What should you say to an insurance adjuster? My name is Kenny Berger. I'm a lawyer and made this video to answer that exact question. Alright, here's the deal: if you're talking to an insurance adjuster, especially if it's an insurance adjuster for the person who hurt you, be it the at-fault driver, the at-fault property owner - whoever it is - if it's their insurance company, here's what you need to know. You don't have to give a statement. That's not a real thing. No one is requiring you to give a statement. Now, if it's your own insurance company and they want you to give a statement, that may be a little different. It depends on the policy terms. If that comes up, call us, and we'll answer the question and do it for free. The next thing you need to know, when it comes to insurance adjusters, you don't have to sign any of the forms that the at-fault person's insurance company is sending you. Again, that's not real. A lot of times, they'll want all your medical records, your medical records going back basically to birth. Don't sign any of their forms. They're not doing that for your health. They're certainly not doing it to help you. The third thing you should know is before you talk with an insurance adjuster, at a minimum, you don't have to hire a lawyer, but just consult with one. You're welcome to call us, call another attorney who handles the type of case you're dealing with, and just get a free consultation. Get your questions answered, and at least, you're going into that conversation - if you end up having a conversation with an insurance adjuster - knowing what your rights are. The last thing we want is for insult to be literally added to injury. So, consult with an attorney before contacting an insurance adjuster. If you have any other questions about any aspect of a case, give us a call and we're glad to, again, answer any of your questions and do anything we can to help you free of charge. And if you end up needing us beyond that, it's certainly a conversation that we can have. More than anything, though, we just want to make sure your rights are protected.

What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?

An insurance adjuster is the person who decides how much money to offer you. Because insurance companies maximize profit by paying out minimum amounts on claims, the adjuster’s job – from the start – is to make sure you get compensated as little as possible. If you have ever spoken to an adjuster, they may have used a kind tone. They might haveWhat To Say To Insurance Adjusters said they were going to help you. They may have even told you not to get a lawyer because the attorney would only take your money. In my experience, all of those statements are not true. The insurance adjuster is not your advocate. Furthermore, the main reason they do not want you to hire a lawyer is because represented people generally receive considerably more money than unrepresented people. In fact, in a survey from Nolo.com, respondents who hired a lawyer walked away with an average of $77,600 in compensation, compared to an average of $17,600 for those who handled their own claim. 

If you want a glimpse into the mind of an adjuster, consider the following story:

A bad wreck spun a car off the highway and down an embankment, where it crashed into a tree. The driver side door was crushed, and the injured driver went from earning a steady income and paying for his son’s college tuition to borrowing money from family in order to buy groceries.

When I told the insurance adjuster that the man’s well-documented back pain was so severe that he could no longer sit on his furniture, but instead had to use a folding chair to watch TV and eat meals, the adjuster’s response was, “What do you want me to do, buy the guy a new folding chair?”

These people rarely understand you. They often look at you as nothing more than a claim number, and I doubt they will ever appreciate the lost quality of life you experience because of a car accident. In sum, they are your adversary.

What Not To Say To a Car Insurance Adjuster After a Wreck In South Carolina 

Your phone may start ringing only a few hours after your accident happened. Your head may still be spinning and you probably haven’t had time yet to recover from the trauma of the incident. During this time, you are particularly vulnerable to insurance adjusters’ tactics. Adjusters are trained to foster a friendly conversation that encourages you to make damaging statements about what happened or your injuries. It is important to be aware of what statements you should avoid making so you do not accidentally harm your case. 

  1. Don’t make any statements about your health. Do not estimate the severity of your injuries or downplay your injuries by saying that you are “fine”. Symptoms may not begin until much later and you may receive a diagnosis weeks after the accident that is more serious than you initially believed.  
  2. Don’t admit blame. Do not give the adjuster any reason to believe you were at fault for the accident. Avoid having an apologetic tone during your conversation because if an adjuster believes you are at fault, it can greatly limit your chances at receiving a full, fair recovery. In your conversations with an insurance adjuster, be calm and confident and allow them to investigate the collision.  
  3. Don’t take the first settlement offer. No matter how caring they may sound, an insurance adjuster is not your friend. They will try to convince you that the first settlement offer will be the best you can get. Most initial offers will be significantly lower than your claim is worth. You should not accept any offers until you’ve received a medical diagnosis and know the full scope of your injuries. I always recommend injured victims consult an attorney who can assess the fairness of the offer before accepting any offers. If you were lowballed, an experienced attorney can gather evidence and help you seek a full, fair settlement. 

In general, it’s best to keep interactions with car insurance adjusters brief and limited in details. The more you talk, the more likely it is you may accidentally say something that undermines your claim. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve suffered a personal injury that was caused by another party’s negligence, The Law Office of Kenneth Berger is here to help. Our experienced South Carolina serious injury legal team understands the impact an accident can have on your life, and our legal team will work hard to win compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

We offer free consultations and would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us online today or call us at 803-790-2800. Our offices are conveniently located in Columbia and Myrtle Beach, and we have been proudly servicing clients throughout the surrounding areas. Contact us online today or call us at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC).