If you were injured in a motorcycle collision caused by a negligent driver, you would need to file a claim for compensation for your injuries with their insurance company. Knowing what to expect when you pursue your rights with them is essential. One crucial thing you need to understand, as our San Diego motorcycle accident attorney explains, is how to handle a call from the insurance adjuster.
What You Need to Know About Talking to the Negligent Driver’s Insurance Company in San Diego
You must be very careful about what you say when talking to the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. While their insurance adjuster may seem friendly and concerned about your health, they do not have your best interests at heart when settling your claim. You need to be prepared for them to do whatever they can to deny your claim or force you to accept less compensation in your settlement.
One way they do this is by calling you to get you to say or do things that hurt your injury case. You do not want to give them ammunition to fight your claim. Here are tips on how to handle a call from them.
Tip #1: Obtain Contact Information
The first thing you should do is get the claims adjuster's name and contact information. You will also need your claim number to provide to the adjuster when contacting them about your claim.
Tip #2: Give Concise Answers
When talking to the insurance adjuster, give short, concise answers to their questions. Do not ramble on or give more information than they request. You should provide them with limited information about the cause of your motorcycle wreck and your injuries to avoid saying something that they can use against you in settlement negotiations.
Tip #3: Be Truthful
Everything you tell the insurance adjuster should be accurate. Do not exaggerate when describing how the motorcycle crash occurred or your injuries. It is also best to say “I don’t know” rather than guess an answer.
If you say something that isn’t true, it will hurt your credibility as a witness and weaken the strength of your claim. Even if you ultimately win compensation, the jury could decide you are partially at fault and reduce the value of your claim.
Tip #4: Don’t Admit Fault
The insurance adjuster will be looking for any statements you make that are an admission of your fault in causing the crash. Avoid saying anything like “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see the car before it hit me” that could be twisted and used against you by the insurance company.
Tip #5: Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
A recorded statement is a question-and-answer session with the insurance adjuster transcribed into a written document. It can be used against you in settlement negotiations and court.
You do not have to give a recorded statement to settle your claim. Even if you are careful, the insurance adjuster could ask you a tricky or confusing question to get you to say something harmful to your claim. Do not agree to their request for a recorded statement.
Tip #6: Do Not Sign Any Documents
You should not sign any documents, like a medical release or Release of All Claims form, without first having it reviewed by a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer. Here is how signing these documents could hurt your case:
- You could be waiving fundamental legal rights, such as the right to receive compensation for your future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- You may be giving the insurance company access to all of your private medical records. They do not need all your documents to settle your claim, and they may find the information they can use to argue that another incident caused your injuries.
#7: Do Not Accept a Quick Settlement
If the insurance company makes a settlement offer soon after you file your claim, it is most likely for much less than compensation than you deserve for your injuries. It is almost always best to refuse a quick settlement. You should never settle your case until you discuss the offer with a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer.
What Is the Best Way to Handle a Call From the Insurance Company?
When the insurance adjuster contacts you, your best strategy is to tell them politely that you do not want to discuss your claim with them. Get their contact information, and tell them that you will have your attorney contact them. If you have not yet retained a lawyer, now is the time to do so.