Your insurance company adjuster is calling you, and so is the insurance company for the other side. They say they, “Just want to talk and help you.” Do you answer?
You are under no obligation to speak to the other insurance adjuster. But you do have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company, if you have one. So you may need to talk to them … but not before you speak to a San Diego personal injury attorney.
So, if it’s your adjuster, you can answer the call. But there is no need to tell the insurance company anything. Both insurance companies, including yours, is calling you for one thing. To figure out how they are going to minimize any payments to you.
That goes for the other driver’s insurance company, as well as your own insurance company. Your own insurance company knows there is often a chance they will have to pay you for your injuries as well. If you carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage, your company may be on the hook to compensate you for your medical bills and pain and suffering.
When it is your insurance company calling you
So when your own adjuster calls you, be careful if you answer. Eventually you may be required to give a statement under the terms of your policy. But that statement can be given later, and there is no reason to tell your insurance company everything right away. It is okay to take your time and think things through. We help our clients with their statements. In fact, we often demand they only give a written statement, and not a recorded one.
If you are uncomfortable even talking to your own insurance company, you may contact an attorney and have the communications coordinated through the attorney. If you do talk to the adjuster of your own insurance company, answer their questions as briefly as possible. You never know when your own insurance company may actually become your adversary in proceedings, such as in uninsured/underinsured motorist situations.
When it’s the defendant adjuster calling you
As for the adjuster for the other driver’s insurance company, there is no rule or requirement that you need to speak with them. In fact, you should not speak to the adjuster at all. You are under no obligation to do so.
If you are in a minor accident and don’t think you need an attorney, then go ahead and try to settle your case by yourself, but there still is no need to speak to the adjuster. You can tell them, you will be corresponding strictly by letter. Just send in your demand package when you have completed your medical treatment.
If you talk to them they may try to get a statement from you, and this can only do harm, no good. They are there to build up a case against you or reduce any award. Everything they do or so is to further this goal. Again, avoid talking to the adjuster for the other driver. Don’t even think about giving a recorded statement. Any requests for documents, medical records, etc. should also be ignored for now.
If you are confident in yourself, and your accident case is relatively small (less than $2,000 in economic damages including lost pay, medical expenses) then when you are ready, you can go ahead and contact the adjuster and begin your own navigation. If the economic damages are much higher however, you may want to seek the services of an attorney because it is more likely the insurance companies will attempt to entice you in taking a settlement much less than it is probably worth. Again, they are there to keep cost of claims as low as possible. They will do anything to further that goal.
It does not pay to speak to the other insurance company.