How to Deal With Car Accident Adjusters

By Greg Kohn

Trying to deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance claims adjuster on your own without a lawyer after a car accident is like playing cards when the other person uses a stacked deck. The insurer makes a profit by paying injured people less money than they deserve. A New Jersey personal injury attorney can fight your battle for you so that you can focus on getting better and rebuilding your life.

Here are some of the sneaky tactics some car accident adjusters use on people who do not have a lawyer handling their car accident injury claim:

Recorded Statement

Shortly after the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to investigate the accident and try to resolve any claims against their insured, the at-fault driver. One of the first things the claims adjuster does is to call everyone who got hurt and ask them to give a recorded statement.

The adjuster might say that the recorded statement is your opportunity to tell your side of the story, but the actual purpose of a recorded statement is to damage or deny your claim. In a recorded statement, the adjuster will ask you a series of questions and record everything that you say in response. 

The insurance company uses the transcript of the recording to find ways to defend against your compensation claim, even if that means taking your words out of context. When an insurance adjuster contacts you after a car accident, tell him to talk to your lawyer. Your personal injury attorney can provide the information the insurer needs to handle the claim.

Delay Tactics to Make You Miss the Deadline

New Jersey gives injured people very little time to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries after a car accident. The insurance company knows the deadline, but most people who get hurt in car accidents do not. 

Insurance adjusters often drag out the claims process. The meter is still running while you negotiate with the adjuster. You might think that the insurance company is going to reach a fair settlement with you when the negotiations are actually a sham. When the deadline to file a lawsuit passes, the claims adjuster “ghosts,” and you have no legal right to compensation from the person who hurt you or the insurance company.

Blame You for the Accident

Some claim adjusters get aggressive with people who get injured in car accidents. These adjusters make false statements about the facts of the case, the police report, or eyewitness accounts. These individuals go so far as to blame the injured person for the accident and threaten to seek compensation from the injured person for the at-fault driver’s losses. 

You might know that you did not cause the accident, but get scared that you might end up owing the other driver money. Some people accept far less money than they deserve or drop their injury claim because of these bullying tactics by claims adjusters.

How a Lawyer can Help

When you have a lawyer handle your personal injury claim, the insurance company is not supposed to contact you. The insurer has to work directly with your lawyer and leave you alone. 

You do not have to battle a multi-billion-dollar insurance company by yourself. You do not have to take on their teams of investigators, claims adjusters, and defense attorneys, whose job is to pay you as little money as possible for your losses. A New Jersey personal injury attorney can deal with the claims adjuster on your behalf and file a lawsuit, if appropriate. Contact us today.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.