How to Deal with Missouri Car Accident Adjusters
Posted in Car Accidents on December 16, 2020
After a car accident in Missouri, you have two pathways to secure compensation for your losses: a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim. You will likely begin this process by filing an insurance claim, where a company will assign an adjuster to investigate your crash and determine liability and your eligibility for damages.
While these adjusters may seem to have your best interests in mind, it is important to remember that it is the role of the adjuster to protect the insurance company’s bottom line. You must be very careful when speaking to an insurance adjuster and seek the advice of a Missouri car accident lawyer prior to meeting with a company representative.
Should You Give a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Adjuster?
Soon after your accident, an insurance representative may contact you and ask for a recorded statement about the collision. He or she may claim that providing a statement will allow you to collect compensation faster, settling your claim sooner.
It is very important not to speak to the adjuster until after you speak to your lawyer. You may not know the full extent of your injuries and damages at this point in your case. If you provide information in this statement about your injuries and discover different details later on, the insurance company may use your previous statement as justification for a lower settlement or to deny your claim outright.
Always speak to your lawyer for guidance prior to giving a statement to the insurance company. If you have not spoken to your attorney or sought medical attention yet, you can inform the adjuster that you wish to take those steps prior to giving a statement. Inform the adjuster that you would like to provide the statement at a later time.
When you do give the statement, provide basic information about the accident that you know as fact, such as the date, location, and time of the crash and details you know to be true about the other driver. Avoid making any admissions of fault, downplaying your injuries, or providing information you do not know to be completely true. If you do not know the answer, inform the adjuster.
How to Ensure You Receive Fair Compensation
It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to attempt to speed through the claims process before you know the full extent of your injuries or damages. As a result, you can inadvertently accept a much lower settlement than what you need to recover.
To protect your right to compensation, it is important to collect sufficient evidence to support your need for damages. As you continue with your claim, collect every piece of documentation related to the accident, including the following.
- Medical records
- Doctors’ notes
- Medical bills
- Correspondence with your employer
- Diagnostic test results
What Happens If the Company Denies Your Claim?
An insurance adjuster may deny a claim for many reasons. You do have the right to appeal your claim, escalate your case to a personal injury lawsuit, or submit a letter indicating you believe the company acted in bad faith, if your case meets bad faith standards. In any situation, you should seek help from a Kansas City car accident attorney to handle your claim.
Your attorney will have the tools and experience necessary to evaluate your case value, handle discussions with insurance adjusters, and negotiate for a higher settlement if necessary. Your lawyer can also help appeal or escalate your case if you receive a denial. Contact your attorney immediately after seeking treatment for your accident to discuss your next steps.