If you have reason to talk to an insurance adjuster after an accident, you might be tempted to give them whatever information they ask for. After all, if you know that someone else is at fault, then what is the problem with giving honest information? The truth is that you might do your case more harm than good. If you are considering talking to the insurance company, make sure you understand these three facts first.
- The Law
- Your Rights
- The Obligations of the Insurance Company
Before you talk to the insurance company after a car accident (or another type of accident), you should know what the law says about your accident. You should know if the at-fault party is liable for your injuries. If you move forward and speak to the insurance company without understanding the law, you take on the risk of taking more responsibility than you legally have. This could end in making statements to the insurance company that reduce your compensation unfairly.
This is true even if you know you are partially at fault. In California, you can still hold an at-fault party responsible even if you were also responsible. However, if you admit that you were “half at fault” because you were partially at fault, this can once again lead to reducing your settlement. Misspeaking can have a huge impact on the long-term results of your case.
There are several things you need to know about your rights before talking to an insurance adjuster. First, you should know that you are under no legal requirement to talk to them at all. An insurance adjuster – even one working for your own insurance company – might work to make you feel as though you must talk to them. You do not.
Second, you should know that any recorded statement you make can be used in a legal proceeding against you. On the other hand, notes taken by the adjuster cannot be used against you. Why? Because they could write down anything they want. But if you agree to be recorded, then they can use that recording against you.
The insurance company has obligations to both the people who hold policies with them and the people who are injured by their policyholders. One example is that the insurance company is required to provide information about the limits of the policy, they are required to investigate fairly, and they are required to pay settlements quickly. If you do not know what they are required to do, they might not do what they are required to do.
The best option is to contact a personal injury attorney who can help you through this situation. Reach out to The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation today.