After a Car Accident in Wichita Falls or Elsewhere in Texas and Oklahoma, Expect a Call from the Negligent Driver’s Insurance Adjuster
If you were injured in a car accident, or any other type of accident, caused by another driver in Wichita Falls, or anywhere throughout Texas and Oklahoma, you might be surprised how quickly the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster contacts you about the accident. You may receive this call in the early days of your recovery, or you may even receive this call while you’re still in the hospital being treated for your injuries.
Although you may think this is a good thing and that the adjuster is already on it investigating your claim, this does not mean your claim will be settled quickly, and it definitely does not mean your claim will be settled fairly. As a matter of fact, you should be extremely careful when the adjuster contacts you. Even if you clearly were not at fault, you risk weakening your claim when you talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. These adjusters are trained to get you to believe they are your friend so you offer up a lot of information, which they then twist and use against you.
What is the Insurance Adjusters Role in Handling Your Wichita Falls Car Accident?
It’s important to know the insurance adjusters’ motive, so you can understand how their role in the handling of your accident will affect your claim. The insurance adjuster’s job is to investigate claims and make determinations on how to settle them. Insurance adjusters are employees of insurance companies who, like all businesses, has the goal of making a profit. Now, because the insurance adjusters collect their paycheck from the insurance companies, it’s easy to determine their allegiance likely lies with them. And because insurance companies are in the business to make profit, they have to avoid paying out a bunch of money on a bunch of claims, so they train their adjusters and equip them with tactics to use to deny or minimize claims.
Even if the other driver was clearly at fault or it is obvious that your injuries were caused by the accident and are very serious, they will sometimes employ these tactics that work against you. It is critical that you always remember this when talking to these adjusters and you are very careful in what you say to them. In fact, we suggest not speaking with the other party’s insurance company until you’ve at least spoken and gotten a free evaluation from an experienced Wichita Falls accident and injury attorney. However, when it comes to your own insurance company, you have to cooperate with them.
Why the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Wants to Speak with You After a Wichita Falls Accident
Understanding why the insurance adjuster is contacting you and understanding the tactics he may employ will help you avoid making a mistake that may weaken or devalue your claim. Yes, the insurance adjuster must conduct an investigation into what happened, but he is also seeking for statements and information that can be twisted or manipulated to place at least some of the blame on you or call your injuries into question. The tricky part is you may not even realize you are saying something detrimental to your case.
Many accident victims have made mistakes that hurt their case when dealing with the insurance adjusters on their own, making it harder for their attorney to work their case and secure them the settlement they deserve. Some common tactics of the insurance adjusters that you should be on the lookout for are listed below:
- Being super friendly. Don’t get me wrong, there are great people out there that are insurance adjusters that have a genuine concern about a victim’s injuries and that will have the intentions of negotiating a fair settlement. However, you should be aware of adjusters who are simply putting on an act, posing as your friend to get you comfortable so you will offer up more information.
- Asking for a recorded statement. The insurance adjusters often ask victims of accidents to give a recorded statement via a question-and-answer form. The insurance adjusters will claim they need this recorded statement to complete their investigation, but what they are really searching for is inconsistencies in your story or other detrimental statements that could be used against you.
- Asking for a signed authorization. The insurance adjusters also ask victims to sign their medical authorization form allowing them access to your medical records. While they will need to review your records that are relevant to your accident, they do not need access to all your medical records. Often times, the insurance companies’ authorization allows them access to all your records allowing them to look for pre-existing conditions and other private and sensitive information that could be used against you.
- Requesting to be friends on social media. Be very cautious of friend requests on social medial by insurance adjusters or by a random person you don’t know (because they could be an adjuster) while attempting to settle your claim. The adjuster could be adding you as a friend to search for photos or posts by you, family, or friends that could hurt your case.
- Offering a settlement rather quickly. When adjusters make settlements quickly, they are often trying to get you to settle your case for less than what it is worth. You want to avoid settling your claim without getting an idea of the true value of your case, which you can do by consulting with an experienced attorney who can advise you, provide an evaluation, and protect all your legal rights.
The Best Strategy for Dealing with Insurance Adjusters
If there is no avoiding talking to the insurance adjuster, there are certain steps you can take in order to protect your case. The first and most important thing to know is that you are not obligated to talk with the insurance adjuster of the at-fault driver and most of the time it’s best if you don’t. You can politely request their contact information and tell them that you have an attorney that will contact them to discuss your claim. We recommend that you do not have a conversation with them. If you don’t yet have an attorney, we recommend that you at least go get a free evaluation from one. The benefits of having an attorney are enormous. For one, they will handle all communications with the insurance company and they are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources to not only preserve the value of your claim but to maximize your compensation.
Let Us Handle the Insurance Companies and Their Adjusters So Your Rights and Interests Are Protected
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in Wichita Falls, our personal injury law firm can take over communicating with the insurance company and deal with the adjusters, lifting the burden off you and allowing you to focus on healing from your injuries. We have the advantage because we thoroughly understand the tactics of the insurance companies, we know how to deal with them, and we know how to protect your interests.
To discover more about personal injury claims in Wichita Falls, and elsewhere in Texas and Oklahoma, download a free copy of our book, The Traveler’s Guide to the Universe of Personal Injury. You can also call our Wichita Falls car accident law firm by calling us at 940-569-4000 or by filling out our contact form to set up a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. We will provide you with a free evaluation of your case and even if you don’t hire us, we can give you some useful information to move forward with. We make the process quick and easy, and we offer all types of appointments whether you prefer in person, video chat, or phone calls. We are here to help you.