After a car accident, you will have several steps to take in order to address the matter fully and properly. Typically, this type of incident requires the parties involved filing a claim with their automobile insurance providers, especially if the crash caused significant damage and led to injuries. While this may seem like a reasonable and standard step to take, it is important to prepare before talking to an insurance adjuster.
Because insurance companies are businesses, they are always looking out for their bottom line. This means that, if they can find a way to pay you less or to deny your claim entirely, they will use it. As a result, you and other Pennsylvania residents who have been in car accidents will want to watch what you say when talking to insurers.
Why is caution necessary?
Because paying out the least amount possible is often the goal of insurance companies, most adjusters know how to look for holes in people’s stories or details that they could use as evidence. In some cases, the questions they ask may even seem harmless, such as asking you how you are. You may want to reply with a simple, “I’m fine, thanks. How are you?” as a means of polite conversation, but the adjuster could use the fact that you said you were fine to negate claims of injury.
Some other tips for speaking with an insurance company after an accident include the following:
- If you suffered injuries in the accident, tell the insurer that you are injured, but do not self-diagnose and neither downplay nor exaggerate your injuries. In fact, wait until you have seen a medical professional before providing any details about injuries.
- When asked questions, do not volunteer additional information and only answer with the facts.
- Avoid making small talk.
- Do not submit a written or recorded statement unless you fully understand the legalities of what that action could mean.
- If the insurance company offers an early settlement check, do not accept the offer unless you have exhausted other options and know it is the best offer you will receive.
It is an unfortunate reality that insurance companies will often take advantage of vulnerable individuals by attempting to trick them into providing evidence that could reduce or even lead to the denial of their claim. As a result, be careful what you disclose to insurance adjusters after suffering injuries in a car accident.