If you’ve been injured in a car, truck, motorcycle, or Uber/Lyft accident, you’re likely enduring a number of struggles. Whether it’s the burden of mounting hospital or medical bills, physical therapy and rehabilitation costs, lost wages, or even daily pain and suffering, auto accidents can cause a number of figurative headaches for injured victims.
Should You Give a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Claims Adjuster After an Accident?
- Should I Give a Recorded or Official Statement About My Car Accident to an Insurance Claims Adjuster?
- What Should I Do When the Insurance Company Calls Me After a Car Accident Injury?
- What Tactics Do Auto Insurance Adjusters Use to Minimize Car Accident Claims Payouts?
- What Damages May be Recovered in a Los Angeles, California, Car Accident Injury Claim?
- Free Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Consultation
How To Deal with a Car Insurance Adjuster
If your car accident was due to another person’s negligence, you are likely entitled to financial compensation for the various losses sustained as a result. But ensuring that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for a car accident injury claim is not always straightforward. In fact, because insurance companies are in business to make money and therefore reduce personal injury claims – even those that are entirely valid – it’s important that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Let’s take a look at what you should do after a car, truck, motorcycle, or Uber/Lyft accident injury, discuss whether giving a recorded statement to an auto insurance claims adjuster is advisable, review what types of damages may be recoverable through a civil claim, and include information on how to set up a free consultation with an experienced lawyer from Dordulian Law Group.
Should I Give a Recorded or Official Statement About My Car Accident to an Insurance Claims Adjuster?
The short answer to this question is an unconditional “no.” After a car accident, despite the pain, suffering, and inconvenience you’re likely experiencing, the insurance company will no doubt pressure you to provide a recorded statement in the hope that you will agree to a fast (and lowball) cash settlement. But providing a recorded statement after your car accident injury exposes you to a number of pitfalls.
One of the most important steps to take after a car accident injury involves never admitting fault or liability. Even if your car accident occurred through no fault of your own, speaking to an insurance claims adjuster without an attorney present exposes you to inadvertently making incriminating or inaccurate statements. That’s why it’s advisable to only ever speak to an insurance company claims adjuster after a car accident while under the advisement of an experienced and proven personal injury attorney.
Insurance claims adjusters can be manipulative, and this can be particularly damaging to your case for financial compensation if you speak to a representative while in a vulnerable state after an accident. As stated earlier, the insurance companies are in business to make money.
Accordingly, giving a recorded statement opens you up to multiple adverse outcomes:
- Potentially admitting liability (whether valid or not) which can be used against you in court or during the settlement negotiations process
- Potentially agreeing to an unfair cash settlement offer which does not reflect the total monetary sum to which you are entitled
What Should I Do When the Insurance Company Calls Me After a Car Accident Injury?
Shortly after your car accident injury, you can expect to receive a call from an insurance claims adjuster. What does an insurance claims adjuster do? Let’s take a look.
Insurance claims adjusters have a number of responsibilities which can include:
- Reviewing your policy to determine if your accident claim is covered
- Investigating, evaluating, and resolving auto accident claims
- Determining appropriate financial compensation (cash settlement amount) for personal injury claims
- Negotiating “fair” settlements with injured victims and their respective attorneys
- Making sure that all personal injury claims are valid and transparent
- Investigating reports from claimants’/plaintiffs’ doctors and employers to screen for fraud
In a nutshell, all of the above can be summarized into one objective: ensuring your claim is minimized regardless of the extent or severity of your injuries.
Therefore, the car accident lawyers at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) strongly encourage all injured victims to never provide any sort of statement to the insurance company claims adjuster without having a legal representative present. If you receive a call from a claims adjuster after your car accident and have yet to secure legal representation, it’s best to simply (and politely) let the representative know that you are unavailable, but will return the call together with your attorney as soon as possible.
This can have multiple benefits to your claim’s value:
- Firstly, it lets the insurance company know that you won’t be taken advantage of, as you’ll have a car accident lawyer fighting in your corner to protect your rights.
- Secondly, it alerts them to the fact that they are going to have to take your claim seriously, and therefore can’t simply rush you into a quick and lowball settlement.
What Tactics Do Auto Insurance Adjusters Use to Minimize Car Accident Claims Payouts?
Insurance companies are known to use a number of tactics that can, unfortunately, have adverse effects on the overall amount of an injured victim’s financial damages award. Some of the more common tactics used by auto insurance claims adjusters to reduce payouts include:
- Pressuring You Into a Quick Settlement: Insurance companies might try to force you into accepting a quick cash settlement before you’ve had time to properly assess the full extent of your injuries. While this can be understandably enticing, as you’re likely in need of financial assistance after a car accident injury, it’s never advisable.
