No Need to Talk to Insurance Adjusters if you have a Lawyer
If you are a personal injury tort claimant, you may be wondering about whether, if an insurance adjuster keeps calling you to discuss your case, what should you do? The simple answer is that, if you have hired a lawyer and are legally represented, you are under no obligation to discuss your case with your insurance company. It is recommended to let your lawyer do that, on your behalf. If the insurance company is contacting you, advise your lawyer immediately and he or she will get in touch with them to let them know that you are represented and that if they have a question, or need information or a document, they can contact your lawyer.
But if you are not represented, or just choose to accept the phone call, you may like tips on how to handle it well. Identify who you are speaking with (name, telephone number and address), the company he/she works for and the person or company their insurance company represents. It’s safe to tell them your name, telephone number and address and type of work and address of employment, but avoid giving any further details. You can discuss where, when, type of accident, vehicles involved and the identity of any witnesses, but try not to give a description about the accident. In the emotional time after an accident, you might make mistakes and omissions and the insurance company might use these later to refute your facts. Say the investigation is continuing and you will discuss the facts later at an appropriate time. As well, they may ask for a statement about your injuries. For similar reasons, if you make a mistake or omission, the insurance company can use that to discredit your later statements about injuries you sustained. Say you are seeking medical treatment. Avoid settling. They may make a low offer to settle, hoping you agree to it and end the matter before you find out the real value of your claim. Set boundaries: tell them you will not be discussing much over the phone. Always remain calm and polite, as the adjuster plays a role in determining whether the insurance company will settle and for how much. At the end, write a note about the information you gave and obtained.