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Top 5 things you should never say to an insurance adjuster

Posted by Neil Shouse | Sep 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

Insurance adjusters have one goal: To pay out as little money as possible whether the money is to you or someone else. And then they want to inflate your premiums to try to recoup some of the money they paid out. In short, they are not your friends.

If you have been in a car crash or another type of accident, never say to the insurance adjuster anything along the lines of:

  1. I'm not injured.
  2. I'm (partly) to blame.
  3. I had right-of-way/the green light/the light was still yellow.
  4. The other driver "came out of nowhere" or "must have been speeding."
  5. ANYTHING! Let your accident attorney do the talking.

1. I'm not injured.

Some injuries take days, weeks, or longer to reveal themselves. Examples include:

  • hairline fractures
  • hematomas
  • internal bleeding
  • whiplash
  • concussion
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

After an accident, many people understandably are flustered and want to get back to their regularly-scheduled lives as soon as possible. Victims will brush off the accident, ignore any pain, and claim they are fine when they may not be.

It is always recommended that people involved in an accident see a doctor and be truthful about all of their symptoms. Physicians are experienced in detecting "invisible injuries" and know what to look for.

If accident victims tell an insurance adjuster they are fine, the adjuster may use that statement against them if the victims later claim they are injured after all. This could greatly impede or prevent the victims from recovering the money they are entitled to.

2. I'm (partly) to blame.

In the same way people are quick to brush off their injuries, they may also wish to "own up" to causing an accident so they can get the case over with and move on with their lives.

But even people who genuinely believe they were to blame for an accident may be wrong. Traffic surveillance footage and eyewitness accounts may reveal otherwise. And when people are in an accident, their perspective is understandably warped.

Never take the blame because the evidence may tell another story. But insurance adjusters who hear an admission of guilt may take it at face value and not investigate further. And if you change your story later, they will be skeptical and could suspect you of insurance fraud.

3. I had right-of-way/ the green light/ the light was still yellow.

It is more important to say that you looked right and left and assessed your surroundings instead of claiming that the traffic signals were in your favor. Drivers are expected to make sure it is safe to drive even if the traffic signals give them right-of-way.

4. The other driver "came out of nowhere" or "must have been speeding."

Obviously, it is physically impossible for motorists to materialize out of nowhere. And if another driver was speeding, the adjuster might wonder why you did not detect it and try to avoid the speeding driver.

Adjusters are always suspicious of claimants who "editorialize" their accounts of what happened and do not stick to straight facts.

5. ANYTHING. Let your attorney do the talking.

The safest bet is to hire a personal injury attorney and to let him or her do all of the talking. Whereas adjusters are motivated to pay out as little as possible, your attorney is motivated to get you as much money as possible.

Lawyers are skilled in what to say and what to omit when speaking with adjusters in order to maximize your ultimate payout. 

Learn more about our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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