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Dealing with car accidents can be especially challenging when injured victims have to fight to figure out ways to secure fair compensation. Dealing with insurance companies can be intimidating even without the stress and trauma of an accident, and even when the insurance company plays fair and does everything above board. But when insurance adjusters get aggressive, you need a Huntsville, TX car accident lawyer on your side.

What’s An Adjuster, and Why Might They Be Aggressive?

Insurance adjusters are the professionals hired by insurance companies to investigate, evaluate, and process claims, and the reason they can get aggressive is that often their primary goal is reducing company costs, not getting you what you need.

In a perfect world, adjusters would always be impartial and fair, but that just isn’t always the case. While the law obligates insurance companies to act in good faith and treat policyholders fairly, some insurance adjusters use aggressive negotiation tactics or try to take advantage of injured victims who may be confused, traumatized, and unaware of their legal rights.

Contact a Huntsville, TX Car Accident Lawyer

Your first line of defense is a skilled and experienced lawyer, and hiring an experienced Texas personal injury attorney is the best way to successfully deal with an aggressive insurance adjuster.

Attorneys understand the law, how insurance companies operate, and how to build a convincing case that demonstrates the full extent of your damages. A knowledgeable lawyer who has been down this road before can prevent you from accidentally admitting fault or unknowingly settling for an amount far below what you deserve.

Your Initial Interactions 

It’s important to know that you don’t need to give the insurance adjuster much information about the accident. You can choose to limit your answers, so stick to objective facts only, avoid conjecture and speculation, and refuse to answer open-ended and vague questions.

You’ll need to provide the policyholder’s name, contact information, policy number, the date and location of the accident, the names of the drivers involved, and a brief description of the accident as soon as possible. However, avoid giving your opinion on who was at fault, as this can be held against you later during negotiations.

Know Your Rights

You have the right to timely acknowledgment and investigation of your claim. The insurance company should keep you informed of the claim status, respond promptly to communication, and avoid unreasonable delays in the investigation or claim payout. Be advised that you never have an obligation to provide a recorded statement without consulting with a legal professional, either.

Document Everything

Keeping detailed records after a car accident is tremendously useful when dealing with insurance adjusters. Documentation might include a copy of the police report, photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage, witness statements, medical records and bills, lost wage statements, and a journal detailing your pain and suffering. These detailed records can help bolster your claim and counter attempts by aggressive insurance adjusters to deny or minimize their financial obligations. Be sure to keep copies of everything, just in case.

Know Your Red Flags

Red flags aren’t just for romantic relationships: understanding the tactics aggressive insurance adjusters might try to use can help you protect yourself throughout the process. Some potential warning signs that an insurance adjuster might be acting in bad faith include requesting a recorded statement early on. Insurance adjusters may try to get you to make a recorded statement shortly after the accident because they hope you’ll be overwhelmed and might admit fault or downplay the severity of your injuries. They may also hoping to simply out-talk you. By asking questions in the right way, they may be able to get you to say something they can use against you.

Another red flag is pressuring you to settle quickly by making a lowball initial offer. They may try to make you feel like accepting their immediate offer is urgent or is your only chance at getting any compensation. They’re often hoping to capitalize on your pain and confusion, plus your natural concerns about money as medical bills pile up.

A further red flag is downplaying your injuries or exaggerating your fault. Some insurance adjusters may just come right out and question the severity of your injuries or suggest your behavior was a major factor leading to the accident. They do this to minimize your settlement. Be careful in how you describe your physical condition and avoid discussing your past driving record. If the conversation takes this turn, go straight to your lawyer.

Strategies to Protect Yourself

Stay Calm and Professional

An insurance adjuster may try to take advantage of your vulnerability or emotional distress after an accident. Keep your cool, even if the adjuster is being difficult or aggressive. Avoid losing your temper and making emotional statements that could weaken your claim.

Don’t Get Pressured Into Accepting

The insurance adjuster’s initial settlement offer is likely a lowball attempt. Don’t be afraid to turn them right over to your lawyer to negotiate.

Do Not Sign Anything Without Legal Counsel

Insurance adjusters may try to pressure you into signing various documents, including a medical release form, a statement about the accident, or a settlement agreement. It’s critical that you fully understand what you’re signing before doing so, and some of this may be couched in specialized terms only a lawyer can help you fully understand.

A medical release form could give the insurance company access to extensive medical records, potentially revealing prior injuries or health conditions they could use against you. A statement you agree to could inadvertently admit fault for the accident. Do not sign anything without having your lawyer review it first.

Keep Conversations Short and to the Point

When talking to an insurance adjuster, try to keep your interactions focused and professional. Avoid making unnecessary conversation or revealing personal details that have nothing to do with the accident. Stay focused on the facts and be aware that anything you say could potentially be used against you later. If they are asking about anything at all other than the basic facts, or if they call over and over when you’ve already given these facts, refer them to your lawyer.

How Your Huntsville, TX Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

A competent personal injury lawyer can level the playing field and protect your rights in several ways. Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation and gather all the relevant evidence to help prove the other driver’s liability in the accident. They will also calculate all current and estimated future losses to ensure your claim includes compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, property damage, and any other relevant expenses.

Your lawyer can also communicate on your behalf throughout the negotiation process, shielding you from manipulative insurance adjusters. And since Texas law sets limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit and has requirements of both you and the insurance company, an experienced lawyer will ensure that deadlines are met, that your rights are protected, and that the insurance company fulfills their obligations.

Accidents are stressful, and dealing with aggressive insurance adjusters afterward is something no one should have to deal with. If you’ve been the victim of a serious accident, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Let Brian Gutierrez, Personal Injury Trial Lawyer, fight in your corner!

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“No words describe how amazing it is to work with Brian.” J.T.

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