What to Know Before an Insurance Adjuster Calls
Unfortunately, car accidents are not uncommon in Hawaii. In 2020 alone, 85 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents across the state, according to data reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you might experience a great deal of stress and anxiety. The situation can become even more stressful when you start getting calls from an insurance adjuster.
However, before you pick up the phone and speak with an insurance adjuster, it is crucial to understand your rights and know what you should and should not say during the conversation. As a personal injury law firm that serves clients in Maui, Hawaii, we routinely deal with insurance companies as part of our job.
At Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law, we have handled numerous personal injury claims and know what it takes to protect the rights of our clients when communicating with insurance adjusters. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in Maui, Hawaii, our attorneys have the resources necessary to handle all communications with the insurance adjuster on your behalf and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
An Insurance Adjuster’s Role in the Claims Process
Before you have your first conversation with the insurance adjuster, you need to understand the adjuster’s role in the claims process. Insurance adjusters work for an insurance company and have the following duties:
Interviewing claimants and witnesses
Investigating the accident to determine who is liable
Checking the claimant’s coverage to determine their eligibility for compensation
Assessing the damages to calculate the value of the claim
Negotiating a settlement with the claimant
At this point, you may wonder, “Do I have to talk to the insurance adjuster?” In reality, you are not required to speak with an insurance adjuster. In fact, an insurance adjuster may use a variety of dishonest and unfair tactics to pay you as little as possible or deny your claim altogether. Thus, if you were involved in an accident and need to file an insurance claim, you might need the assistance of an attorney to help you deal with the insurance adjuster and represent your best interests throughout the claims process.
What if an Adjuster Wants You to Give a
In most cases, the primary reason why an insurance adjuster calls you is to get your recorded statement. An insurance adjuster may make it sound like you are obligated to provide a recorded statement. However, you have no legal obligation to give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster. In fact, it is generally in your best interests to refuse to have your conversation recorded for the following reasons:
The insurance company can use your recorded statements against you to reduce the value of your claim or deny your claim;
You may not be aware of the extent of your injuries when providing a recorded statement;
The insurance adjuster can make you say things that will negatively affect your claim; and
The insurer can use your recorded statement to find inconsistencies in your story.
If the insurance adjuster calls you and wants you to provide a recorded statement, you can politely decline the request and tell the adjuster that you want to speak with your attorney first. After you talk to an attorney, you will know how to deal with the insurance adjuster and what to say when the adjuster calls you again.
What Should You Say When You Get a Call?
If you choose to have a conversation with an insurance adjuster, there are certain rules you should follow to protect your rights:
Know who you are talking to. Make sure that you record the adjuster’s name and phone number and know what company he or she is representing.
Do not disclose more than necessary. Stick to the basics when providing your personal information. The only information they need is your name, address, and phone number.
Refuse to give a recorded statement. Politely decline the insurance adjuster’s request for a recorded statement for the reasons provided above.
Do not discuss the details of the accident or your injuries. Be concise and to the point when telling the adjuster about your accident and injuries. Avoid speculating.
Do not accept a settlement offer. Sometimes, an insurance adjuster may make a settlement offer during the first or second conversation. However, it is not a good idea to accept the offer before you speak with your attorney.
Remember that you have no obligation to speak with an insurance adjuster if you do not want to. If you do not want the adjuster to contact you directly, you can redirect them to your attorney. At Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law, our attorneys can take all the stress off your shoulders so you can focus on your health.
Can an Attorney Help You Deal With an
Dealing with an insurance adjuster can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience. It is the last thing you need when you are already dealing with physical, emotional, and financial hardships in the aftermath of your accident. That is why you may want to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney to make the situation more manageable.
Your attorney will handle communications with the insurance adjuster and other aspects of the claims process while you focus on the most crucial thing: recovering and getting back to your normal life.
Turn to Reliable Representation
If you get a phone call from an insurance adjuster and do not know what to say to them, it is vital to seek the advice of a competent attorney. At Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law, we can help you deal with the insurance adjuster with greater confidence and fight on your behalf to secure your full compensation. Contact our office in Maui, Hawaii, for a consultation today.