The Dos and Don’ts When Speaking to an Insurance Adjuster After an Accident

by Staff Blogger | August 21st, 2023

If you are involved in a personal injury accident, such as a car crash or slip-and-fall, you’ll need to speak with an insurance adjuster when filing your claim. The role of these professionals is to investigate and settle claims on behalf of the other party’s insurance company.

Knowing the dos and don’ts of interacting with insurance adjusters helps protect your rights during the claims process. This knowledge ensures that you avoid making statements or taking actions that may hurt your case while cooperating with the adjuster.

What Is an Insurance Adjuster?

An insurance adjuster, also known as a claims adjuster, is an insurance industry professional working on behalf of an insurance company. They investigate insurance claims, assess damages, injuries, and legal liabilities, then negotiate with the other parties to reach an appropriate settlement.

Adjusters use live phone calls to gauge your knowledge of the injury claims process. Although the insurance adjuster may sound and act like they’re on your side, it’s important to remember they work for the other party’s insurance company. They primarily put their employer’s interests ahead of yours and will seek to settle for the lowest acceptable amount.

What to Do When Dealing with an Insurance Adjuster

You must cooperate with an insurance adjuster to advance your compensation claim and achieve a fair settlement. The following tips can help you know what to do when speaking with an adjuster from your own or a third-party’s insurer. If you are represented by legal counsel, be sure to check with your attorney prior to speaking with the adjuster.

DO: Take Notes

Document all your interactions with the insurance adjuster. This includes writing summaries of phone calls or in-person conversations and keeping copies of all letters, emails, and other documents.

Do: Provide Straightforward, Concise Answers

Answer all questions the adjuster asks truthfully and without exaggeration. Avoid lying or speculating about who is at fault for your injuries. If you can’t answer a question, ask for clarification, or simply respond, “I don’t know.”

Answer the adjuster’s questions clearly and concisely. Don’t say anything that could be considered admitting fault, such as “I’m sorry,” and don’t downplay your injuries by saying something like “I feel fine today.

Inaccuracies and exaggerated statements can hurt your credibility and be used against you to reduce or deny your claim. Avoid volunteering information or over-sharing; limit your answers to the adjuster’s questions.

Do: Cooperate with the Adjuster’s Request for Documentation or Evidence

Cooperating with an insurance adjuster’s requests for documentation or evidence is crucial to processing your claim successfully. The adjuster needs to assess the legitimacy and extent of your claim, and the only way to do this accurately is through proper documentation.

Do: Contact a Lawyer

Don’t wait for a call from the insurance adjuster before contacting a lawyer. Seeking the help of experienced California personal injury attorneys can help you prepare for the conversation, navigate the claims process, and ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries.

What Not to Do

The statements you make to an insurance adjuster can affect the outcome of your claim. Consider the following tips for speaking with adjusters to help you avoid making a mistake that could keep you from receiving the settlement you deserve:

Don’t: Consent to Recorded Statements

The adjuster may request you make a statement on record. Insurance companies may use the recordings to twist your statements and reduce or deny your claim. California is a two-party consent state, so you are not required to accept making a statement on record. Always refuse if asked and direct the adjuster to speak with your attorney, especially if speaking with another party’s insurance company.

Don’t: Settle Without Legal Advice

Never accept the insurance adjuster’s first offer. It is likely too low to cover your expenses and damages. While an insurance adjuster is a professional, they operate in the insurance company’s best interests.

They may use tactics such as offering a low settlement or claiming that you won’t receive compensation if you don’t settle. They may also ask a question repeatedly to see if you change your statement to use it against your claim. You should approach any conversations with an adjuster cautiously, ideally with the guidance of your attorney.

Always speak to your lawyer before signing or agreeing to any offer or signing releases or waivers. If the adjuster provides you with documents to sign, share them with your lawyer, who can help you understand their implications for your claim.

Receive Expert Legal Representation from Berg Injury Lawyers

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our team understands the confusion victims may feel after a life-altering accident, especially when dealing with insurance company adjusters.

If you were hurt in a car accident, slip-and-fall, or another type of personal injury incident, our attorneys can step in during the claims process to help you navigate communications with the insurance company.

We can help you protect your rights, submit strong evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement for your case. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.