Why You Should Avoid Talking to an Insurance Adjuster Without an Attorney
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, there are exceptions to the law that allow a driver to receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If your PIP cannot pay for all your medical bills, lost wages, and car damages, you might benefit a lot from the settlement you receive from the other party’s insurance company. Nonetheless, you only qualify for compensation if you meet the threshold described under Florida Statute 627.737 (2).
When working towards receiving a settlement, you will need to deal with an insurance adjuster. An insurance adjuster is responsible for investigating personal injury claims after an accident to determine the settlement you should receive. After your insurance company learns about the accident, it assigns an insurance adjuster to your case. Your insurance company’s adjuster will contact you, and the other insurance company’s adjuster might also contact you even before a judge determines fault.
Dealing with the insurance adjuster from your insurance company is not an easy task, and dealing with the insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company is an even more challenging task. Whether you are talking to your insurance company’s insurance adjuster or the other driver’s insurance company’s insurance adjuster, it is never wise to communicate with them without a personal injury attorney.
Here are two reasons why talking to insurance adjusters without an attorney is never a good idea.
Reason 1: You Might Record a Statement That Might Hurt Your Case
When an insurance adjuster first communicates with you, they will probably ask you to provide a recorded statement. Suppose you decide to provide a recorded statement. In that case, that decision can hurt your case when, for instance, an insurance adjuster notices that some information in the statement you gave the police does not match what you provided in the statement you gave them. Even if you meant the same thing but told it differently, as long as the adjuster believes and maintains that your statements do not match, you might miss out on a settlement when they succeed to use your statement against you.
What to Do Instead
Remember that you are not legally obligated to provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Therefore, when asked to provide a statement, tell the insurance company that you will not provide the statement without your attorney. Consult your personal injury attorney immediately, and they will guide you from there.
However, since Florida is a no-fault state, you are contractually expected to provide a recorded statement to your insurance company after an auto accident. Apart from ensuring you consult your attorney before you talk to your insurance company, other crucial acts can help you avoid hurting your case.
In case you find yourself in a situation where you have to talk with the insurance company before communicating with a personal injury attorney, it is vital that you;
- cooperate with the insurance company.
- avoid telling lies.
- avoid guessing the answers to questions.
Reason 2: You Might Agree to an Unfair Settlement
Remember that insurance adjusters, whether from your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, are more interested in achieving what is best for the insurance company they work for and not what is best for you. Therefore, their primary goal, when discussing a settlement with you in the absence of your attorney, is to convince you to accept the least possible amount.
When you decide to talk to an insurance adjuster on your own in the early days after the accident, you might fall for an unfair settlement offer because accidents usually leave people unsettled and vulnerable.
It is risky to accept settlement offers in the early days after an auto accident because, during that time, you are still unaware of the total cost of your medical bills. At that point, you most likely also do not know the exact extent of car damages. Additionally, you might still, at that point, not know how much of your wages you will lose because of being away from work.
What to Do Instead
Keep in mind that if an insurance adjuster gives you an offer in the absence of an attorney, and in the early days succeeding the accident, then it may not be a fair offer. Fight off any temptation to settle for the first offer you receive from them, and contact your attorney. A competent personal injury attorney can help you get a fair deal if you fight off the temptation.
Contact Us for Help Today
If you need help claiming fair compensation from an insurance company, contact the Naples car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., to schedule a free consultation.