How to Talk to Insurance Companies After a CrashMississippi Legal News
Although you aren’t legally required to do so, you’re likely going to talk to an insurance adjuster at some point after a Mississippi car accident in order to open a claim. In a perfect world, every adjuster and insurance company would be equally forthright, friendly, and helpful but in practice, this just isn’t true. Adjusters with dishonest intentions are often difficult to distinguish from those who are genuinely on your side, yet even among the more helpful adjusters, it’s vital to remember that their job is ultimately to get you to settle for as little money as possible. Thus, no matter how much you may trust an adjuster, it’s still in your best interest to maintain a professional distance and minimize correspondence in an effort to safeguard your compensation.
Key Strategies to Keep in Mind
Insurance adjusters are always listening for things that can be used against you in Mississippi’s pure comparative fault system, so it’s vital that you watch what you say and follow a few key strategies:
- Keep it short, and keep it written. The less correspondence you have with your insurance adjuster, the fewer opportunities you’ll have to make a mistake or provide them with ammunition to use against you. Similarly, opting for written, verified communication will give you a chance to review your comments before an adjuster can scrutinize them.
- Stay objective, and avoid comments on fault. Memories of traumatic accidents are often hazy, and even simple statements like “I’m sorry” could be interpreted as an admission of fault. Stick to the facts, and don’t comment on anything you aren’t absolutely sure of.
- Don’t provide a recorded statement. Formal statements will usually be used against you, so refrain from doing so too easily. You do not have to provide any statement unless your insurance company and the terms of your policy explicitly require a formal statement. If you’d like to provide a statement, discuss it with your attorney beforehand to go over what to say.
- Don’t discuss your injuries or lack thereof. Soft tissue wounds and other delayed-onset injuries can take time to set in, so you should refrain from telling your adjuster things such as “I’m fine.” Wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement to avoid making damaging assumptions.
Don’t talk about your accident publicly. While discussing your crash privately with trusted friends is usually harmless, accident-related social media posts can be discovered and used against you. For example, pictures of you on a motorcycle without a helmet, or of you enjoying physical activity shortly after a crash, could call your responsibility and injuries into question.
- Don’t jump on the first settlement offer. Insurance adjusters know that most people just want to get their money and be done with the claims process. As such, you’re likely to receive a quick and easy, yet likely undervalued, offer. Make sure to familiarize yourself with when you should or should not accept a settlement offer.
The Importance of Mississippi Accident Attorneys
No matter what, it’s in your best interest to seek out the aid of a Mississippi auto accident attorney. A lawyer can handle all of your correspondence with an insurance adjuster on your behalf, keeping you appraised of the situation while simultaneously giving you comprehensive advice whenever you may need to chime in yourself. A good attorney can also keep you wise to dishonest insurance adjuster tactics, defending your claim every step of the way. If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, be sure to give Germany Law Firm PLLC a call at (601) 401-6884 to schedule a free consultation with a legal professional.