When the dust settles after a traumatic car accident, survivors confront the next phase of their situation – negotiating with insurance adjusters. These are the representatives of their or the other driver’s insurance companies, trying to get to the bottom of the case in ways that typically serve their business interests.
The nature of their job is to settle the claim in the quickest and cheapest means possible because their allegiance is to their company. So, their natural wiring is to employ tactics that can achieve their organization’s desired results.
Thus, injured parties must be extra vigilant before speaking with any insurance adjuster. Knowing what to avoid can help protect their rights and secure the compensation they deserve.
What not to do when speaking with an insurance adjuster
California drivers fulfill their duty of care to other road users by carrying minimum auto liability insurance. These required insurance policies ensure that drivers can provide compensation for injuries, deaths and property damages they caused.
Unfortunately, insurance adjusters often do not investigate for the policyholder’s sake. Instead, they dig into the details to reduce the amount their company is accountable for.
So, insured survivors must keep in mind not to:
- Forget reviewing their existing coverage and the specific language used
- Behave disrespectfully despite perceived unfairness since aggression can only be used against them
- Offer additional or inaccurate information that can be turned into an admission of fault, or as proof to deny or devalue a claim
- Sign any document, make an official statement or agree to a recorded conversation
- Accept any seemingly tempting initial offer, which is almost always an intentionally low amount
Per the pure comparative fault rule, injured drivers may still recover compensation even if they are 99% to blame for the collision. Knowing this, insurance adjusters will likely do everything to increase the injured person’s liability as much as they can.
What injured individuals must do instead
The best defense against tricky maneuvers is for the injured parties to know their worth. If they know what exactly happened, the extent of their pain and suffering, and how much they deserve, they can confidently face the claims adjuster. However, since the process is more demanding than it sounds, survivors must consider having a legal advocate who can take on the fight on their behalf.