The minute you are involved in an automobile accident your case is being evaluated by the insurance companies to determine how much, if any, they will be on the hook for. After an accident many of our clients are more focused on the traumatic experience of the collision, the well-being of themselves and loved ones and putting their lives back together. The last thing on their minds is preparing for the possibility of litigation or dealing with insurance companies. The “at fault” party’s insurance company will typically reach out to the injured party soon after the accident is reported. Often times this is before the injured party has had an opportunity to obtain legal representation. In reaching out to injured parties, it is commonplace for insurance adjusters to ask the injured party for a statement about the accident and how it occurred, how fast they were driving, whether they made any evasive maneuvers and whether they obtained any injuries. Further, it is typical for the insurance adjuster to record the conversation with the injured party. Rest assured, the insurance adjuster isn’t calling out of concern for the injured party. Their primary objective is to obtain information that will assist them with evaluating the case and potentially, locking the injured party’s statement in. For instance, the extent of some injuries aren’t fully realized until swelling has subsided, x-rays or MRI’s are performed and a full medical examination is completed. It is entirely common for an injured party to feel considerably worse one or two days after an accident. We see police reports all the time where the injured party isn’t complaining of pain at the accident scene but is in need of serious medical treatment in the days and months after the accident.
Sometimes it is necessary to speak with the insurance adjuster in order to resolve matters such as rental car coverage and repairing your vehicle. In this case it is important to limit the discussion to replacing or repairing your vehicle, where the accident happened, and the types of vehicles involved. Do not discuss injuries or the extent of medical treatment you may or may not need. This will prevent any statement that you make from being taken out of context and used against you in a deposition or worse, on the stand in front of a jury.
The answer to the question of whether you should speak with the insurance adjuster is, it depends. In many ways speaking with the insurance adjuster is a lot like a criminal suspect speaking with law enforcement, very little good can come from it. It is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney prior to engaging with the insurance adjuster. The Faucette Law Firm, LLC represents clients in automobile accidents cases throughout the Metro-Atlanta area. We serve Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Douglas, Cobb, Fayette and Henry Counties. Our firm’s primary focus is on the customer experience throughout the legal process. If you have been injured in an accident contact our law firm today for a free consultation.