Many car accident victims seek legal advice after they have already damaged their case. In most situations, their mistake is believing that an insurance adjuster will treat them fairly. Unfortunately, as any Union City car accident lawyer knows, this is rarely the case.
Insurance adjusters do not care about your pain and suffering. They do not care that with every day spent in the hospital, you are getting into debt. All they want is to get you to give up filing a car accident claim. If they can’t, they will try to find reasons to deny your claim or reduce its value.
And sometimes, without being aware of it, you are providing the insurance adjuster with the ammunition to shoot down your case. The only person who needs to hear all the details about your car accident is an experienced Union City car accident lawyer.
How Can Your Words Hurt Your Car Accident Claim?
In the state of Georgia, according to the modified comparative fault principle, you must be less than 50% at fault to file an accident claim. If you are found to be 50% at fault or more, your claim will be denied on the grounds of ineligibility.
But who determines fault? First of all, there is the insurance adjuster representing the other driver’s auto insurer. And every detail you give them will be used to add percentages to your total fault.
On the other hand, there is your Union City car accident lawyer. Attorney Gil will collect all the necessary evidence to prove that the other driver was 50% or more at fault. But if you made self-incriminatory statements to the adjuster, they may refuse to settle. They may rely on the fact that, if you file a lawsuit, the jury will believe their side of the story.
These Are the Self-Incriminatory Statements You Must Never Make
So, let us focus now on the things you must never say to an insurance adjuster after a car accident. Remember that you may receive their first visit while you are still in the hospital, recovering from your injuries. You may still be in shock and traumatized by the experience.
This is what adjusters count on – your vulnerability. They will try to manipulate you into saying and doing things that will severely damage your car accident case. Some of these are:
1. Any Admission of Fault – Even Partial
Never, ever say things like:
- I am sorry.
- I think it was my fault a bit.
- I just didn’t see the other car coming toward me.
Each of these statements can hurt your car accident case. The insurance adjuster will duly note your words, issue a report where you allegedly admitted being at fault, and your claim is denied.
Of course, a Union City car accident lawyer may find ways to disprove the contents of the adjuster’s report. But the negotiations will take longer and you will have to wait until you collect your settlement check.
But if the insurer believes they have a strong case, they may refuse any settlement and prepare their case for trial, instead.
2. Speculations on the Circumstances of the Accident
When describing how the car accident happened to an insurance adjuster, always stick to the facts. You were driving in your proper lane; the other car came from the opposite direction and hit you. Anything else is speculation and can be used against you.
For example, you may say: “I think the driver was trying to avoid a pothole”. This is pure gold for the insurance adjuster. Their client is no longer the most at-fault party for your accident. You should direct your claim to the government authority in charge of road maintenance.
As any Union City car accident lawyer can tell you, this is extremely difficult. Plus, it may not be true at all. But making the exculpatory statement in favor of the other driver makes it harder for you to justify an insurance claim against their policy.
3. Any Information on Previous Injuries and Pre-Existing Conditions
As you describe the back pain after the car accident, you may say something like “and it is ten times worse with my sciatica”. These words will be duly noted and used as an argument to deny your claim. Your medical costs are related to your ongoing health problem. You were already in pain before the accident.
In reality, even with a pre-existing condition, you still suffered bodily injuries and economic damages. The other driver is fully liable to compensate you. But your words will make your Union City car accident lawyer’s work more difficult.
4. Downplaying Injuries
Many people do not experience the full extent of the symptoms of their injuries immediately after a car accident. They honestly believe that they were lucky enough to walk away with a few scratches.
In reality, they may have suffered serious injuries, such as:
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage.
Thus, never say that you were not severely injured to an insurance adjuster. They will take down this self-assessment and use it to reduce the value of your claim.
Likewise, do not describe the extent of your injuries to the adjuster. You may not be aware of internal injuries, such as soft tissue damage or internal bleeding. The description you make will be taken literally as the full extent of your injuries by the insurance company.
5. Any Recorded Statement
After talking to you, the insurance adjuster will ask you to provide a recorded statement concerning the car accident. This is the worst mistake you can make and which can significantly reduce your final settlement amount.
Practically, your own words will be used against you, recorded in writing or in an audio or video file. This is solid evidence, something that is very hard to push aside. For this reason, when this request comes, decline it firmly.
If the adjuster insists, tell them that your Union City car accident lawyer will contact them in a short time to discuss your car accident claim.
An Experienced Union City Car Accident Lawyer Will Negotiate the Best Deal for You!
Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. is ready to fight on your behalf and win the maximum compensation you deserve after your car accident. A seasoned Union City car accident lawyer, Attorney Gil knows how insurance adjusters try to manipulate and trick accident victims.
This is why you should never talk to an adjuster on your own. Instead, schedule a free case review with us as soon as possible after the accident. We will review your case and conduct all negotiations with the insurance company until we win your settlement!