An insurance adjuster will frequently be the primary person who conducts an investigation for the defense in a personal injury case. They may contact you to take a statement as they build their case. These statements could be recorded for evidence and used against you later. We advise you to answer calls from adjusters. But if you do, you should always do so with the mindset of defending your rights. This post will discuss what you should not say if an adjuster approaches you.
This post does not represent an exhaustive list of what you should and should not say. To defend your rights and increase your odds of securing compensation for your injuries and losses, you should not say anything to anyone, especially online, about your personal injury case until speaking with your attorney.
Never Go into Details of the Accident
By asking you about the details of the accident, an adjuster will look for inconsistencies between your account and other sources. Those sources include statements from their insured and public records such as police reports.
Even if a statement is factual, adjusters could use the way you say it to infer different conclusions and harm your case. If you make statements that are or sound speculative (such as ”I think…,” “It looked like…,” or “Perhaps…”,) an insurer will record them to check their veracity. Should the insurance adjuster believe your statements were untrue, they may argue against your claim or seek to offer a lesser amount.
If you don’t elaborate on the accident, insurers will not easily be able to accuse you of making false statements. It is perfectly okay to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” when you honestly do not know the answer to a question.
Never Discuss Your Injuries
Another area an adjuster might ask you about is your medical situation. This is for two main reasons:
- Digging for supposed inconsistencies – Similar to details of the accident, an insurer may take what you say in the most literal sense possible. They may ask about your injuries and compare your statements with their in-house medical documentation to find areas to dispute. Even saying, “I’m doing well, how are you?” when an adjuster first greets you could work against you.
- Finding conditions they think are pre-existing – An adjuster wants to find conditions or injuries that predate the accident, which could reduce the amount of a settlement offer.
If an adjuster asks about your injuries, direct them to the demand letter you and your attorney sent to initiate negotiations or refer them to your lawyer.
Never Apologize or Accept Fault
Among the most damaging statements insurance adjusters can hear are apologies or admissions of fault, even partial fault, such as:
- “I’m sorry I got into this [accident].”
- “I have at least some of the blame for what happened.”
- “The other driver was in my blind spot.”
Insurance companies know Texas’s laws surrounding negligence, and if you make statements like these, they can infer that they are admissions of fault and will try to apply them against you in a lawsuit.
Even if your case is still in negotiations, insurers might try to cut a settlement amount or deny a claim by saying their customer wasn’t liable for some or all of what happened. Therefore, the most prudent action you can take is not to comment on liability until any investigations conclude.
Never Provide Recorded Statements or Sign Releases
While an adjuster might ask you to give a recorded statement or sign a medical records release, you should know that you do not have to provide these statements or sign any releases or affidavits. Insurers will attempt to use anything you give them in these statements against you. Once the statement is with the adjuster, you cannot retract it.
If an adjuster asks you to give a recorded statement, defend your rights and respectfully refuse to give them one until you have spoken with your lawyer.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
For the best chance of winning compensation in your personal injury case, you should not converse with insurance adjusters unprepared. At The Benton Law Firm, we know how insurance companies and claims work and can help you confidently navigate the negotiation process.
Contact our office at (214) 777-7777 for a free consultation with one of our Dallas car accident attorneys. Let us answer your questions and offer advice to ensure no insurance company takes advantage of you to keep money in their pockets.