After an accident, dealing with insurance adjusters can be scary, frustrating, and confusing. The first steps after an accident are some of the most important, but often during this time you will be rushed, confused, or misinformed. The first thing you must do after an accident is, of course, seek medical treatment. After that, though, you really must find yourself a personal injury lawyer. The experts at Mitch Grissim and Associates are ready to help.
The Insurance Company
The insurance company has one goal—to pay out as little money as possible. That is it. The bottom line in their business model is only pay out when they must, and when they do pay a claim, to pay as little as possible. This often results in the insurance companies inadvertently (or intentionally) trying to confuse, bully, or lowball you.
Settling in the days immediately following the accident save the insurance company time, work, and money. This is especially true because the potential extents of your injuries are still unknown. If the adjusters can convince you to admit culpability, partial fault, or to sign anything, you have lost your ability to negotiate your point for fair compensation.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer is a necessity because they are trained to help you through this scary and confusing process—this is why they have gone to school and what they have been certified and licensed to do. The insurance company will have a team of lawyers and experts at their disposal, not to mention a wealth of experience; you should not go head to head with them on your own. Your attorney will be your advocate, your coach, and your guide through the process of negotiating for fair compensation.
Tips for Dealing With the Adjuster
When the insurance adjuster initially contacts you, remember not to sign anything. You are likely not a legal professional, and therefore should not sign any potentially binding documents. In the days immediately following the aftermath of an accident there is still a lot of information unknown. If you sign or agree to anything now, you will be held to these agreements, even if you change your mind later. If you have not yet secured a personal injury attorney, remember the following tips.
This is a stressful time in your life. You are likely to have many strong feeling regarding the accident and the treatment you are receiving from the insurance companies. Remember the adages you learned in kindergarten: treat others as you would like to be treated and you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. These sayings are ubiquitous because they are true. Be polite and respectful when dealing with the adjustors. Keep calm and don’t lose your temper. Remember that they are likely following a corporate policy, and having them on your side can do nothing but help you.
Own the Conversation
You can, and should, control the conversation. You should minimize the amount of phone contact you have, instead try to communicate in writing. If you opt for the phone, you can decide when—during the day? Weekends? After work? It is up to you. When you do talk on the phone, don’t give specifics, and ensure you don’t talk about your injuries in too much detail. This is not being disingenuous—you don’t know what injuries may manifest later or what potential side effects you may suffer from as time passes.
Give Out Information on Your Terms
Like owning the conversation, you get to decide what information you share and when. There will come a time in the process when legally you must tell the insurance company what your injuries are and what you believe is fair recompense. Inform them when it is appropriate, and not before. You do not, and indeed should not, share any medical information—your doctor, your diagnosis, or your injuries. You do not need to give witness information or a recounting of the accident, unless specifically dictated by your insurance policy.
How Your Personal Injury Lawyer Will Help
Remaining closed lipped until you can hire a personal injury attorney is not being dishonest; you may not realize the significance of a statement made at this point, may recollect something incorrectly, or may not have all the details yet. Your personal injury lawyer will reinforce the importance of only sharing information when it is complete, and required. They will guide you through the process, advocating for your rights. Don’t deal with the insurance company—or sign any documents—on your own. Put the experience and training of a Nashville personal injury lawyer to work for you, contact Mitch Grissim and Associates today.