You have likely had a claim against an insurance company for a property damage claim such as hail damage, a leaking roof, etc. You may have received a call or visit from the insurance adjuster to discuss your claim. If you have to deal with an insurance adjuster in the future, there are some tips which may help your matter go better.
First of all, anything you say can and may be used against you by the insurance company and their lawyers. Therefore, no matter what, do not lie. Even a small lie can ruin your credibility. The best policy is to always tell the truth. That way you will never have to worry about what you said. Secondly, you should document your damages by keeping documents which may not seem important at the time, but later may become important. Also, you should keep a diary or journal of who you and when you spoke with various people. Your diary or journal will help you prove the extent of your damages, and can mean a higher evaluation of your claim.
If you sustained injuries there are several other things to keep in mind. For example, if you miss work then you should keep track of the time you miss. This includes keeping doctors excuses for missed work and keeping track of time you miss work for doctors’ appointments. Also, you should review any medical bills or explanation of benefits forms that you receive from your health insurance company. The medical records made when you visit your doctor, physical therapist or other medical providers are very important. They will include your description of how you were injured, your physical complaints, your injuries, the doctor’s examination findings, and the treatment you received. The insurance companies will base its offer to you on this critical information. If you fail to tell the doctor everything that hurts, not only will it not be treated properly, but also no one will know about it. If you first begin to complain about some problem weeks or even months after you were hurt, the insurance company will likely claim that the problem was not from the accident and reduce their settlement offer to you.
Likewise, remember that failing to see a physician regularly is considered evidence that you have fully recovered to the insurance company and eventually, perhaps to a judge or jury. While you should not go to the doctor every day, you need to see your doctors and tell them if you are still having problems. If your doctor says “follow-up as needed”, that means to come back in a few weeks if you are still having problems. If you do not follow-up, then in the eyes of the doctor, insurance company, and perhaps even a jury, you are no longer having problems and have made a full recovery.
Insurance adjusters are trained to use words and techniques to try to settle your case and close your file. They do this for a living, all day and every day. When dealing with an insurance adjuster you need to be smart and watch what you say because it could later be used against you. After all, insurance companies have professionals working for them so you should consider having a professional on your side, a personal injury attorney.
Often after a personal injury accident, an adjuster will offer a few thousand dollars in hope that you will take the offer and settle the claim quickly. If you accept the settlement and sign the release forms, then it is very difficult to change your mind later. While often you can handle a property damage only claim on your own, when it comes to a car accident, work injury and other personal injury cases you may need the expertise of a personal injury or work injury attorney.
This article contains general statements, is not intended as legal advice or legal opinions and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or rely upon the information in this article without seeking the advice of an attorney because changes in the law occur frequently and you should consult with an attorney with respect to your particular case.