Personal Injury? Avoid Mistakes When Communicating With The Adjuster

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Injuring yourself at a place of business often means that you will need to file a personal injury claim in order to get the compensation that you deserve. Usually, this results in the business owner's insurance company contacting you to attempt a settlement of your claim. Make sure you know what to do before you speak with an adjuster. The following guide can help.

Don't apologize or make excuses

If you start any conversation with the adjuster with an apology or an excuse for your accident, the adjuster may assume that you are taking the blame. This could then lead to a reduced settlement or an outright refusal to offer a settlement. Your best option when you are contacted by an adjuster is to simply refer them to your lawyer, whom you should have placed upon retainer as soon as the accident occurred. If this is the initial call from the adjuster and you don't yet have a lawyer, keep any conversation short and avoid giving too many details.

Stay business-like

When an adjuster does call, don't get too friendly. Often, adjusters will try to steer the conversation to personal topics or to make lighthearted banter in an attempt to get your guard down so that you make admissions that can be used to reduce your settlement. Keep your tone polite but business-like and do not let your guard down. The adjuster isn't your friend – they are doing a job and they do not work for you.

Stick to the facts

When providing a statement on the accident, do not offer any opinions or theories on how or why it happened. Stick to only the most basic of facts – the date, time, and location, along with where you went for medical treatment, the initial injury diagnosis, and your contact information. While more in-depth statements will eventually be required to determine the settlement, this is the only information the adjuster needs to begin filing a claim. Save the details for when you have legal counsel available.

Keep private info private

Some adjusters will request private information, saying it is necessary for processing a claim. This can include social security numbers, the names and contact information of references or family, or employer information. There is no good reason for an adjuster to have this information – it's often requested simply so they can try to dig up dirt on you in an attempt to show your claim is bogus.

Contact a personal injury attorney like as soon as possible after your accident. They will handle communication with the adjuster and provide you with priceless help when it comes time to negotiate your final settlement.