If you were recently involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you can expect the at-fault driver’s insurance company to contact you within a few days of the accident. The insurance adjuster will ask for details about the accident, then use the information you provide to determine your insurance payment.
While a call with the insurance adjuster may seem like a casual interaction, what you say during this conversation can significantly impact your settlement. Read on to learn “What do I do if an insurance adjuster calls me?”
Know That You Are Not Legally Obligated to Speak to the Insurer
If you feel uncomfortable talking to the insurance adjuster, your injuries prevent you from having a long phone conversation, or you are afraid of saying the wrong thing on the phone, that’s okay. In Oklahoma, you are not legally obligated to speak to another person’s insurance company after an accident.
However, you do want to relay the details of your case in some way so that you can receive a settlement. As a result, instead of speaking with the adjuster yourself, you can consider:
- Asking the insurance company to talk with your own insurer instead
- Stating that you will only speak to the insurer in the presence of your attorney
Do Not Admit Fault
If another driver’s insurance company has contacted you after an accident, it probably has a good idea of who was at fault. However, the insurance adjuster may trick you into admitting partial fault to reduce your payout.
The insurer can interpret your words as an admission of fault even if you do not directly say, “The accident was my fault.” Any of the following statements can be an admission of fault:
- “I’m sorry.”
- “If I hadn’t ___, maybe the accident wouldn’t have been so bad.”
- “I should have stopped faster”
- “I wasn’t paying attention.”
- “I didn’t know exactly where I was going.”
- “I had never been on that street before.”
Avoiding these phrases can support your claim that the other driver was entirely responsible for the accident.
Do Not Assume the Insurance Adjuster Is On Your Side
When an insurance adjuster calls you to collect details about the accident, they may seem friendly, kind, and on your side. They may make comments like “I’m sorry you had to go through that” or ask you how your recovery is going.
However, you should never assume that the insurance adjuster is on your side. Instead, the adjuster is on the at-fault driver’s side. They want to reduce their customer’s liability to minimize the amount of money they must pay you.
Do Not Let Them Record You
The insurance adjuster may ask to record your phone call. They may say something like, “This would be a lot faster if I could just get a recorded statement from you.”
However, you have every right to deny permission for a recorded statement. Additionally, you shouldn’t send the insurance company anything in writing without having an attorney review it in advance.
Only Answer the Questions Asked
During your conversation with the insurance adjuster, you may feel tempted to spill as many details about the accident as possible. However, in doing so, you may accidentally provide information that supports your own role in the accident.
Instead, we recommend only answering the questions asked and providing as simple answers as possible.
Working with an attorney throughout your accident case can ensure that you appropriately communicate with the insurance adjuster. Now that you know “What do I do if an insurance adjuster calls me?” contact our team at Bryan Garrett Personal Injury Law Firm at 405-369-4498 for assistance.