If you are in a car accident, chances are that you will need to deal with an insurance adjuster. Since Arizona is a fault insurance state, drivers responsible for collisions must pay for their victims’ damages.
Most people seek this compensation by filing an insurance claim and speaking with an insurance adjuster. However, it is important to remember that these adjusters have separate goals and motivations, and to be cautious when speaking with them.
It is important to remember that the goals of the adjuster differ from your own. Your goal is to achieve maximum compensation so that you can recover from your injuries. On the adjuster’s end, his or her goal is to protect the company’s best interests and resolve your claim with as little expense as possible.
When speaking with an insurance adjuster, be as cautious as possible and keep your guard up. Any information you provide to the adjuster can affect your award amount. If you admit fault or say you do not have any injuries, the adjuster will use that information to deny or decrease your award, even if you learn new information later on.
One of the most common mistakes in a car insurance claim is admitting that you were at fault for the accident. Even if you do believe you are responsible, it is important to never make any admissions of liability when speaking with the adjuster. You may not know the full extent of the crash at the time and admitting fault will prevent recovery entirely.
Similarly, you should always avoid making any definitive statements about your injuries to the insurance adjuster during the early stages of your case. You may discover information later on that could influence your settlement, but if the insurance adjuster has a record of conflicting information from earlier in your case, the company can decrease or deny your award.
An insurance adjuster may contact you early on in your case to ask for a recorded statement. It is very important that you decline giving this statement until you speak with your attorney. The law does not require you to provide a statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
However, if you do find yourself in a situation where you are giving a recorded statement, be as honest as possible and remain careful with the answers you provide. If you do not know the answer to a question or you are unsure, do not give an ambiguous answer or provide false information. Simply say “I don’t know” or decline to answer it.
To protect your best interests when dealing with insurance adjusters, hire a Cottonwood car accident attorney to represent your claim. Negotiating with these individuals can be very difficult if you do not have any experience, and your attorney can handle these conversations on your behalf.
Your attorney will also have the ability to calculate your estimated claim value and bring this number to your conversations with the adjuster. If the adjuster offers you a lower settlement amount than what you need to recover, your attorney will negotiate for a higher settlement on your behalf. In addition, your lawyer will have the ability to identify bad faith practices, file bad faith complaints, and escalate your case to a lawsuit if necessary.
Contact an Arizona car accident attorney after your collision to discuss your case and legal options.