Have you been injured in an Indiana accident? Are you wondering if you need a personal injury lawyer to handle your accident claim? If you talk to an insurance adjuster, he will tell you that a personal injury lawyer will just charge you money for something you can handle yourself. It is the insurance adjuster’s goal to get you to deal directly with the insurance company to settle your accident claim.
This is NOT in your best interest and the insurance adjuster knows this. It is in your best interest to talk to an Indiana personal injury lawyer as soon as possible!
Statements and Releases Requested by the Insurance Company
Not long after you are injured in an accident, an insurance adjuster will contact you about your claim. The adjuster asks many questions under the pretext of getting information to process your claim. You must be careful! The information you provide could hurt your accident claim and result in a lower settlement offer.
If possible, the insurance adjuster will try to get you to provide a statement and sign a release before you have the chance to consult with a Indiana personal injury lawyer. Do not fall for this insurance tactic. Talk to a personal injury lawyer before you sign any document or provide a recorded statement.
Recorded and Written Statements
Insurance companies want to obtain your written or recorded statement before you meet with a personal injury lawyer. Information you provided in a statement can be used later in your case to hurt your claim. The adjuster may ask you to tell “your side of the story” so he can get the facts straight to pay your claim. This may seem completely innocent and very tempting if you are upset about the accident.
However, this is a trap. The adjuster asks questions that are intended to gain responses that can be misconstrued or misinterpreted. Any doubt the insurance company can raise regarding fault can be used to delay and deny your accident claim. It is best if you give as little insurance as possible to an insurance adjuster until after you speak with one of our lawyers.
It also seems logical the insurance company needs a signed medical release to verify your injuries. Again, this is another tactic to gain information from you prior to an attorney stepping in to protect your best interests. The medical release you sign likely gives the insurance company access to all of your medical records. The insurance company will comb through your medical history looking for pre-existing conditions and other information to use as it argues your injuries are not a result of the accident.
Medical releases and other releases can be difficult to understand. The “fine print” may contain language that can hurt your accident claim. It is in your best interest to consult with one of our personal injury attorneys before you sign any document related to your Indiana accident claim.
Other Tips for Dealing With the Insurance Company
As you begin to deal with your accident claim, it is good to remember the following tips while you are preparing to meet with one of our personal injury attorneys.
The aftermath of an accident is an emotional time as you deal with the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of being injured. However, it is never wise to speak with an insurance adjuster or other person representing the other party while you are emotional or angry. You may say something you do not intend to say. It is best to remain calm and polite. The insurance adjuster is just doing his or her job — being polite and respectful is always the best option.
Take notes of every conversation you have with anyone related to your accident claim. Obtain the person’s name, title, company name, and contact information. Record the date, time, and substance of the conversation.
Do Not Discuss The Details of the Accident
Refrain from discussing the details of the accident with anyone until you meet with our attorneys. You can provide your name and contact information but keep the personal details to a minimum. If you are dealing with your insurance company, you may be required to provide more information or sign documents. Call our office and ask to speak with someone if you are unsure how to proceed.
Don’t Discuss Your Injuries
If the insurance adjuster wants to discuss your injuries, tell the adjuster you are still treating with a doctor (you do not need to provide the doctor’s name) and you will have your attorney provide this information.