After a motor vehicle accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company wants to settle and finalize the claim as soon as possible. If you have been the victim of an accident, insurance adjusters will begin calling you in the days following the accident, offering you a settlement to close the claim. However, it is important to remember that insurance adjusters work for the insurance company—not for you. The insurance adjuster’s job is to settle a claim for as little money as possible, regardless of whether it fairly compensates you for your pain and suffering. What should you do if you are getting phone calls from the other driver’s insurance company?
First, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you have been involved in an accident. Once you hire an attorney, your attorney takes over the discussions with the insurance company. You do not have to worry about saying something that could be used against you, or settling a claim for too little money—your attorney will be able to evaluate any offers the insurance company makes and explain whether or not they are reasonable.
If you have not yet been able to meet with an attorney, you should not discuss the claim with the insurance adjuster. Simply tell the adjuster that you will be meeting with an attorney and that you will be deferring to your attorney’s guidance. It is likely that the insurance adjuster will continue calling you until you have secured legal representation. Do not let the insurance adjuster pressure you or stress you out—just repeat that you will be meeting with an attorney and that your attorney will be in touch with the insurance company.
What about your own insurance company? Is it okay to speak with them? Your own insurance company is not under pressure to settle for as little money as possible. Plus, the terms of your policy probably require you to report any accidents to your insurance company. Therefore, it is okay to speak with your insurance company about the accident and provide the details of what happened. Again, once you hire an attorney, your attorney will take the steps necessary to keep your insurance company informed as to what is going on in the case.
Statements made to an insurance company can be used against you later on in the claim. If you are trying to be friendly and say, “Well, it did not hurt all that bad” when describing your injuries, an insurance adjuster will be able to use this statement to argue you are not as seriously injured as you claim. Rather than misspeaking and risk damaging your claim, it is better to let an experienced attorney deal with these insurance companies.
Call Chicago Accident Law Firm of Stein & Shulman, LLC Today For Your Free Consultation
At Stein & Shulman, LLC, our Auto Accident Lawyers in Chicago, Illinois know how to negotiate with insurance companies. To schedule a free consultation, call 312.422.0500 today.