If you are injured in a Missouri car accident, you might be surprised at how quickly the other driver’s insurance adjuster springs into action. Even if you sustained serious injuries that required hospitalization, the adjuster might be waiting by your bedside with a recorder, asking to hear your side of the story.
You may be inclined to talk—especially if you feel that you were not at fault. Here’s why you shouldn’t.
The Risks of Speaking to an Insurance Adjuster
While most insurance adjusters are ordinary people with honest jobs, you should never give them unnecessary information. Even though the adjuster’s job is to investigate claims, determine fault, and offer a potential settlement, they are still employed by a for-profit company seeking to minimize its losses.
Since the adjuster is employed by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, they may pick apart your statement for ways to save their boss money. That means a smaller settlement for you, if not a flat-out refusal to offer anything.
What to Watch for If You’ve Been Contacted by an Adjuster
Insurance adjusters may use any number of tactics to try to get you talking. Oftentimes, they will act friendly or casually ask you to sign important authorization forms.
You should understand that you are not legally obligated to speak to the other driver’s insurance adjuster. You should never consent to:
- Providing a recorded statement or recollection of events
- Authorizing access to your medical records or medical history
- Sharing your personal contact information, including social media accounts, with the adjuster or his colleagues
If the other driver was clearly at fault, the adjuster might offer you compensation before you are even out of the hospital. You should never accept a quick settlement. Even if the amount is sufficient to cover your immediate needs, you may require further treatment or rehabilitation. Insurance adjusters know this and will usually try to shut down any chance at further negotiation by coercing you into accepting a low-ball offer.
Oftentimes, a quick settlement offer is a sign that the insurance company knows it stands to lose far more if the case goes to trial.