This is part 1, out of 7, of our blog series about frequently asked questions for car accidents in North Dakota.
What should I do if an adjuster from the at-fault party’s insurance company calls me?
You should politely obtain his contact information and inform him that you will have your attorney contact him. Then you should end the conversation.
An insurance adjuster is an employee of an insurance company whose job it is to investigate claims and make decisions on settling these claims. It is the insurance adjuster’s job to keep the cost of the claim as low as possible. Even if it is legitimate and you suffered devastating injuries. This is something to keep this in mind when you have any communications with the insurance adjuster. It is important to be extremely cautious as to what you say. The first thing to know is that you are not legally obligated to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Here are some common insurance tactics they could use to get you to say something or agree to something that could hurt your claim:
- Acting like your friend. The insurance adjuster may sound genuinely concerned about your injuries. They may make it sound like they want to process your claim quickly. What they are really doing is trying to get you comfortable, so that you provide details about the crash and your injuries that they can twist to deny or reduce your claim.
- Asking for a recorded statement. The insurance adjuster will most likely ask you to give a recorded statement, making it sound like a routine request in the claims process. This is a tape-recorded conversation that could be later used against you at court hearings—including your trial. The adjuster is a master at getting people to say things they didn’t mean or that can be turned around in a way to hurt their claim.
- Asking for a medical authorization. While it is true that you will need to provide medical records to settle your claim, you should not agree to sign the insurance company’s blanket medical authorization. The insurance adjuster wants you to do this, so he can go on a fishing expedition in your medical records to look for pre-existing injuries and other harmful information.
- Friending you on social media. A new tactic of insurance adjusters is to try to friend accident victims on their social media sites. Do not accept such a request or a request by an unknown person while you are settling your claim. Be extremely cautious about what you post on your social media sites in general until your claim is settled.
- Making a quick settlement offer. If the insurance adjuster recognizes that you have a valid claim, they may make a quick settlement offer. They are not trying to do the right thing. They are trying to trick you into settling your claim for far less than it is worth.
If you find yourself in need of a personal injury lawyer to navigate you through this process, contact us today!
Check back next month for our next frequently asked question about car accidents in North Dakota.