One of the worst parts about a car accident is having to deal with the insurance company. This can be so much worse if you were seriously injured in an accident, and only want to focus on getting your life back on track. When you get a phone call or a letter regarding your accident, you may not be sure whether it is from your insurance company, the other driver's insurance company, some other insurance company, or the lawyers working for the insurance company. It is important to understand the role of an insurance adjuster after an injury accident, so you can protect your interests.
Insurance Adjusters and Your Personal Injury Claim
Drivers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are required to have a minimum level of financial responsibility, which means that most drivers on the road have car insurance. After an accident, you are supposed to report the incident to your insurance company, and the other drivers are supposed to do the same. Your insurance company is supposed to be on your side, but often times, they are only concerned with limiting the total payout. They may fight with the other insurance company so they don't have to pay for the accident, but they probably won't fight for you to get the best settlement you deserve.
After an accident, you should consider speaking to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney. There can be a number of benefits to contacting an attorney early on. They will immediately begin to represent you and your interests. That means that you can avoid talking to the other driver's insurance company, and you can even let your lawyer deal with your own insurance company. You can rest assured that they are taking care of advocating for you, so you can focus on recovery, and the important things in life. However, if you decide to talk to the insurance adjuster, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
If you are involved in an accident, your insurance company may require you to talk to the adjuster or other insurance representatives. This usually includes providing information and details about the accident, and an interview. However, you are generally not required to talk to the other driver's insurance company. Most of the time, talking to the other insurance company's adjuster can only hurt your case, not help it. When they ask you for information, they may be gathering evidence to use against you, to deny your claim or reduce your settlement award.
If You Speak to the Insurance Adjuster
Before you decide to speak to an insurance adjuster, remember who they are working for. They are trying to get the best settlement offer for the insurance company. If they can get away with paying you nothing, they will. If they can try and make you pay for the other driver's damages or injuries, they will. You need someone who will fight for you, to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you still go ahead and decide to speak to the insurance adjuster, be very careful about what you say. You may think your statements are harmless and innocent, or that you have nothing to hide. However, the things you say and the way you say them can be used against you later on. The insurance adjuster is very experienced in gathering the information they are looking for. Any little mistake could result in the insurance company denying your claim, or rejecting a fair settlement offer.
Insurance companies are known to use investigators and surveillance to “catch,” accident victims. For example, if you complain of a back injury, and you are photographed carrying a bag of groceries, they may say that you don't really have an injury. Even if you were in extreme pain at the time, or the pain can come and go, they may not be interested in hearing what you have to say, and will simply deny your claim, leaving you with unpaid medical bills, and lost wages. Why take a chance dealing with an insurance adjuster who is only interested in the insurance company's bottom line?
Even if the insurance company offers you a settlement, they will have you sign away your rights to sue before they cut you a check. Make sure you understand what is at stake. What seems like a fair settlement at the time could be little help if the pain returns, or you find that you have more permanent injuries. A Philadelphia personal injury attorney can advise you on your settlement offer before you give up your legal rights to seek full compensation. They may offer a free consultation, and be willing to take your case with no upfront costs to you.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
After an injury accident, the last thing you want to do is deal with the insurance company. The good news is that with a simple call to your Philadelphia personal injury attorney, you can have the insurance companies off your back, so you can move forward with your life. If you were injured in an accident contact the Gilman & Bedigian team today for a free consultation.