What Should I Say to the Insurance Adjuster After my Car Accident in Dallas?
At some point after a Dallas car crash, you will need to speak to an insurance adjuster. When having that conversation, it is important to remember that insurance adjusters are not on your side. They are on the side of the insurance company and are tasked with reducing the amount that the company must pay you in compensation. Therefore, their interests do not align with yours and you should exercise caution when talking to them.
The best option is to seek counsel from experienced local attorneys like those at Dallas Car Accident Lawyers. An attorney can work with you to prepare you for the questions typically asked by insurance adjusters. Anything you say to insurance adjusters can be used to lower the value of your claim, so it is crucial that you understand their tactics before you engage with them in conversation.
I Should Say as Little as Possible
One of the first pieces of advice your attorney will give you is to say as little as possible when conversing with insurance agents of any kind. The details and elaboration you provide can be used as ammunition by the insurance adjuster, twisting your words in service of lowering your claim’s value. Besides, if you called a police officer to the scene of the accident, they will have prepared a crash report that will explain many of the details.
I Should Not Admit Fault
Another crucial factor to remember is that Texas is a proportionate responsibility, or modified comparative fault, state. This means that, while you can bring a claim to court if you have less than 50% of the blame for the accident, your total compensation is reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributed to you. For example, if you are considered to be 25% responsible for the crash, your compensation will be reduced by 25% as well. If you admit fault to an insurance adjuster in any way, they can use that admission as evidence that you share the blame, thereby reducing the amount of money paid to you via a settlement or trial verdict.
I Should Talk Briefly About Medical Care
Another good item to discuss with the insurance adjuster is your ongoing medical care. Again, you should not elaborate too much and should keep your answers to a minimum, but it is good to establish that you have sought medical assistance for injuries sustained in your car accident. This is because a lack of medical attention, or a gap in treatment, can be used by the insurance company to deny your claim. They can, for instance, argue that your injuries did not stem from the crash or were not serious since you did not seek medical care. In personal injury claims, you are entitled to receive compensation up to the amount you paid or were charged for medical services, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §41.0105. While you do not have to give the insurance agent a clear monetary value for these services and can instead let your attorney do so during negotiation, it is important to inform them that you have sought medical treatment so that you can secure that compensation later in your case.
Items I Should Discuss With My Lawyer
Your Dallas car accident attorney is your ally in a personal injury claim, so you should reserve many of the details of your incident for them. Unlike an insurance adjuster, the interests of your lawyer are aligned with yours. When you meet with an attorney, bring along any of the following information available to you.
Bring your attorney the names and contact information of any and all potential eyewitnesses to your accident. Their testimony could back up your version of the incident and help you get the compensation you deserve. Also, bring along the contact and driver’s license information of the opposing driver, as well as their insurance policy number. This will help your attorney start the case off as soon as possible.
There are many forms of evidence that you may be able to collect at the scene of your accident. These elements include items like photographs of the scene and associated property damage, the locations of nearby surveillance or traffic cameras, and even information about weather patterns that may have contributed to the accident.
List of Damages
You should also bring information to your attorney regarding the amount of harm that has befallen you due to your accident. This can include medical bills, reports of lost wages, testimony from family and friends about changes to your personality, car repair bills, and more. By having that information, your attorney can give you a rough ballpark estimate of the value of your claim before doing their own investigation into more potential damages.
I Can Get a FREE Consultation Today
Dallas Car Accident Lawyers understands the stress of selecting the right attorney for your case. That is why we offer a FREE consultation and do not collect a fee unless we win you the compensation you deserve. Schedule your meeting with our skilled attorneys by filling out the form on our contact page or calling us today at (214) 305-8277.