After a car accident, you need to report the accident to your own insurance company and then you should call the insurance company for the person who hit you (or whoever was at fault) to open a claim. If you have been injured, seek medical treatment.
Tricks of Insurance Adjusters:
After you call the adjuster, there are several possible common tactics they will use.
- They may take forever to call you back or not call at all.
- They may bother you constantly trying to get you to give a recorded statement or sign a release.
- They may lie and tell you that their offer is final and if you don't take it you will get nothing.
- They may call and harass you or even show up at your house.
- They may pretend to be your friend and act concerned about your well-being.
What You Need to Do:
- Do not give a recorded statement.
- Do not sign a release.
- Get all the medical treatment you need.
- Speak to a personal injury attorney about your case.
Speaking to the Adjuster:
Always tell the insurance adjuster the truth, but don't give a recorded statement because they will try to use it against you later. Tell them as little as possible, if you can.
Why They Try to Settle Quickly:
Adjusters try to settle quickly before you truly understand the extent of your injuries so that they can settle for as little as possible. This is their job - to save the insurance company money by settling for low amounts as well as delaying settlements. You need to remember that even though they may act concerned, usually they are interested most in the bottom line and profits.
Adjusters are trained in what to tell you, to convince you that the settlement is fair. But statistics show that lawyers are often able to get a much higher settlement. Some adjusters will offer a fair settlement, however, though it can be hard for the average person to know if the settlement is fair without consulting an attorney.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Maybe, maybe not. If you are done treating and the adjuster offers you enough to cover all your medical bills plus some money for pain and suffering, lost wages, etc., you may not need a lawyer. But you may not realize that you could be getting a higher settlement for your ordeal with an attorney. A personal injury attorney is a professional and therefore has expertise that you do not - and sometimes it is best to hire an expert when you are unsure.