If you’re in an auto accident, you may be injured and things could get complicated. You’ll need medical care, of course. And if your injuries are serious, you could be in treatment for months or years to come. If you can’t work due to accident-related injuries, you could lose your income. If the accident is the other guy’s fault, you’ll have to work with his insurance company to get the benefits you need. That means that some day a liability insurance adjuster may come knocking at your door.
Adjusters aren’t necessarily bad. They can be pretty nice in fact; but you should understand from day one: they represent the other guy’s legal and financial interests, not yours. If the adjuster represents the insurance company, shouldn’t you have an Eastern Shore accident attorney representing you? As a dedicated professional, he will put his knowledge and experience to work on your behalf.
Can you handle the insurance adjuster?
From the tales you’ve heard and some commercials you’ve seen, you may have been led to think of insurance adjusters as dark, sinister men who are also quite buffoonish. In fact, when an insurance adjuster comes knocking on your door, he is just as likely to be a she. And her friendly smile and professional demeanor could surprise you into opening your door and letting down your guard.
When she eases into a Q&A about the accident, you might feel perfectly at ease answering every question. When she asks if you mind if she turns on a digital recorder, you’ll probably say, “No problem.”
Because adjusters can be such nice people when they come to your home, it’s easy to cooperate. But you should know that she’s there to conduct an investigation. From the moment she walks into your home, every statement or question will have a point. And your answers could lead her to conclude that the insured she represents might not be legally liable for your injuries.
Do you understand liability issues?
You may be pretty savvy when it comes to auto accidents and liability issues; but when you’re injured, it’s not the right time to test your knowledge. While you may feel that liability is clear and the other guy is at fault, he might have told his insurance company an entirely different story.
That’s crucial because in Maryland, liability is decided based on the state’s contributory negligence statute. If you are found to be negligent in contributing to your own injuries, the other guy’s insurance company might not pay you a dime.
Do you know what not to say?
As the adjuster is listening to–and possibly recording–every response to every question she asks, she’ll also be sizing up the liability picture. What will you say?
- Will you know not to ramble on or volunteer possibly irrelevant information?
- Do you know to answer only the questions she asks?
- Should you tell her that you hadn’t had much sleep the night before the accident?
- Should you mention that you were upset with your wife?
- Do you know that if you’re taking pain medication, you probably shouldn’t agree to answer her questions in the first place?
You not likely to be the first person the adjuster contacts about the accident. By the time she visits you, she may have picked up a police report, talked to witnesses, and recorded her own insured’s version. Your story could be the final piece of the puzzle she needs to deny liability and close her file.
You need someone to speak on your behalf
If you have an Eastern Shore accident attorney working on your behalf, he can protect your legal and financial interests from day one. Of course, if you’ve already tried to deal with the insurance adjuster on your own and she denied liability for your injury claim, an attorney can still try to salvage the situation.
He will still investigate your case, analyze the liability issues, and present the strongest case possible. He might be able to convince the adjuster to change her mind and offer you a settlement. If the insurance compan still won’t pay, he will exhaust every available option to try and get the money you deserve.
Contact us if you’d prefer to have a professional handle your liability insurance adjuster, so you don’t have to.
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