Car accidents are a serious problem in Washington communities. According to the annual crash summary, which was published by the washington state department of transportation (wsdot), there were 117,053 motor vehicle crashes in the state in 2015. in total, these crashes resulted in 49,505 reported injuries, and sadly, at least 551 deaths from traffic accidents.
Victims of car accidents are entitled to receive full compensation from the party that was at fault for the accident. Unfortunately, in practice, getting fair compensation is often difficult. Big insurance companies work aggressively to try to limit how much injured victims can recover. To effectively protect their claim, car accident victims should be prepared to deal with insurance company representatives.
At khan injury law, pllc, our top seattle car accident attorneys are committed to fighting for the legal rights and financial interests of washington car accident victims. we want to make sure that all injured victims have the knowledge and resources they need to get the fair compensation they deserve. Here, our car accident injury team has put together a guide on how to deal with insurance adjusters after a collision.
six tips for dealing with insurance adjusters
1. Understanding the Objectives of the Insurance Adjuster To begin with, it is vitally important that you understand where the insurance adjuster comes from. You must have a basic understanding of what they are trying to get out of any interaction with you. Remember, an insurance adjuster is a representative of your employer. Your job is to see to the bottom line of the insurance company, not to protect your best interests. you need to see an insurance adjuster as a representative of the opposing party in your case. this is true even if you are dealing with an adjuster from your own insurance company. don’t rely on an insurance adjuster to guide you through the complex car accident claims process.
2. Never Admit Fault for the Crash You should never admit fault, or even partial fault, for a car accident. Simply put, it is not your job to determine who was at fault for the accident. you should let your attorney handle that matter. Indeed, an insurance adjuster can try to get injured car accident victims to accept some of the blame for their own accident. they do so because washington is a state of comparative negligence. If an insurance adjuster can get you to accept partial fault for a collision, then they may be able to reduce your settlement offer, perhaps by a large amount.
3. avoid giving a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters will often try to get a recorded statement from you very shortly after your accident. in fact, you may get a call from an insurance agent before you’ve had time to recover and process your accident. don’t feel pressured to give a statement. You should be aware of the fact that you are not required to give a recorded statement at this time. In fact, it is strongly recommended that you avoid giving such a statement. the insurance adjuster is looking for things they can use against you to lower your settlement offer or deny your claim. Before submitting any type of formal statement, you should be sure to first consult with a Seattle car accident attorney. your attorney will be able to make sure giving a statement is in your best interest.
4. Be Skeptical of a Quick Settlement Offer In some car accident cases, the liability is relatively clear. the insurance company cannot go to great lengths to dispute fault. they may simply accept that their driver is at fault for the accident. great news, right? it’s a bit more complicated than that. This is because when the fault of the accident is not in dispute, insurance adjusters must use other tactics and strategies to protect the interests of the company. Put another way, insurance adjusters will focus on trying to limit the total value of the settlement offer. One way they do this is by trying to make a quick (low) settlement offer to get the victim to drop their claim, before the victim has time to realize the real value of their damages. You should always be skeptical of quick-sale offers. don’t accept a penny less than what you deserve.
5. do not sign a release of your medical records after an accident, insurance adjusters often want access to the victim’s medical records. Certainly, the insurance company will have the right to review the relevant records. however, insurance adjusters have been known to make overly broad requests, seeking access to your entire medical history. the reason they do this is because they want to see if they can look into your medical history to find any reason to deny certain treatment as a “pre-existing” condition. Do not sign a release for your medical records without first having the specific request reviewed by an attorney in Seattle, WA.
6. work through a washington car accident lawyer the best thing you can do to protect your legal rights and financial interests is to work with the insurance company through your legal representative. the insurance company has trained professionals; you also need a high-quality legal professional to work on your behalf. Your Washington car accident attorney will be able to make sure the insurance company handles your car accident injury claim fairly.
contact our attorneys in seattle, wa
At khan injury law, pllc, our seattle personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling car accident claims. we have the skills and experience to hold large insurance companies accountable. Before speaking with an insurance adjuster, consult with our legal team.
For a free, no-obligation review of your car accident case, call us today at 206-430-6096. From our offices in Seattle and Tukwila, we represent injured car accident victims throughout the region, including in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Island County, Mason County, and Los Angeles County. kitsap.