After you get into a Tampa car accident, the insurance companies will want to get involved right away. Why? To reduce their liability and losses as much as possible. Whether you were in a car accident, pedestrian accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident, you’ll have to deal with insurance companies after.
That means you can expect an insurance adjuster to call you and try to talk to you to ask about the accident and your injuries. Keep in mind that their main objective is to minimize their liability which means they will use tactics to either find you partially at fault, downplay your injuries, or deny your claim all together.
Dealing with insurance companies can feel like a nuisance when you’re injured and dealing with the stressful aftermath of an accident. Read on to learn some tips from expert Tampa personal injury lawyers on dealing with insurance companies after an accident.
Don’t Be Surprised if an Insurance Adjuster Tries to Hassle You
The reason why insurance adjusters may call and try to pressure you over the phone is to get information that will protect them from too much liability. More liability means more money they owe you for your injuries. They don’t have your best interest in mind, but your Tampa personal injury lawyer does.
As such, let your attorney communicate with them or wait to speak with an attorney before you make any mistakes in communicating with the insurance company.
Questions You Can Expect a Tampa Insurance Claims Adjuster to Ask You
Once you receive a call from a Tampa insurance representative, you can expect them to ask you a lot of questions. They’re digging for information and trying to find ways to protect their company from having to pay you too much. The questions can vary based on the nature, severity, and type of accident you were involved in. But in general, here’s what you can expect them to ask you.
- Who you believe is at fault for the accident or responsible for causing your injuries
- Details about how the accident occurred
- If there was bad or inclement weather that could have affected driving conditions on the day of the accident
- What you were doing before the accident
- If you were doing something that distracted you from driving when the accident occurred
- Was your vehicle damaged, and if so, how badly?
- Were you violating any traffic laws when the accident occurred (e.g., speeding, not completely stopping at a stop sign, etc.)
- Are you injured from the accident?
- What type of injuries did you sustain and how bad are they?
- Did you seek medical attention for accident-induced injuries?
- How soon did you get medical care after the accident?
These questions are strategically curated to try and get you, the injury victim to perhaps give too much information or give inconsistent details. In that case, the insurance company would have leverage to reduce your settlement amount.
How to Protect Yourself From Insurance Companies
Since Florida is a no-fault state, you may be dealing with your own insurance provider. If they’re on the other end of the line, you might have to cooperate with certain regulations mandated by Tampa law. Even so, you have the right to consult with your attorney before talking to the insurance representative and have them present during all communications with them. Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer so you know and understand your legal rights and don’t get ripped off by the insurance company.
Tips for if You Have to Deal With the Other (At Fault Party’s Insurer)
If your insurance is not enough to cover the full scope of damages you sustained in the accident, you’ll also need to communicate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for additional coverage. The minimum amount of insurance required for Tampa drivers is only $10,000 so the medical bills and losses you incurred due to the accident could very well exceed that. Then what? The at-fault party’s insurance provider will need to cover the difference.
Keep these tips in mind when you speak to the at-fault party’s insurer:
- Like any other professional or business transaction, you want to stay polite and respectful. Your settlement amount is at stake here but so is the insurance company’s. While you’re understandably emotional and stressed following the accident, you need to keep a clear and calm mind and remember that your words can make or break your case. Stay in control of your emotions and keep communications to objective facts, sharing only the necessities of information the claims adjuster asks you for. Your composure can have an impact on how the claims adjuster reacts and feels towards you, so keep it polite, respectful, and simple.
- Get the names, contact information, and insurance details of the other or all parties involved in the accident. If you were rear-ended by a car who was rear-ended by another car, there are now two other liable parties that you need to be sure to get contact information from.
- Remember, you are in no way legally obligated to give any details beyond the objective facts of the accident and the bare necessities insurance companies need to pay you. That means limiting your information sharing to:
- Phone number
- Email address if you so wish)
- They don’t need to know about your personal life, job, family, hobbies, or anything other irrelevant information that won’t affect your settlement negotiations. The cost of your lost wages while you are missing work due to accident injuries will be relevant but you don’t need to discuss these details with the insurance employee yet.
