Florida Car Accident: When a Recorded Statement is Requested by an Insurance Adjuster
If you live in Fort Lauderdale and get into a car accident, you face many unfortunate repercussions: injuries, medical bills, damages to your vehicle, lost wages from work, and more. To recoup these expensive costs, you may consider filing an insurance claim against the negligent driver. When this happens, most insurance companies will request a recorded statement. An insurance adjuster will then use the statement to process your claim for compensation.
It’s important to be careful when speaking with the insurance adjuster. Their job is to keep more money in the insurance company’s pocket, not look out for your best interests. The best thing you can do when filing an insurance claim for a car accident is seek legal counsel.
What the Insurance Adjuster Wants
With a recorded statement, an adjuster is looking for 2 things: documentation of the extent of your injuries and an admission of partial or full fault on your part. Essentially,the insurance adjuster is looking for reasons to reduce the amount of compensation you will be awarded in your claim. Regarding your injuries, they’re likely looking to catch you early before you know their full extent. This will keep them for having to pay more for them.
Insurance adjusters also want to prove your fault in the accident. If they catch you say things like “I’m sorry,” “my mistake,” or any other gleaning that you in some way contributed to the accident , it may show you hold accountability in the car accident, thereby lowering the amount you can be awarded, if any at all.
Before giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster, it’s important to seek legal counsel, research your policy, and prepare what you will say ahead of time. This can keep you from doing something that could affect the compensation you receive.
Don’t agree to giving a statement right away. Schedule a time in the future that allows you enough time to adequately prepare. Try to make an appointment after the adjuster’s lunch break, that way they won’t be in a rush to get it over with.
Follow these tips when preparing your statement:
- Gather details and documentation – have the location, names of any passengers, witness contacts, policy information, vehicle descriptions, police report numbers, and any medical contacts on hand and ready before you begin your statement.
- Know your policy – Know what you are entitled to under your policy and be aware of how fault and injury severity factor into your claim.
- Request a transcript of the statement – This will give you some reference of your conversation when talking to your adjuster at a later time, or when working with your lawyer.
- Prepare for possible questions – Have answers ready for expected questions. They will likely ask you to recount the accident, to describe the surroundings, and to note any stoplights or signs involved. Have responses ready, so you don’t accidently say something that could hurt your claim.
- Be ready to decline questions or say “I don’t know.” – If the insurance adjuster asks you a question that you feel isn’t pertinent to the claim, you don’t have an answer, or it could hurt your claim; you can always decline to answer or say “I don’t know.”
- Consult an attorney – Discussing your statement beforehand with an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure your claim’s success.
When delivering your statement, don’t volunteer any extraneous information. Simply answer the questions asked and no more. Also, unless you are completely, 100% sure of something, use the terms “about,” “approximately,” or “as best I can recall” to protect yourself.
It’s important to be prepared before delivering an accident statement to an insurance adjuster about your car accident claim. It could make a notable difference in your settlement amount.
When It’s Time to Contact a Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was involved or injured in Fort Lauderdale from a recent car accident, an accident claim may cover damages, medical bills, and other costs you have incurred. Call 954-522-5800 or 954-633-8270 today to speak with a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney at Wolf & Pravato today.