Every attorney will tell you to be cautious about talking to an insurance adjuster without your lawyer present. Although, that won’t keep the adjuster from calling you. So what should you do if an insurance adjuster calls you directly?
You have several options, including:
- Let the adjuster know you need to speak to your attorney first.
- Contact your lawyer and set up a time to call back the adjuster together.
- Answer only essential questions, such as name, date of birth, etc.
The first two options are the best because they ensure that the adjuster won’t try and trap you with trick questions designed to get you on record saying something that hurts your case.
Let’s take a look at each of these options for handling insurance adjuster calls in more detail to protect your legal rights.
1. State That You Must Talk to Your Attorney First
Avoiding the discussion with the adjuster is the best option. You need legal counsel to guide you in knowing what questions you should and shouldn’t answer. This simply delays the call and can allow you to return the adjuster’s inquiries at a time and date that is convenient for you.
It’s well within your legal rights to delay discussions with the adjuster until you’ve sought a free consultation with a personal injury attorney first.
2. Set Up a Time for You and Your Attorney to Call the Adjuster Back
Let the insurance adjuster know that you’ll call them back and schedule a time to discuss the incident once your attorney is present. Ideally, all conversations with the insurance company will involve your attorney because this is the best way to protect your rights.
You’ll have to serve as a go-between for the adjuster and your attorney. But it will be well worth your time because you’ll ensure you protect your rights to pursue a lawsuit or settlement from the insurance company.
3. Answer Essential Questions Only
This is not the preferred option, but we know sometimes clients can feel trapped. The insurance adjuster will likely be pushy. Their goal is to close out claims as quickly as possible and waiting for you to meet with an attorney or schedule a time for all three of you to talk will delay the claim process.
The adjuster might try to convince you that they just need some basic information to open the claim and begin the investigation so that you can get financial support from the accident.
Tread very carefully in these situations. Answer basic information that the adjuster could find about you from databases or the white pages. This includes basic data like:
- Your full name
- Your address, phone number, and date of birth
- Basic information about the vehicle involved in the accident, such as the year, make, and model
- The date and time of the accident
- The location of the accident
You should avoid answering specific questions about the cause of the accident, what speed you were going, if you were distracted, etc. These questions need careful answers and are not as black and white as the information listed above.
If the insurance adjuster is pressuring you to answer other questions, just reiterate that you’re working with an attorney who needs to be present for those discussions.
Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible
After an accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. You want the option to move along with your claim and get your bills paid quickly. And to do that, you need legal counsel to work with the insurance adjuster to open the claim and work toward a resolution.
Schedule a free consultation with Geoff McDonald & Associates now for a personal injury attorney you can trust.