by HGD Staff
So you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, and you are hurt. You have gotten treatment in the emergency room, and you know your injuries are serious. You will no doubt have to spend months receiving physical therapy, or you may even need surgery. Within 24 hours of your traumatic event, you begin receiving phone calls from a friendly individual who asks about your injuries and expresses deep concern. He or she wants you to know that they will be doing everything they can to make sure you do not have anything to worry about. Maybe they offer to pay your medical bills; maybe they tell you they already have someone taking care of your car so it can be fixed. It can be very easy to see this person as a friendly source of relief.
But beware! This is an insurance adjuster. While many of them truly are wonderful people who mean well, it is important to realize their role in the claims process. First and foremost, do not answer any questions until you have spoken to a skilled Alabama injury lawyer. Here is what you should say to an insurance adjuster, if anything at all.
“Not Right Now”
You have been through a difficult and traumatic event. Whether you were a motorcyclist, pedestrian, driver, or passenger, chances are you are really shaken up. Now is not a reasonable time for you to be giving statements or being interrogated about the event. You need time to receive medical care, gather your wits, and make sure that you understand your rights. If an insurance claims adjuster begins asking you questions, be polite, but respectfully let them know that right now is not a good time. Then get off the phone.
“May I Have Your Contacts, So I Can Call Back Later?”
Another highly effective way to handle an insurance adjuster is to let them know that it is not a good time, but if they will give you the following information, you will happily be in touch shortly.
An adjuster will almost always be happy to provide the following information:
- The insurance company name
- The claim number
- The adjuster’s full name
- A direct contact number
- A good working fax number
- An email address, if they use one
- The proper claims mailing address to use if you need to send them something
Once you have these things, there is nothing more to say. Politely say good-bye and discontinue the call.
But They Offered to Pay for My Car
Yes, the adjuster may be asking questions in order to repair your car. However, conversation can quickly deteriorate into questions about your injuries and medical treatment. If the other driver’s insurance company is willing to fix your vehicle now, there is a pretty good chance they will still be willing to once an attorney contacts them. In fact, they are probably more likely to do so, as they know an experienced set of eyes is now watching them. Every state has a comprehensive set of regulations that control the manner in which insurance companies are required to handle claims. In Alabama, the insurance regulations dictate how long the insurance company has to respond to claims, pay valid claims and make property damage arrangements.
“I Would Feel More Comfortable if You Spoke with My Attorney”
Once you tell an insurance adjuster that you have an attorney, they should discontinue any attempt to speak with you or take your statement. They are legally required to direct their questions to your attorney instead. They will, however, insist that you tell them who your attorney is. Do not bluff or try to “fake” having an attorney. If you claim to have an attorney but do not have one, the insurance company may stop working on your claim until they hear from your attorney. If you do not have one, this can delay your claim and even hurt your case.
It is easy to get legal help after an Alabama auto accident or other type of personal injury. If you are getting calls from an adjuster, give Heninger Garrison Davis a call today. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can provide you with a comprehensive free case evaluation. If we agree to represent you, you will not need to call the adjuster back. Our attorneys will handle that for you in order to protect your interests.