WANT TO KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER? 12 NEED TO KNOW QUESTIONS TO ASK AN ADJUSTER BEFORE YOU SIGN OR SAY ANYTHING!
If you have suffered injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in Ottawa or elsewhere in Ontario, you will likely be interviewed by the adjuster representing the other driver and car owner and also by your own insurance company’s insurance adjuster. You have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company. However, you also have the right to have a lawyer present during the interview. You don’t have an obligation to sign anything until your lawyer has reviewed it. You should never delay in cooperating however, so hire a lawyer at the early stages.
In every case, the adjusters, who are representatives of the insurance company, ask questions with the aim of (a) gathering the facts, (b) assessing your credibility and (c) try to minimize the amount of money the insurance company they represent will pay you.
If you do not have an accident lawyer with you during the interview and don’t seek legal advice from an accident lawyer before you meet with any adjuster, you can jeopardize the strength of your personal injury claim.
Adjusters can be very polite and seem very nice and non-adversarial (at first anyways). However, insurance adjusters are generally highly trained and educated professionals. Keep in mind that most insurance companies are publically traded companies and they are in the business of making profit. Insurance is a business. Insurance adjusters work for a business and they use very simple proven methods of obtaining valuable information and documents that can help the insurance company and hurt an injured person.
So, how do you protect yourself? Here are some questions to ask an insurance adjuster. See what the reaction is.
- Shouldn’t I have a lawyer present at this interview? (You should have lawyer present)
- Shouldn’t I have an injury lawyer review this document before I sign it? (Yes, always)
- Won’t I get more money if I hire a lawyer? (In our experience, considerably more)
- Are you going to simply give me a low ball offer? (They usually do)
- If I get worse after I settle with you, can I come back to get more compensation? (No, you will be asked to release those rights forever)
- How can you assure me that this settlement offer is fair and reasonable? (Only your own lawyer can do this)
- Why do you need a recorded statement from me about the accident when you can get the police records which have my statement already? (Only because they want to show inconsistencies in your recollection and use it against you)
- If I give you a statement, can I get a statement from your insured (the person who hit and injured me)? (They would never do that, never!)
- Why do you need an open ended medical authorization to look at my medicals, don’t you just need to see relevant medical documents? (To show that you have a long list of medical problems and the accident did not cause you any injuries)
- Shouldn’t I wait until I am fully healed before we settle? (Yes, never settle before you know the full extent of your injuries and your damages)
- Is anything I say to you or anything I sign going to be used against me if I do not settle? (Everything you say can be used against you – everything!)
- If we have a dispute about my medical care and expenses, will you pay the doctor I hired to write a report explaining why I need the care suggested? (No, they will likely not pay)
To learn more about your rights as an injured person, call us for a free consultation.
Ottawa car accident lawyers dedicated to protecting the rights of car accident victims. Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP – 613-563-1131