After a car accident or other unfortunate event, you are required to notify your insurance company. What you may not realize is that insurance companies and their adjusters don’t have your best interests in mind. Like any business – and a big one at that – the insurance company is focused on its bottom line. To protect your important legal interests, it’s crucial to let your lawyer handle communication and negotiation with an insurance company.
If You Must Speak to an Insurer: Report Just the Facts
Any accident can be overwhelming. One minute you’re living your life; the next minute you’re dealing with injuries, property loss, time off work, and a pile of growing bills. Insurance adjusters know this, and they often contact you when you’re at your most vulnerable. They are not on your side, no matter what their commercials say. Although it might be tempting to share your side of the story with an insurance adjuster who seems friendly and sympathetic, it is important to remember that the insurance company is working hard to minimize the value of your claim.
Ideally, it is best to speak to a lawyer before you talk to an insurance company – and to let your lawyer handle all communication. If you must talk to an insurer, however, keep your conversation basic and punctuated by just the facts. Generally, you should report only the following:
- You were involved in an accident
- The accident involved property damage
- You sustained injuries in the accident
- You exchanged insurance information with the other person or parties
- You notified the police
- You filed a police report
When you describe your injuries, don’t speculate about their nature and severity. Instead, keep your comments general. For example, stick with basic, fact-based statements such as “I hurt my back” and allow your doctor and your medical records to fill in the details. Be polite, but don’t permit the insurance adjuster to bully or pressure you into making additional statements.
Speak to an Attorney Before Accepting Any Settlements
Insurance companies do not work for you. In fact, they have a powerful financial incentive to make sure you receive as little money as possible for your claim. The insurance company won’t work hard for you, but your lawyer will.
Experienced personal injury attorneys are well-versed in insurance company tactics, and a skilled lawyer can help you receive the compensation you need to truly cover your injuries and losses. Many large insurers try to contact policyholders within 24 hours after an accident, hoping to reach them before they speak to a lawyer. Some companies even send adjusters right to an accident victim’s doorstep in an effort to offer a quick settlement. They make it seem easy and fair, but it is often far less than what the injured victim deserves. If you have been injured, you owe it to your health and your future to work with a lawyer who is truly on your side.
Chicago’s Premier Personal Injury Law Firm
The attorneys at Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. represent personal injury victims throughout Chicago, Naperville, Aurora, and the surrounding areas. Call today at (312) 372-3822 to discuss your case and explore your options.
This website has been prepared by Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.