Before a car accident, you talk to an insurance agent maybe once a year—and that’s if you’re checking in more than the usual client. After an accident, your phone might feel like it’s ringing off the hook with calls from your insurance provider and the other party’s insurance adjuster. Before you talk to the other driver’s adjuster, make sure you know what they are trying to do and how you can protect yourself.
When it comes to car collisions and other types of accidents, you need an advocate who’s ready to fight for you. Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-937-7024 to schedule a meeting right away.
1. An Initial Lowball Offer is Very Likely
The insurance adjuster may give you a whole speech about how they fought tooth and nail to get you the best settlement they possibly could, but that is almost certainly not true. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and one of the fastest ways to make more money is to give less out in settlements. They’re likely to throw out a low number at the beginning just to see if you’ll take it. A surprising amount of accident victims take the first offer, assuming that it is the best they will get.
2. Your Recorded Statement Could Hurt You
If the other party’s insurance company asks you for a recorded statement, it might seem innocent. It’s just a way to hear your side of the story and compare it to their client’s, right? Actually, your recorded statement can work against you when it’s time to negotiate a settlement. Any discrepancies between your recorded statement and other retellings may be used to question your credibility, and details that you add or remove later could raise red flags. Talk to an attorney before you agree to any sort of recorded retelling of the accident.
3. The Insurance Adjuster is Not Your Friend
Insurance companies are very good at convincing accident victims that they are on their side, even when they are representing the other party. This is why accident victims open up to them about where they may have made mistakes in the crash, past injuries, and other types of information that can ruin their personal injury claim.
The insurance adjuster isn’t really on your side. They are only interested in getting information out of you that they can use to drive down your settlement offer or pay you nothing. It’s often better to have all communication between you and the other party’s insurance company go through your attorney. Otherwise, you risk harming your personal injury claim just by telling your side of the story.
4. They Really Don’t Want to Go to Court
A court trial is a huge expense and inconvenience for the insurance company. They really do not want to spend time and money preparing for a court case that they are likely to lose. But if they let you know that they know you will demand more money. The insurance adjuster might seem unfazed by the idea of going to court and even say that you can try your case in court if you don’t like their settlement offer. It’s a bluff. They know that if you bring in a personal injury attorney, they’ll likely have to pay more to settle the claim. Their hope is that acting like they don’t care will make you think your case is worthless.
5. They Take You More Seriously When You Have an Attorney
Why do insurance adjusters discourage accident victims from hiring an attorney? Research shows that victims who hire attorneys usually get a larger settlement than those who negotiate on their own. Insurance companies hope that they can talk you out of it and protect their bottom line. However, if you do hire an attorney, their usual negotiation tricks don’t work. They are much more likely to come to the negotiating table in good faith.
Explore Your Personal Claim Options with Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne
If you’ve suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence, don’t wait any longer to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. At Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, we are committed to helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Call us at 251-937-7024 or to get started.