Handling a Call From an Insurance Adjuster in a Way That Won’t Hurt Your Premises Liability Claim
If you have been involved in a slip and fall, dog bite, or other premises liability accident, we recommend that you avoid speaking with an insurance adjuster who represents the at-fault party—at least until you have discussed it with an experienced premises liability attorney. But if you do answer your phone, and the insurance adjuster is on the line, you want to be cautious in your responses so that you don’t inadvertently hurt your claim.
Follow These Guidelines When Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
While the insurance adjuster may seem friendly, it is important to understand that his main goal is to save money for the insurance company. His investigation is designed to find ways to reduce your claim amount—or maybe deny the case altogether. Therefore, it is important to keep the following tips in mind:
- Be polite. An insurance adjuster is responsible for investigating and processing your claim, and the settlement offer is the direct result of that work. You want the insurance adjuster to work with you, not against you, so it is in your best interests to be courteous and respectful.
- Obtain contact information. In order to keep accurate records for your claim, be sure to obtain the name of the insurance company as well as the adjuster’s name, title, phone number, email address, and mailing address.
- Give limited personal information. You can give the adjuster your basic contact information and place of employment, but you should avoid disclosing any other information about yourself.
- Don’t discuss the accident. You don't want to discuss details of how the accident occurred if you're not giving a formal statement. Tell the adjuster where and when the accident occurred, and what type of accident it was, but don’t provide any additional information.
- Don’t give details about your injuries. First of all, you do not know the extent of your injuries—you are still recuperating. Second, the adjuster may later use your own words against you to imply that you were not hurt as badly as you claim.
- Don’t discuss settlement of your claim. If the adjuster tries to reach a settlement agreement with you, it may be a sign that he thinks you have a strong claim. Because he may be pushing to settle your claim quickly for less than it is worth, it is important to leave all settlement negotiations to your attorney.
- Don’t agree to a recorded statement. Even if the adjuster asks for a recorded statement, you have the right to refuse. Information obtained from an accident victim's recorded statement may be used to deny or reduce the value of a claim.
So if you must talk to the adjuster, stay calm and courteous. You want to obtain his contact information, give him yours, confirm that your accident happened, and inform him that your attorney will be in touch. Then politely end the conversation. This is a simple strategy that can save you stress and worries about your claim down the road.
If you need to file a premises liability claim due to injuries you suffered, Alan Morton is here to answer your questions and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm using the convenient form below to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.