Car accidents are an inconvenient and unfortunate reality. Every day, drivers across the country find themselves involved in a collision, some of which cause serious injuries. As you navigate the aftermath of a car accident injury, you face several challenging tasks. Not only must you focus on your physical recovery and overall health, but the medical bills, physical therapy costs, and lost wages resulting from the accident can cause significant stress and anxiety. Car accident victims in California have the right to seek compensation to help them cover the costs triggered by the incident. When you file an auto accident claim in Riverside County, an insurance adjuster will oversee your claim. While this professional may claim to be on your side, it’s imperative that you understand their loyalty to the insurance company comes before everything else. To this end, insurance adjusters often use conversational tactics to get you to undermine your claim so they can pay you as little as possible and save the company money. Let’s take a look at some of the phrases you should avoid saying when speaking with the insurance adjuster overseeing your auto accident claim.
1. “I Don’t Think I Sustained Any Injuries.”
While many car accident-related injuries are apparent and clearly warrant immediate medical attention, other injuries may take time to develop or exhibit symptoms. For example, internal bleeding, concussions, and other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can take days before symptoms develop. Avoid telling the insurance adjuster that you feel fine or that you have no injuries. If you make these statements, retracting or revising your words will be incredibly difficult when symptoms develop later. Telling an insurance adjuster that you feel fine after the accident allows them to assume that you suffered no injuries in the accident, and they will likely pay you a small fraction of the settlement you need to cover your medical bills and the other costs stemming from the accident. Leave the door open so you can monitor your injuries as they develop over time.
2. “It Was My Fault.”
One of the most critical aspects of an auto accident claim is determining the degree to which each party contributed to the collision. As a comparative fault state, California recognizes that more than one party can be held responsible for an accident. The amount of compensation you are entitled to recover depends on your percentage of fault for contributing to the accident. For instance, if you’re awarded $200,000 in damages and investigations determine that you were 20 percent at-fault for the accident, you may only collect 80 percent of the total settlement. Unfortunately, even making small expressions of regret or remorse for your actions to an insurance adjuster can jeopardize your chances of obtaining the compensation you need for your recovery. Instead, leave the fault determinations up to the investigators and insurance adjusters while you continue to focus on your physical health.
3. “The Damage Wasn’t That Bad.”
Just like telling the insurance adjuster that you feel fine, saying that your vehicle was not damaged too badly can downplay your claim and cause you to lose out on the compensation you need to pay for vehicle repairs, rental vehicles, and other costs. Sometimes, insurance adjusters will speak with you before your vehicle has been inspected or assessed for damage, and you may erroneously assume that your vehicle will not require much work. However, the inspection may uncover significant damage that could cost a significant amount of money. Again, it’s best to give yourself the opportunity to quantify the damage later on, so refrain from speculating or assuming that your vehicle will not need costly repairs.
4. “I Already Had Pain Where the Injury Occurred.”
Insurance adjusters will try to find reasons to compensate you as little as possible to protect the company’s bottom line. You may not think that their request to access your medical records is that important. However, it’s essential to restrict their access to only those records associated with the accident and the resulting injuries. If you grant them access to your complete health history, they will look for underlying conditions or pre-existing injuries to claim that your pain stems from these prior injuries—not from the accident. You are not obligated to share your entire medical history with the insurance adjuster, so keep your focus on the injuries sustained from the accident.
Contact a Trusted Temecula Car Accident Lawyer Today
It’s no secret that a car accident can wreak havoc on your life. Suddenly, you’re faced with a lengthy physical recovery and mounting costs and bills. However, you do not have to go through this challenging time alone. Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable and experienced Temecula auto accident lawyer is the best way to ensure that you recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
Reach out to Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to speak with a dedicated and knowledgeable Temecula auto accident attorney.