What You Should and Should Not Say to an Insurance Adjuster in South Carolina

Columbia personal injury lawyer

When a person is injured in a car accident, they will need to speak with an insurance adjuster. However, insurance adjusters are there to look out for their company’s financial interests, not you.

A skilled South Carolina car accident lawyer can help prepare you for the inevitable confrontation. There are many things one should not say during these conversations. You should never accept fault or give statements downplaying the accident or your injuries. Insurance adjusters are skilled at using this information to reduce or deny your claim. Being prepared for what information you should provide can make all the difference.

If you were injured in an accident and will need to speak with an insurance adjuster, our South Carolina car accident lawyers can prep you first. For a free case review, call Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today at (803) 451-4000.

What You Should Know Before Talking to an Insurance Adjuster in South Carolina

Recovering compensation from a negligent driver’s insurance after a South Carolina car accident can be challenging, with many opportunities to harm your case. South Carolina is an at-fault state regarding insurance claims for car accidents, meaning you will file for insurance benefits against an at-fault driver’s policy. The danger here is that you will speak with the other driver’s insurance adjuster when giving statements and negotiating a settlement.

The Insurance Adjuster’s Job

Contrary to popular commercials ensuring customers that they are there to help, an insurance adjuster’s primary objective is to make and save the insurance company money. They do this by selling policies and denying as many accident claims as possible. Insurance adjusters are trained to listen for statements that could be used to deny coverage and instead place the blame for the accident on you. Their questions will be designed in a way that even an answer you believe is completely benign could be used to support a version of events that is not accurate. However, someone will need to talk to the adjuster at some point.

How an Attorney Can Help

The most important thing you can do for your case is to speak with an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer before talking to an insurance adjuster. A car accident attorney will have experience speaking with insurance adjusters and know exactly what information to provide and what to hold back. It is common for attorneys to work with the same insurance adjusters on many cases. Having an attorney with already established working relationships with adjusters can significantly benefit your chances of recovery. Our Columbia car accident lawyers can review your case and prepare you before giving any statements to an insurance adjuster.

What You Should Not Discuss with an Insurance Adjuster After an Accident in South Carolina

Always remember that insurance adjusters are looking for statements they can use to deny your claim or minimize the compensation they end up paying. Many people believe that they are helping by providing a statement to insurance, but in reality, they could be actively harming their case.

Do Not Downplay the Accident or Your Injuries

Never give a statement downplaying the accident. People tend to describe things in general terms, and you could give a statement that the insurance adjuster could use to argue that the accident was not as bad as you claim. If an accident is downplayed enough, an insurance adjuster might assert that the accident never occurred.

You should also not downplay your injuries. Statements downplaying injuries can be used to argue that the accident was not that serious and your damages not that extensive. It can seriously impact the amount of compensation you receive if an adjuster believes that your injuries were minor or contrived.

Do Not Accept Fault

While it might seem difficult to accept fault for an accident accidentally, it is easier than people think. Simple statements to an insurance adjuster like “I’m sorry” can be used to argue that you are actually to blame for the accident (or that you at least think you are).

Insurance adjusters are trained to jump on statements that could be construed as admitting fault. Insurance adjusters will often misconstrue your answers to make it seem like you were admitting to some blame for the accident. For example, you might casually tell an adjuster that you hit the other driver, but you specifically meant that they made an illegal lane change and merged into your car. An insurance adjuster will not make that distinction and interpret the comment as indicating fault for the accident. Our Sumter car accident lawyers can help ensure that you are prepped to speak with insurance adjusters, so your words are not used to deny you the compensation you are entitled to.

What Can I Discuss with an Insurance Adjuster in South Carolina?

Some things are appropriate to discuss with an insurance adjuster, but it is advised that you consult an attorney before doing so. For instance, it is necessary to give basic personal information like your name, address, and contact information but you are typically not required to provide more information beyond that. Before starting any conversation with an adjuster, however, you should request that the call not be recorded.

An important piece of information you will want to provide is the name of the negligent driver that hit you and identify them as the insurance company’s customer. This way, the insurance adjuster cannot claim later that another driver was identified as causing the accident. You should also list each injury you suffered to the insurance adjuster, so they have a detailed account for future settlement negotiations. Failing to mention an injury could impact how an insurance adjuster calculates your compensation.

Some injuries develop days after an accident, however. Fortunately, there is no need to speak with an insurance adjuster immediately after being injured. It is perfectly reasonable to take some time to treat your injuries and get an accurate diagnosis before starting the compensation process. This time will also allow you to speak with our South Carolina personal injury lawyers to help you develop the best strategy to report your injuries to the insurance adjuster in your case.

Our South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Can Help

If you need to discuss your accident with an insurance adjuster, our Columbia personal injury lawyers can provide you with a free case assessment beforehand. Contact Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers at (803) 451-4000.

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