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Should I talk to the insurance adjuster?

You’ve been in the frightening experience of a car wreck. You’ve may have been taken to the hospital. You cannot drive your car because of the damage. All you want is to get your life back to the way it was before the accident as soon as humanly possible. Within twenty-four hours, your cell phone rings, and the caller ID shows a strange number. You listen to the voicemail to find out that it’s the adjuster other driver’s insurance company, trying to “make things right.” You can handle this! The adjuster is friendly, and sounds empathetic. Calling the adjuster back and talking this through is probably the quickest way to get your life back, right?

It is important to remember that while your car accident is a traumatic, personal, and financially straining event to you, it is simply another business transaction to the insurance company. They are trying to get you out of the way as cheaply as possible. After all, that is how they make money for their shareholders. So, when you receive that warm and fuzzy voicemail, remember that the adjuster’s goal is not to treat you fairly, but to get the best deal she can to generate profit for the insurance company.

Writer Arthur Miller once said “you can quicker get back a million dollars that was stolen than a word you gave away.” Once you start giving an insurance adjuster a recorded statement to, you may unintentionally blurt out something that can cost you a significant amount of money, setting you further away from your goal of getting your life back. Unfortunately, once a damaging statement is made, there’s nothing you can do to take it back. Here’s a tip: there is no law that requires you to give a recorded statement to an adjuster immediately following an accident. Take your time, hire an attorney experienced in handling liability insurance claims who can counsel you before you give a statement you may later regret.

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