hoag Law Firm Can Help
Any conversation you have with an insurance adjuster before consulting with your attorney can jeopardize your claims. During your conversation, you may inadvertently leave out some important details about the car crash. Similarly, the claims adjuster may take your statements out of context and use them to discredit your injury claims. If an insurance adjuster contacts you requesting a conversation, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney so that your rights can be protected.
The Hoag Law Firm can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and vigorous representation that you need to pursue the justice you deserve. As a knowledgeable auto accident attorney, Brian M. Hoag will review every aspect of your case, carry out a private investigation, and collect all necessary pieces of evidence and documentation. Attorney Brian M. Hoag will fight compassionately to protect your rights and work to negotiate fair financial compensation with the insurance company to help cover the cost of your injuries, property damage, and any other pain and suffering you’ve had to endure.
Call the Hoag Law Firm today to schedule a free one-on-one case evaluation with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. Attorney Brian M. Hoag will offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy you need to pursue your rightful compensation. The Hoag Law Firm proudly serves clients throughout Tampa, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, Florida.