Personal injury claimants typically don’t interact with the reckless or negligent party that was to blame for the incident in which they were hurt. Instead, they usually correspond with an insurance adjuster who works for the at-fault party’s liability insurance carrier.
While this professional might appear to be sympathetic, their primary purpose is to protect the insurer’s bottom line. They do so by scrutinizing every claim carefully in the hopes of finding a reason to challenge the victim’s credibility or medical treatment.
In other words, the insurance adjuster is not on your side, so you should approach every interaction with caution. While there’s no way to be sure how they might misconstrue what you say or do, you can reduce the risk of hurting your claim inadvertently by following these tips:
1. Do not Provide a Recorded Statement
The insurance adjuster will probably ask for a formal statement early in the proceedings. It’s unwise, however, to discuss the circumstances surrounding the accident before you’ve completed all investigations. Likewise, you shouldn’t speak on the kinds of damages you’ve incurred until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Talking to the insurance adjuster about the accident—or about the devastation left in the aftermath—prior to confirming everything opens the door for them to poke holes in your claim. Should you say anything that turns out to be inaccurate, they’ll have grounds to challenge every aspect of your case.
2. Do not Accept a Premature Payout
The insurance adjuster knows your recoverable losses are only going to increase as time goes on. They also may try to take advantage of your time out of work due to the wreck and/or a dire financial position. Many times the anxiety of the wreck and fear motivate some people to accept fast cash. Know the insurance carriers are acutely aware of this and many companies pay their adjusters to find a way to give the least compensation possible on a claim.
If you agree to a settlement before reaching maximum medical improvement, however, you’re leaving money on the table. By settling, you’re closing out your only opportunity to ever obtain compensation for that case. Thus, you must be aware that if you suffer further complications after settlement, you won’t have legal recourse for seeking any additional compensation.
3. Refer to Your Legal Team
As soon as you enlist legal help, it’s best to avoid interacting with the insurance adjuster at all. Instead, simply refer them to your personal injury attorney.
Your lawyer will be happy to handle all correspondence on your behalf. In fact, doing so is necessary for them to protect your best interests. As long as experienced counsel is handling all communication, the insurance adjuster won’t be able to manipulate you into jeopardizing your claim, accepting an unfair settlement, or otherwise hurting your case.
Speak with a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
If you want to take action against the reckless or negligent party responsible for your injuries, turn to Hodge & Langley Law Firm for help. Our compassionate team has more than 50 years of combined experience in the legal field of personal injury.
By letting us handle your claim and advocating for your rights at every stage, you can focus on making a full recovery. To schedule your free case review with a personal injury attorney in South Carolina, call 864-585-3873 or complete our Contact Form.