Even a seemingly minor motor vehicle collision can have a lasting impact. From the turmoil caused by financial peril to physical challenges faced by victims of severe injuries, the crash is often only the start of serious issues. Unfortunately, individuals often become confused and feel pressured to answer questions from the insurance adjuster even when they are not ready. While every situation is unique, here are five tips that might prove helpful after a motor vehicle crash.
Do not admit fault
Many times, people automatically assume fault over what happens to them. Even a collision caused by someone else – you might think “If only I had reacted faster.” This is the wrong way to think when talking to the insurance claim adjuster. Do not apologize. Do not admit fault.
Do not minimize your injuries
Whether it is shame or insecurity, people often have a tendency to downplay their injuries claiming, “I’m fine” or “I’ll be okay.” After a motor vehicle collision, however, it is best to get a thorough medical examination that provides a comprehensive list of your injuries and the recommended course of treatment for each. Even something that might seem like an insignificant pain could have lasting ramifications.
Do not guess or answer ambiguously
It is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to pose numerous questions to you about the collision. These can include items such as weather, road conditions, witnesses, other vehicles or roadside distractions. If you do not know the answer, it is okay to say that. At worst, you can say you will think about the question and get back to them. This can give you a chance to reflect on the situation or consult with your attorney. No matter the scenario, it is wise to avoid guesswork when answering questions.
Do not be afraid to call them back
After a motor vehicle collision, it is likely you will struggle with various injuries that require medical treatment. Often, these treatments include pain medication. If you are in pain or are taking strong pain relievers, so not be afraid to pause a conversation and explain you will call them back when you feel better. The insurance adjuster’s goal is to move the process forward quickly, but if you feel rushed or not in control of all your faculties, do not hesitate to slow the process down until you feel right.
Enlist an attorney to deal with the insurance adjuster on your behalf
While the adjuster’s job is to quickly move your insurance claim through the process and protect his or her company’s bottom line when possible, it is the attorney’s job to look out for your best interests. A lawyer has the training and experience necessary to effectively negotiate on your behalf and will gladly field calls, questions and requests from the insurance carrier.
It is not uncommon for people to feel pressure to be helpful even when they are not up to the challenge. Following a serious motor vehicle collision, it is likely you are dealing with the stress of mounting debt and the pain of numerous injuries. If the insurance adjuster forces you into a conversation, demands a recorded conversation or pressures you to agree to a quick settlement, these are indications you need to have an experienced legal professional on your side.