When you receive a call from an insurance claims adjuster, a standard offer might include, “We’ll cover all of your medical bills and add an additional $1,000 for your pain and suffering.” But is that actually a fair offer given the fact that you may be out of work for an extended period of time, might have suffered emotional trauma, and may have long-term medical care needs? In a word: no.
Unfortunately, many injured victims actually accept this type of offer and sign a release because they feel they have no other options and are desperate for financial help. But while a quick cash settlement from the insurance company may sound like a fair offer on the surface, you need to consider the long-term effects.
For example, what happens if you develop health complications from your car accident injuries a few months after the incident? If you don’t have an attorney and you signed a release, you may be out of luck. Many states, including California, allow for releases to be constructed with binding language that makes it almost impossible to recover any additional damages that you might not have foreseen at the time. Sadly, in such cases, victims can be responsible for hundreds of thousands (and in cases of catastrophic injuries, even millions) of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.
- Discouraging You From Seeking Medical Treatment: One of the most important steps to take after a car (including Uber/Lyft), truck, or motorcycle accident injury includes seeking immediate medical attention. In fact, by not getting the medical care you need immediately after an auto accident injury, you could jeopardize your claim. Accordingly, auto insurance adjusters may actually discourage you from seeking medical treatment under the pretense that it’s “not covered,” and could cause financial hardship. But they can then use that very instruction against car accident victims who comply.
Insurance adjusters might even encourage you to delay medical treatment until they:
- Are able to “confirm liability”
- Are able to “approve coverage”
Moreover, insurance claims adjusters may insinuate that you, despite not being liable for a car accident injury, will be responsible for the ensuing medical care costs. They may tell you they need to “gather more information,” and that you should wait to undergo certain treatments until further notice (regardless of the impact to your health).
But if you take that advice offered by the insurance company adjuster and delay medical care, they can use that decision against you by presenting the following argument/rebuttal to any civil lawsuit seeking damages:
- If you were really injured, why did you wait so long to see a doctor?
Unfortunately, the car accident lawyers at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) see all-too-many victims fall for this tactic every day. Sadly, the negative consequences can be overwhelming in terms of the diminished payout for things like lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Furthermore, injured victims can actually end up putting their health at risk in the process, and to compound matters, they’re then left “holding the bag” when the insurance company denies their claims for following the very advice they provided.
However, if you have an experienced DLG Los Angeles, California, personal injury attorney fighting in your corner, you can rest easy knowing that your rights are protected. We will get you the best medical care available, and because we work on a contingency fee basis, you’ll never have to worry about the costs involved in terms of upfront or out-of-pocket expenses.
- Using Your Own Words as Evidence Against You: When an insurance adjuster contacts you after a car accident, he or she may seem quite friendly and sympathetic (perhaps overly so). The adjuster may ask you how you’re feeling and then innocently request that you provide a recorded statement about how the accident happened and what events transpired.
The problem is that these trained professionals know how to frame questions so that the answers favor them and not you. The moment you go “on record,” any information you provide can automatically be used against you to reduce the payout or influence the claim in favor of the insurance company. And after making a statement on the record, it can be extremely difficult to undo any negative effects that may result (which is, in nearly all cases, the ultimate objective of the insurance company).
What Damages May be Recovered in a Los Angeles, California, Car Accident Injury Claim?
After suffering an injury in a car accident due to another’s negligence, you’re likely going through a great deal of pain, suffering, and trauma. Accordingly, you deserve to be fairly compensated for various financial losses. When negligence or carelessness leads to a Los Angeles, California, car accident injury, it’s important that the at-fault party be held responsible for any ensuing expenses.
What sorts of damages may be recovered through a car accident injury civil claim?
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional trauma
- Medical care expenses
- Hospital bills
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation expenses
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Hiring a Dordulian Law Group (DLG) car accident lawyer can help ensure your civil claim is maximized, and that you recover all applicable damages after an incident caused by negligence. Our Car Accident Division is led by Sam Dordulian, a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County with over 25 years of experience helping injured victims secure the financial compensation they deserve.
In fact, we’ve helped injured car accident victims like you secure more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts while maintaining an impressive 98% success record.
Want to learn more about how hiring an experienced DLG Los Angeles, California, car accident injury lawyer can be advantageous to your case? Visit our recent blog on how pain and suffering damages are calculated in personal injury civil claims.
Free Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Consultation
Contact a car accident lawyer from DLG’s Personal Injury Division today for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation at 818-322-4056. Our No Win/No Fee Guarantee means that we don’t charge a penny until we’ve successfully recovered maximum financial compensation for your car accident injury claim.