Do I Need a Lawyer Before Talking to a Claims Adjuster?
If you were involved in a minor car accident, where no one was injured and the damage was minimal, you might not need to contact a lawyer.
However, if the accident was serious, and there were injuries– or fatalities– or major property damage, always obtain legal advice before making any agreements with the claims adjuster.
The lawyer will advise you on what to say, and just as critically, what not to say, to an insurance adjuster. A Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer from our firm protects your rights and helps you receive the compensation you deserve.
The importance of consulting an attorney
We can explain the entire process to you, including the questions typically asked by the insurance adjuster. Always keep in mind that the adjuster works for the insurance company, and their goal is always to pay out as little as possible.
Additionally, they will use anything you say against you and they know how vulnerable people are right after a traumatic event. Do not permit the adjuster to record your call, because you may inadvertently say something that could hurt your interests.
For the same reason, never agree to meet with an adjuster in person. There is always a possibility that if the two of you met privately, they could always allege you said something that harmed your claim.
When you do call them, it’s best to have your lawyer there. The adjuster knows they cannot immediately settle your claim with a lowball offer. In addition, the lawyer can also interject when you shouldn’t answer a question because it could harm your interests.
What to tell the adjuster
While you must give the adjuster truthful and accurate information, keep that information to a minimum. Give them your name, address, and contact information, where and when the accident took place, the vehicles involved, and names of passengers.
In addition, get the name of the adjuster, which insurer they work for, their address and phone number, and who they are representing.
Do not provide information about how the accident occurred, even though the adjuster may try to get you to do so or ask who was at fault. Further, do not discuss your injuries or how you are feeling.
If the adjuster makes a statement about the accident, and they want you to agree, do not reply.
Never agree to any settlement without discussing the issue with your lawyer. Once it is signed, the claim is finished and cannot be reopened– even if you were to find out your injuries were more serious than initially thought.
Your lawyer knows a reasonable amount for a settlement based on your injuries, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other factors. While many people want this to be a quick process– if there are serious injuries, a fair amount is not knowable– until you have either recovered completely or have reached maximum medical recovery.
Maximum medical recovery means you are not expected to improve significantly from your current condition.
Contact Chaffin Luhana today
If you or a loved one were involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact an experienced Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer at our firm. Contact us online or call or text 24/7 to schedule a free consultation so that we may evaluate your case and advise you of your options.
Our attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for their clients. Our track record speaks for itself. Finally, there is never a fee unless we win, as we work on a contingency basis. What have you got to lose? Contact us today.