Bam! Twisted metal. The engine is smoking. The body of the vehicle is totalled. Luckily, everyone is still alive. But there are some injuries and people need to go to the hospital. Emergency services are called to tend to the injuries as the police take down a report. Insurance information is traded. It’s clear who is at fault.
During the recovery process, you will get a call from the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster. They are friendly, encouraging and asks for your side of the story just for documentation. Then, you, unaware of the underhanded situation currently happening, tell them everything that took place. You have just taken the bait!
Next thing you know, not only are you not getting a payment but you need to pay out some money for the accident. The tables have turned and you are left wondering how and why. Visit this site to get the proper legal representation before you speak with an at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster.
- Asks a bunch of questions about the crash
Let the interrogations begin! The insurance adjuster will call you with great concern about getting your side of the story. He or she wants you to answer a few questions about the accident, and obviously, they have the pen out ready to take down some notes.
You will only put yourself at greater risks of not getting a payout or even criminally charged after talking to the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster. They will undoubtedly ask incriminating questions that could get used against you later in court. Their job is to avoid making the payments for the accident and getting your insurance company to foot the bill.
They will do everything in their power to influence your confession so you will be at a disadvantage in court. Just like having conversations with the police on the street without proper legal representation-what you say to the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster could be used against you in a court of law to build a case, especially if the conversation is documented-which it most likely will be. This is why having proper legal representation is very important when talking to a claim adjuster.
- Asks for a recorded statement
After pouring your heart about the accident because you are feeling so many emotions-which is natural, that insurance adjuster might ask you to make a recorded statement. If you hear these words say no thank you and hang up!
In fact, you should not even talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster about anything because the call could be recorded after saying hello. Sometimes you might not even be aware of the call being recorded because there are one-party consent laws in certain states. Sometimes they are required to tell you the call is being recorded and other times they are not. Make sure to search if this law applies to your home state.
So, if an insurance adjuster asks you to make a recorded statement just so they can have the information on file, hang up immediately! You are not required to say anything! Have your lawyer do all the talking for you. Twisting up your words is very easy to do in court and everything you say on tape exists forever. Never let your feelings take control with an at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster. Keep your cool and stay silent.
- Pretend to be on your side
The at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster will play the good-cop role like they are your friend. They will use positive, encouraging words and pretend like they are really concerned for your well-being. You will feel so comforted, secure that you might even start talking about the accident in detail.
That is a huge mistake!
This tactic will play on your emotions to get you to spill all the beans. Keep in mind that any mistakes in your words can weaken a case. You have rights!
The other person on the other end of the phone does not have your best interest at heart. They will pretend to be your friend to get all the information they want out of you. They might even try to build a rapport by calling you a couple of times. Don’t answer! Also, instruct everyone in the household, especially if they were involved with the accident not to answer. Their words hold weight as well.
- Asks what evidence do you have
One nasty tactic these adjuster use is asking what type of evidence you have. This is to determine whether they will win a case. They want you to show your poker hand so they can influence the game in their favor.
Some adjusters will even take things a step further and ask for a copy of your medical records, because if they can prove that you had a previous injury related to the one in the accident then that could be the source of your pain. Then, your case is thrown out of court!
Moreover, getting their hands on these records will also determine if you have a history with consuming alcohol, taking prescriptions or illegal drugs, or random psychotic episodes that could have contributed to the accident. All of this can be used against you! Keep your private information under lock and key away from these people. Don’t let them know anything about you or the accident! That information will get presented in the proper way in court by your attorney.
- Make settlement offers
It seems Christmas has come early in the form of a settlement offer. An at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster might realize that the evidence is stacked against their client and will make you a settlement offer. Don’t fall for the trap because there is no telling what type of hidden clauses are in the contract they drew up after you have decided to accept that settlement. Messages in the fine print could bite you in the rear end later.
Moreover, the insurance adjuster will likely offer the lowest amount, but if you had taken this case to court you would have gotten the highest payout possible with the right legal team standing by your side. An at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster will usually pull this tactic when all other tactics have failed.
What Should Be Your Responses?
Your response should be to stay silent. Remember, what you say can be used against you in a court of law. If you feel a need to talk to the insurance adjuster, turn the tables on them by asking a bunch of questions of your own and try to get the information. However, be wary of answering any questions because a simple yes or no could be misconstrued to mean something else or apply to another situation.
This is chess, not checkers!
Never talk to an at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster.