Communicating with the Insurance Company After a Michigan Car Accident

Published on December 3rd, 2018

insurance adjuster michigan car accidentYou get in a car accident. You file a claim with your insurance company. Eventually, you are contacted by an insurance claims adjuster who sounds pleasant, seems helpful, and conveys the message that they’re on your side. Don’t get too comfortable. Insurance companies look out for themselves, which is why many people who choose to file an insurance claim after a major auto accident look to a Michigan car accident lawyer to do the negotiating for them.

The Role of the Insurance Claims Adjuster

It’s important to understand what insurance claims adjusters do. Their role is to evaluate the value of your claim in person and minimize the amount the insurance company is paying out to you.

Even if the licensed insurance claims adjuster you communicate with is employed by your own insurance company, they’re still not looking out for you first. They have one job: To save the insurance company money by settling your claim quickly and for the lowest amount of money possible.

Skip the Small Talk About Your Michigan Car Accident

Ideally, you will reach out to a car accident lawyer first before initiating any communication with the insurance company. If you choose not to do this or have already begun talks with the insurance company, say as little as possible in your conversations and be aware of insurance adjuster tricks along the way.

Look out for the insurance claims adjuster who is super friendly and chatty. Small talk is part of their role and starting with casual personal questions allows them to develop a rapport with you and easily lead into accident-related questions.

You’ll become so comfortable with the adjuster you may find yourself offering opinions about who is at fault and revealing details about your car accident. Any information you share with the adjuster can be used by them to justify limiting or denying your claim completely.

Think Before You Accept a Quick Settlement

It’s understandable that you may want a check from the insurance company as quickly as possible to pay for damage to your motor vehicle or motorcycle and to afford medical bills. However, a fast settlement is a suspicious settlement.

Sometimes, injuries from an auto accident are not immediately apparent. Traumatic brain injuries, for example, may take weeks to reveal themselves, and then therapy and doctor visits of all sorts will follow. If you accept a quick payout from the first-party or third-party claim, who will be footing the bill for these appointments?

To avoid getting less than you deserve in the initial settlement offer from the insurance company, reach out to an attorney to assess the situation. The first offer is nearly always the lowball offer. Even if you get a check in the mail without much communication in between the start and end of your claim, don’t assume that’s all the money there is to be had. The insurance company is hoping you’ll be desperate enough to accept the lowest offer and close the case before it has a chance to grow.

Never Say More Than Necessary

Innocent questions from an insurance adjuster may seem harmless enough to answer, but any detail you provide, especially concrete and specific details, can be used against you, particularly if they can be skewed to show that you’re at fault. Be careful what you say and what you sign. If you have question or doubt, seek legal support.

Don’t get less compensation from the insurance company than you deserve. Consult with a Michigan auto accident attorney to find out what your rights are, get advice about communicating with the insurance adjuster, and avoid being bullied by your insurance company. We know the tricks of the insurance trade, and we won’t let you fall prey to them. Contact the car accident lawyers at Thurswell Law for your free consultation to discuss your circumstances. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today.

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