It is a fact that automobile accidents are traumatic events. Following any motor vehicle accident that results in an injury people typically focus resolving the situation as quickly as possible. Most people are aware of what steps to take to report an accident and initiate a claim, however, many people are unaware as to what actions should be avoided. People often say stupid things in such stressful situations. If you’ve been injured in an accident, try to stay calm and choose your words carefully as what you say at the scene of the accident becomes a part of your insurance claim. Once you have committed yourself to any small detail, you will be bound by it. You can always add facts and information down the line. In insurance claims, saying very little is a virtue indeed.
The following is a list of things to avoid when involved in an auto accident claim:
Avoid Being Friendly With An Insurance Adjuster
You should be polite in your interaction with an adjuster but not deferential. You must have a firm resolve going into settlement negotiations and firmly believe your side of the claim to be true. You don’t want to “be handled” by an adjuster. You should set a strict business tone in your initial contact and suppress any friendly instincts that you may feel.
Avoid Giving Any Recorded Statements.
It’s not a good idea to give a recorded statement unless you have your attorney present to advise you. If you do your claim will be confined to the parameters of that statement and the only one who can benefit is the insurance company.
Avoid Being Seduced By The Adjuster
Insurance adjusters undergo extensive training to engage potential claimants in informal discussions where they try to get you to relax and let your guard down. This relaxed mindset makes it much easier for the adjuster to draw admissions from you. It is therefore highly advisable to be on your guard at all times.
Avoid Lying To Anyone Involved In The Process. Be As Truthful As Possible
Telling the truth is always good advice in any matter whether it be a negotiation or otherwise. Lying serves no purpose and if an insurance adjuster catches you in a lie no matter how small, you lose all credibility in your claim. Anything you say will be suspect from that point forwards.
Avoid Signing Any Release Forms
If you have reached near the end of your treatment then you are required to sign releases to secure copies of your medical records. Insurance adjusters don’t need that information. Save yourself and your medical provider the hassle of dealing with the insurance adjuster until your treatment is finished.
Avoid Giving Out Your Social Security Number
Your Social Security number allows an insurance adjuster access to your personal information. Even though it is technically prohibited, an adjuster can check your credit history as well as access other relevant information they might be able to use as leverage later on in the claim.
Avoid Discussing Any Pre-Existing Injuries
It can be a huge setback for an auto accident claim if you admit that you have some sort of prior injury before getting your doctor’s narrative. It is very easy for an insurance adjuster to claim that your latest injury is just an exacerbation of your previous one. It is imperative that a trained medical professional evaluate how an injury is related to another.
The best way to avoid making any mishaps or mistakes that negatively impact your claim is to talk to a competent Georgia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.