When you file a claim for compensatory damages in a Charlotte accident, you typically deal with an insurance adjuster. The adjuster is responsible for reviewing your claim, negotiating with you over the amount of damages, and then deciding whether to approve the claim. The adjuster is also primarily responsible for deciding a dollar value for the claim. It is recommended that you have a Charlotte car accident lawyer by your side when you negotiate with the adjuster.
This is simply because an adjuster is an employee of the insurance company. So the top priority of the adjuster is to pay you as little as possible for your claim. In doing so, the adjuster may use various tactics which can jeopardize your claim. Here are some tips and tricks which can help you in dealing with an adjuster without harming your interests.
1. Wait a While
It is best to wait some time before you speak to the insurance adjuster. This is because the full extent and severity of your injuries may take some time to transpire. Once you fully know how severe your injuries are, you will be better able to deal with the adjuster.
2. Share Only the Facts
An insurance adjuster may try to ask you as many details as possible in order to find something which can be used against you. Legally, you are only required to share the facts of the crash with the adjuster. If the adjuster asks you irrelevant details such as your activities before the crash, you can simply state that this is not relevant to your claim. It is generally best to limit yourself to details such as when and where the crash occurred, who was involved, facts about injuries and vehicular damage, and so on.
3. Do Not Provide a Recorded Statement
Unless you have filed a claim with your own insurance company, you are not required to provide a recorded statement. An insurance adjuster will very likely use the statement against you. If you are filing under your own insurance policy, the terms of the policy may require you to provide a recorded statement. Fortunately, this is not the case when you file a third-party claim. In such a case, if the adjuster asks you for a recorded statement, you should politely refuse.
4. Speak Carefully About Prior Injuries
Pre-existing medical conditions are one of the most common factors used by the insurer to dispute insurance claims. This is why you must be very careful when speaking about pre-existing conditions or prior injuries to the insurance adjuster. If you do so, make sure you clearly state how the new injuries are distinct, or how the crash worsened the existing injuries with reference to specific symptoms.
5. Negotiate For a Rental Vehicle
An insurance agent may tell you that you can’t have temporary rental coverage, even when you are entitled to it while your claim is still being processed. It is best to get a copy of the police report at the earliest following the crash. The report usually names the party responsible for the crash. If you aren’t named as the at-fault party, the police report should be evidence enough for the insurance company to cover your rental costs until your vehicle is repaired or replaced.
6. Remain Calm
The insurance adjuster is simply representing the insurance company and anger or frustration will not get you anywhere. This is why it is best to stay calm, present the facts, show how you are clearly entitled to damages, and not share any more details than necessary.
7. Don’t Admit Fault
Even if you think you were at fault in causing the crash, don’t admit it to the adjuster. The adjuster will almost certainly use this admission to reject your claim. Under North Carolina’s pure contributory negligence law, you are barred from damages even if you are 1% at fault. So any admission of fault will effectively prevent you from recovering any compensation at all.
8. Take Notes of the Conversation
This is to make sure you remember exactly what the adjuster asked and how you responded. In case the adjuster later tries to misrepresent what you said, you can refer to the notes from the conversation.
9. Do Not Accept the First Offer
The first offer from an adjuster is always lower than what you deserve. So you should turn it down, even if it promises a quick settlement. Your actual claim may be many times this offer and a lawyer can help you secure the full amount of compensation.
10. Get Legal Help
The best way to deal with an insurance adjuster is by having a qualified lawyer by your side. The presence of a lawyer typically prevents the adjuster from using any underhand tactics or raising any unfair objections.
Why Hire a Charlotte Car Crash Lawyer?
If you have suffered losses in a Charlotte crash, we can help you. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, our lawyers can help you gather evidence for your crash claim, file the claim, negotiate with the adjuster, and ensure that you get a fair settlement in time. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with our Charlotte lawyers.