How to Talk to a New York Insurance Adjuster

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insurance adjuster in New York - how to talk to a New York insurance adjuster

In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, you’ll likely have to talk to an insurance adjuster, either one from your own insurance provider, the other driver’s, or both. What you say to them can significantly impact your accident claim. Their friendly demeanor and concern for your health and safety can be disarming. Yet, at no point during the claim process should you consider an adjuster your friend. These people work for the insurance company’s best interests, not yours – and their employer’s best interest is to save itself money.

So, what should you say to an adjuster? How do you talk about your situation without hurting your claim? The team with Finz & Finz, P.C. wants to give you tips on how to talk to an insurance adjuster and what you can say to protect your rights.

What NOT to Say to an Insurance Adjuster

 Talking to an insurance adjuster following an accident in New York is more about what you shouldn’t say than what you should. Despite the friendly banter, insurance adjusters do not have your best interests at heart. Insurance companies are for-profit entities concerned with keeping profits high and payouts low. That is the business model that makes them an attractive investment opportunity. It is not beyond an insurance adjuster to use your words against you to diminish the value of your claim or deny it outright. 

Before you agree to speak with an insurance adjuster about your claim, consider what statements and phrases to avoid.

Don’t apologize

First and foremost, never apologize to an insurance adjuster. Even if you only mean it in a casual sense and are apologizing for the inconvenience of moving through the claim process, do not apologize. Your words can potentially be used against you to suggest you feel guiltfor causing the accident. Furthermore, never admit fault for an accident. New York may be a no-fault car insurance state, but apologies and admissions of fault can hurt you if your claim turns into a third-party liability claim or personal injury lawsuit.

Don’t talk about your medical condition

You are not a doctor, so you are certainly not qualified to discuss your health and medical conditions with an adjuster. Let your medical records do the talking for you. Inadvertently misrepresenting or downplaying your injuries can jeopardize your claim. This is especially true if your injuries should worsen in the future, or if their true extent is not yet clear.

Don’t offer opinions

Do not give an adjuster your opinion and make assumptive statements. The adjuster should base their assessment on facts. Speculation can hurt your situation and potentially undermine the value of your claim.

Don’t give an official statement

Insurance adjusters often ask for an official or recorded statement from you about the accident. It is wise to refrain from giving this statement until you consult an experienced New York personal injury attorney. Intentionally or unintentionally leaving out details, misrepresenting the facts, or forgetting to include information can jeopardize your claim. Your words can also potentially be used against you to dispute and deny your claim.

Don’t accept an initial offer

Settling a claim quickly seems ideal. You need money for your medical bills and other expenses, and the insurer is willing to offer it. However, accepting an initial offer is seldom in your best interest. These offers are low-value and may not cover all your accident-related financial losses. 

How to Talk to an Insurance Adjuster 

 Navigating the New York accident claim process can be time-consuming and frustrating. When you are in pain, all you want to do is focus on recovering from your injuries, not playing 20 questions with an inquisitive adjuster. However, how you speak to an adjuster can go a long way in influencing the direction of your claim. When speaking to an adjuster, consider the following.

 Stay polite

Remain polite with an insurance adjuster can be a challenge, especially when you are not feeling in top condition. It is also best to remain courteous during initial interactions with the adjuster. If you are unwell or cannot talk, politely ask to reschedule your call. Letting your anger or frustration show up and saying something you shouldn’t could inadvertently damage your claim.

Avoid offering too many details

Don’t feel pressured to give the insurance adjuster your life story. Remember, your words can be used against you later. Avoid offering too many details about the situation; never give your opinion or make assumptions. Be honest, but do not offer more personal information than necessary.

It’s okay not to answer all their questions

Some questions can catch you off guard of feel invasive. Do not feel pressured to answer their questions if you are unsure how to respond. Give yourself time to collect your thoughts and seek the advice of an attorney. 

Ask for their name and take notes

Always identify the person you are speaking with. If they do not provide a full name, ask them for it. Also, ask for the company’s name and direct phone number. It also helps to take notes during your conversation.

Set boundaries

It is okay for you to set boundaries with an insurance adjuster. High-pressure tactics can include multiple calls at inconvenient times of the day. Engaging in a conversation when you are not ready for it can throw you off and potentially hurt your claim if you say something you shouldn’t. Limit your phone conversations and outline specific times of day with the adjuster that work for you to receive their calls. It is possible to politely but firmly establish and maintain boundaries for your comfort and safety. 

Contact a New York Personal Injury Attorney for Help Today 

 Talking to an insurance adjuster can be intimidating. You can avoid the frustrating process by contacting a skilled New York personal injury attorney for help. The team at Finz & Finz, P.C. can manage communication between you and the insurer and negotiate on your behalf for maximum compensation. You avoid the time-consuming back-and-forth and get the opportunity to focus on recovery. 

 Contact us today for a free consultation with our New York car accident attorneys. We want to help you resolve your claim favorably and efficiently.  

 

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.