Following a truck crash, one of your first steps should be calling your insurance company to file a claim. The truck driver will do the same, filing through the trucking company’s insurer. You will usually get a phone call within a day or two from an insurance claims adjuster who’s in charge of investigating the wreck.
Most accident victims aren’t prepared to handle this kind of conversation. This can often result in settlements that don’t measure up to the true worth of the claims. Here are tips for protecting your rights while speaking to a claims adjuster—from an experienced Florida truck wreck lawyer.
1. Never Admit Fault
From the moment you step out of your car at the crash scene onward, never admit fault for the wreck. Do not say you’re sorry to the truck driver or in any way place blame on yourself.
Conversations with the other driver, police officers, and especially insurance companies should never involve you admitting you were at fault for the accident.
This will protect you from taking more than your fair share of blame in the likely event that more than one party contributed to the collision. Instead, wait for official investigations and court proceedings to assign fault.
2. Stay Calm
Speaking with an insurance adjuster can be intimidating, particularly if you’re upset about the accident. It’s crucial, though, to remain cool, calm, and collected while on the phone with an adjuster. You need to be level-headed and know what to say (and what not to say) during the exchange.
If you are not ready, do not answer the call. If you have serious qualms about tackling the conversation altogether, entrust the task to a truck wreck lawyer instead. What you say while talking with an adjuster can greatly affect the state of your claim.
Our recommendation at Bulluck Law Group is that you have your truck accident lawyer get on the phone and navigate this conversation for you. They will know how best to handle the conversation in order to protect your rights and ensure the best compensation for the client.
3. Recognize the Adjuster’s Purpose
It’s important to understand where the claims adjuster stands in regard to your accident claim, as well as their objectives for the conversation. The insurance adjuster does not work for you; they work for the insurance company. Their main goal is to get you to settle your claim for the least amount of money possible.
Start the first phone call by realizing the adjuster likely knows little about your case and will try to persuade you to settle quickly for less than you could get with a personal injury claim or an attorney’s help.
4. State Only the Facts and Basic Details
There is no rule that says how much you have to divulge to insurance claims adjusters. While you should always be honest, you do not have to give them any more information than they request. Be truthful; don’t speculate about what caused the crash or who’s to blame. Here are some tips on things not to say on your phone call.
Just tell the truth. What was your speed? Where did the wreck happen? Don’t give any opinions about the crash to your insurer or the truck company’s insurer. Tell an adjuster if you’re uncomfortable responding to a question that seems subjective.
5. Refuse to Write or Record a Statement
An insurance claims adjuster will almost always attempt to get you to agree to record a statement about your truck accident. Politely decline this request. If the adjuster records a statement, they can—and likely will—use it against you later. If the adjuster says you must record a statement to proceed with your claim, hang up and call a Florida truck accident lawyer.
Don’t talk about your injuries or record a statement until you’ve talked with a lawyer. You may not know all the facts regarding your case, and what you say could reduce your chances of compensation. Make it clear to the adjuster from the beginning that you will not be discussing too much over the phone. Submit basic details in your first conversation, then set a limit on how often the adjuster can call you in the future.
6. Resist Saying “Yes” to a Quick Settlement
Fast settlements save insurance companies time and money, but they’re usually not in the best interests of claimants. Compared to what the adjuster initially offers, the value of your claim could be much greater. Don’t fall for it! Keep the faith and reject quick settlements until you know your claim’s worth.
Valuating your claim is something an attorney can do for you, often during a free case evaluation.
7. Keep Notes of Your Conversation
Jot down important information concerning your phone call with the insurance adjuster. Ask with whom you’re speaking, and then write down the name, address, telephone number, and company they represent before the conversation begins.
Take notes during your conversation, transcribing information the adjuster relays to you as well as details you offer them. The more you can remember about the discussion, the more you can assist your truck accident attorney in the future.
8. Always Talk to a Truck Accident Attorney
Talking to a truck insurance company’s adjuster after a wreck is a big deal. Don’t take it lightly and don’t underestimate the importance of watching what you say during the initial conversation. It is always a good idea to contact a Florida truck wreck lawyer for advice prior to speaking to an insurance claims adjuster.
A lawyer helps the entire process feel much less intimidating. Your attorney can act as a buffer between you and the adjuster, protecting your rights as a victim and fighting for maximum compensation.
Read A Comprehensive Guide for Truck Accident Victims to learn more about truck accidents.