If you file an insurance claim after an accident in Las Vegas, you will have to deal with someone known as the insurance adjuster. An insurance claims adjuster is an individual who is assigned to evaluate a claim and recommend that the insurance company either accept or reject benefits. Learn what to expect from an insurance adjuster in the days following your car accident and how to protect your rights.
Prepare Information Ahead of Time
The insurance adjuster will ask you a variety of questions about your accident and injuries. Gather information about your accident ahead of time so that you are prepared to answer these questions. Evidence may include a copy of the police report and your medical records. It can also be helpful to have a copy of your insurance policy readily available.
Do Not Admit Fault
Do not apologize for the accident or admit fault. Be honest and as accurate as you can with the information that you give the insurance claims adjuster, but do not state that the accident was your fault or accept blame. It is the insurance adjuster’s job to conduct an investigation and determine liability. Do not speculate or guess as to who is at fault.
Keep Your Answers Short and Concise
During your conversations, a claims adjuster will search for reasons to deny your claim or reduce your payout. This includes trying to get you to say something about your accident or injuries that can be used against you. Protect yourself by keeping your answers to questions short and simple. Limit the amount of detail in your answers. If you do not know the answer to a question, say that you don’t know.
Don’t Discuss Your Injuries
You may receive a phone call from an insurance claims adjuster early on after an accident – sometimes, as soon as the same day. This is intentional. An insurance company wants to have you on record speaking about your injuries before you have had a chance to go to a doctor or before you fully understand the extent of the damage. Do not discuss your injuries with a claims adjuster until you have seen a doctor. Even then, do not go into detail.
Avoid Giving a Recorded Statement
The claims adjuster will ask if it is okay to record you during a phone conversation. The adjuster may say that giving a recorded statement is necessary before the company can continue evaluating your claim. Regardless of what the adjuster says, do not agree to give a recorded statement. This is an opportunity for the adjuster to record you saying something that could hurt your claim later. Instead, explain that you will submit a written statement at a later date after consulting with an injury attorney.
Do Not Sign Anything
You may receive documents in the mail from the insurance company, including a Medical Records Release Authorization Form. Do not sign anything until you have brought it to an attorney for review. Medical record releases typically grant insurance companies access to the claimant’s full medical history rather than only the records that are relevant to the case. This is a tactic used to search for pre-existing injuries.
Contact an Attorney Before You Accept a Settlement
Document your conversations with the claims adjuster. Bring all of the information about your accident and injury claim, including communications between you and an insurance company, to a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas for legal advice. Do not accept a fast insurance settlement before contacting an attorney. The first settlement offer is typically too low, as the insurance company expects the claimant to negotiate for a higher amount. Hiring an experienced lawyer to represent you during an insurance claim can help you achieve a fair case result.