- If they ask for a statement regarding the accident, simply say that you wish to speak with your attorney first. Don’t let them pressure you into giving an unplanned, unexpected account of the accident where you can potentially shoot yourself in the foot, albeit unintentionally. But that’s their goal – to catch you while you least expect it and get you to confess to more than you need or realistically should.
- Don’t answer any questions about your injuries or the extent of damages that you sustained from the accident. Your subjective opinion might not accurately reflect what a professional lawyer who has experience in assessing and evaluating such details can provide for you. Talk to your lawyer first.
- Say less. The more you say, the easier it will be for them to find inconsistencies or discrepancies in your account of the incident. Stick to the facts and leave the rest to your attorney.
If you were injured in a car accident, you can’t avoid talking to Tampa claims adjusters. It’s just part of the process and you’ll need to do it, but there’s a strategic smart way to do it as opposed to simply answering the phone and answering all of their questions. If you are injured and losing money from missed work and have a medical bill piling up from a car accident caused by a reckless driver in Tampa, reach out to our Tampa car accident lawyer for authentic and genuine help in protecting your rights and getting the full compensation you’re entitled to.
The last thing you want is to deal with insurance companies spinning your own words against you, so work smart and hire a lawyer before you make a mistake you can’t take back. In case you need to go to trial for your personal injury claim, our Tampa personal injury lawyers are prepared and equipped to represent you in court and get you the highest possible financial reward.
Things That Are Ok to Say to a Tampa Insurance Claims Adjuster
It’s okay to say “I don’t know” or ask them to call you back later. You can create a reality that works best for you by scheduling date and time when yo8 know you’ll be in a better state of mind and emotionally stable to speak to a claims adjuster. Remember, they’ll call you as soon as possible on purpose to catch you while you’re vulnerable and perhaps still in shock.
The other rule of thumb is a tried and true simple rule: honesty is the best policy. If you really didn’t cause the accident and have nothing to hide, tell them the true answer and move on. Ther’es no need to give an elongated or over-elaborated version of your story, as that can seem like you’re hiding something or even unsure of the truth yourself. Think of sharing information as a form of currency and k3ep it to a minimum before you find yourself in a rut that negatively affects your final payout.
Things to Avoid Saying to an an Insurance Claims Adjuster
Here are things to avoid when talking to an insurance representative or Tampa claims adjuster:
- Long answers
- Recorded statements
- Inconsistent statements or details
- Subjective accounts or opinionated speculation regarding liability or fault.
- Don’t talk about your injuries too much. You can say you got injured and sought out medical care but you may not even know the true extent of your injuries by the time they call you.
Should I Try to Negotiate With the Claims Adjuster Myself?
It’s best to let our experienced attorney with over 60 years combined experience handle negotiations on your behalf. We’ve worked with thousands of personal injury cases with clients in similar positions as you and have successfully negotiated sizable payout for injury victims.
Accident victims who hire attorneys get a higher settlement award over 90% of the time. That’s because lawyers are trained professionals who know how to negotiate strategically with insurance companies.
We know their tactics and can anticipate them in order to devise a tailored, winning plan for your unique situation. We don’t let our clients accept lowball offers that don’t do justice to the injuries, pain, and suffering they’ve been through. Our job is to turn that lowball offer into a generous payout to help you recover and move on from this unexpected mishap, and we get the job done.
Contact Top Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers Today Who Can Win You the Maximum Settlement
If you were injured in a Tampa car accident and want experienced Tampa car accident lawyers to help you win the maximum settlement possible, we’re here for you.
You need to stay keen and vigilant before talking to the insurance companies so you don’t end up saying something that can hurt your claim.
Contact us today to book your free initial consultation.