When Is It Best to Let Your Lawyer Talk to a Car Insurer?
Michelle Eddy is a staunch consumer advocate, fresh libertarian convert, and proud mother of three. Besides her legal career, she enjoys blogging about topics related to her expertise and life experiences, like parenting, child development, education, and law. In her writings, Michelle places emphasis on helping people to fight for their rights. She also works as a collaborative editor for Laborde Earles Law Firm. Her favorite quote is: “Sir, we are outnumbered 10 to 1″. “Then, it is a fair fight”.
Hiring an attorney is one of the best things you could do to ensure a successful outcome after filing a car insurance claim. Not only can an attorney assign an accurate value to your losses, pain, and suffering, but they can also handle all communication with insurance companies.
Without professional help, you will often run the risk of making statements that might jeopardize your settlement. Here are several scenarios in which it is best to let an attorney do the talking.
When Recovering from Injuries
Insurance adjusters are trained to get people to say and agree to things that undermine their claims’ validity and help justify lower settlement amounts. Their ultimate goal is to protect their employers’ bottom lines. Although they might seem friendly, they are never on the side of accident victims. Sadly, their seemingly empathetic tone often causes people to relax and speak comfortably.
When talking with an adjuster, you want to avoid making casual comments about your health. Even if it’s second nature for you to respond with “I’m fine” when asked how you’re doing, this is never a response that you want to give to an insurance company.
Speaking with an adjuster during the early stages of your recovery is an especially bad idea. Immediately after an accident, you may be taking prescription pain medications that make you feel foggy and out-of-sorts. Accepting calls when you feel this way increases your likelihood of making casual yet incredibly harmful statements.
Whenever You Start Feeling Pressured to Settle Fast
If you have yet to secure legal representation, you’ll likely find yourself facing a lot of pressure from adjusters to settle right away. The sooner that accident victims settle, the less money they ultimately receive.
Not only does caving in to pressure and accepting initial offers lead to lower settlement amounts, but it also keeps many people from receiving the medical care and treatments they need.
It’s important to note not all of a person’s injuries from a car accident are guaranteed to manifest right away. You may develop latent pain, stiffness, swelling, and other problems several days after your emergency room visit.
Taking your time to make sure that your body is fully recovered and that all your injuries have been diagnosed and properly treated is important. After you have settled, you won’t be able to request additional funds, even if you wind up missing more time at work and racking up additional hospital bills.
When an Insurance Adjuster Asks for a Recorded Statement
If a car insurance company ever asks you to make a recorded statement concerning the details of the accident, you should refer this conversation directly to your attorney. If you don’t have one, let the adjuster know that you’ll contact a car accident lawyer first and resume the conversation after receiving direction from this professional.
Any statements that you make on record can and likely will be used against you. Whether recorded or unrecorded, you should always avoid making statements about:
- The nature and severity of your injuries
- The details of your accident
- The magnitude of material damages you’ve sustained.
Doing this will prevent you from saying things that conflict with statements your lawyer might make during negotiations or at other times.
During Settlement Negotiations
Always leave the negotiation with an insurance company to a lawyer with a lot of experience with such matters as this car accident lawyer in Lafayette. Such professionals have the best ability to negotiate a fair settlement for your losses. What might seem like a lot of money to you may not be sufficient to cover all your medical bills and lost wages.
If adjusters ever become forceful, impatient, or rude, remember that you aren’t required to take or return their calls right away. In fact, once you have an attorney on your team, you can avoid talking with insurance adjusters at all.
As your legal representative, your attorney is also your official spokesperson. As such, there’s never a bad time to have your lawyer handle conversations with adjusters. With their help, you can avoid inadvertently harming your case and diminishing your settlement amount.