If you have been injured in an accident in Durham, North Carolina, filing an insurance claim with the insurance company is part of the process of seeking compensation. Naturally, when you file an insurance claim you will need to interact and communicate with the insurance company’s adjusters.
Here are the top 5 tips for dealing with the insurance adjuster after your Durham Car Accident.
Tip No. 1: Know Thy Enemy
It is important to understand that the insurance company is not on your side, even if you are dealing with your own insurance company. Insurance companies and their adjusters are in the business of attempting to avoid paying claims and paying as little as is legally possible for personal injuries arising from Durham car accidents. While the insurance adjusters are required to investigate the mechanics of an accident or the degree to which you have been injured, the insurance adjuster’s job does not include ensuring that your claim is successful. More precisely, the insurance adjuster does not work for you --- their salary is paid by the insurance company.
Tip No. 2: Be Prepared
After your car accident, spend the time you need gathering the documentation and information you will need in order to support your claim. Moreover, consider the utility of practicing explaining how the accident happened in a few short sentences. When an insurance adjuster opens a claim, they ask, “How did the accident happen?” This is NOT an opportunity to provide too much information but rather an opportunity to provide a short, planned statement of the mechanics of the accident. Many car accident victims start speaking and don’t know when to stop. Additionally, most car accident victims do not know what information could possibly hurt their case. It is best to be objective with the information and provide only those facts that are absolutely necessary.
Tip No. 3: Avoid Recorded Statements.
Recorded statements are dangerous. One should avoid providing a recorded statement unless required by law to do so. However, most car accident victims agree to provide a recorded statement and the adjusters use this recording as an opportunity to get your statements on the record or trip you up with difficult questions that you might not know the answer to.
When filing an insurance claim, it is essential that you only provide the information which is necessary for the adjuster to investigate the accident. This leads to Tip No. 4.
Tip No. 4 – The Adjuster Is Not Your Friend.
Insurance adjusters are not mean people. They have a job. Moreover, many of them are friendly and courteous. However, the fact that an adjuster is friendly and kind does not mean you should believe that they have your best interest at heart. It is not uncommon to hear from a potential client how kind and pleasant an adjuster was and how they cared about their medical conditions and prior medical history. While the insurance adjuster may try to appear to have your best interests, he or she is not on your side. It is important to avoid sharing anything that is not helpful to your claim and case.
Tip No. 5 – Don’t Sign a Medical Release
It is common practice for insurance adjusters to request that car accident victims should allow them to request their medical bills and records by returning a signed HIPAA or medical release. You do not have to sign this, and you should not. Signed medical releases give insurance adjusters almost unlimited authority to request and receive all your medical records to evaluate your injuries. Part of this tactic is so that the insurance adjusters may review your records for pre-existing conditions. This strategy is utilized to reduce how much is needed to pay your claim or avoid paying it all together. As such, do not sign the insurance company’s medical release.
Speak with a Durham Car Accident Attorney Today
Many victims of car accidents believe that the insurance company is on their side and expect them to treat them fairly. After years of practicing personal injury law in Durham, I know this is not the case. Insurance adjusters employ a number of strategies to attempt to avoid paying you what is fair or to outright deny the claim. Before speaking with an insurance adjuster, consider discussing your case with a knowledgeable and experienced local car accident lawyer.
Wallace Pierce Law has a reputation for fighting for full and fair compensation for car accident victims. Should you have been injured through no fault of your own, consider speaking with a Durham Car Accident Lawyer about your case. The team of lawyers at Wallace Pierce Law will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Call us at (919) 887-7892 or contact us online for more information on how we can help you with your car accident and guide you through the claims process.