A car crash can really take you on a tailspin—one moment you’re driving down the road, and before you know it your car is wrecked and you’ve been injured. Your head may still be spinning, trying to make sense of everything, but an insurance adjuster will call you before long. Atty. Hugh P. Lambert, an experienced accident lawyer in New Orleans and partner in The Lambert Law Firm, says that car crash victims have to be cautious when talking to adjusters — say the wrong thing and they might turn the table against you. When dealing with one, keep these tips in mind:
Watch Your Words. If you utter the word “sorry,” they will take this as an implicit admission of fault, and charge all the repair and medical expenses against your insurance policy (the guilty party foots the bill). Tell them personal things, like how you just lost your job, and they might say the accident occurred because you were distracted by problems. Never give them more information than they absolutely need, lest you land yourself in trouble.
Don’t Go into Detail with Injuries. The adjuster will also inquire about your injuries to gauge how much the settlement will be. Similar to the tip above, though, don’t divulge too much about your condition. Mention that you hurt your back or knees, for example, but make it clear that you do not know yet the full extent of your injuries, pending a complete medical evaluation. If you give a statement now and additional injuries are discovered later, you might not be able to claim compensation for them.
Don’t Settle Right Away. An insurance adjuster has one job — to save the insurance company money. Hence, they will try anything to lowball crash victims, including pressuring them to settle as soon as possible. Never accept the first settlement offer as it never reflects the true recompense you deserve. In fact, don’t sign anything until you’ve spoken with a respected New Orleans personal injury lawyer from our firm.
Car crashes are unfortunate events, but the claims process is governed by a system that favors insurance companies more than victims. If you’ve been in a car crash and need help getting the proper compensation, don’t hesitate to call The Lambert Law Firm.