Because Louisiana is a fault insurance state, you will likely have to work with the at-fault driver’s insurance in order to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage. His or her insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to handle your claim.
Experienced car accident lawyers may suggest that you have to watch what you say to the adjuster because this person could use anything you say against you to reduce the value of your claim. This person works for the insurance company, so it is in his or her best interest to pay as little as possible for your claim to save the company money. This will help the adjuster look good on his or her next performance evaluation.
Follow these seven rules when speaking to the adjuster:
- Do not minimize your injuries – For some reason, many accident victims have a tendency to minimize the severity of their injuries. This will allow the adjuster to minimize the value of your claim.
- Do not agree to have your conversations recorded – Because recorded statements can be used against you in an attempt to limit the amount of compensation you are offered, it is best to politely decline when asked to provide one. You should consider speaking with an attorney before giving any kind of official statement.
- Do not offer opinions on the crash – Stick to the facts about the crash, such as the date, time and location of the accident.
- Do not discuss preexisting injuries – This will allow the adjuster to say your new injuries are just an exacerbation of your previous injury. This could hurt your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
- Do not answer questions if you do not know the answer – You are within your rights to decline to answer a question if you are unsure of the correct answer. It is better to give no answer than to say something that is not true.
- Do not exaggerate – Stick to the truth, as adjusters can tell when people are embellishing.
- Always negotiate from a position of strength – You should enter conversations with a firm belief in your side of the situation. Do not let the adjuster convince you that you are exaggerating your injuries or you deserve a smaller settlement.
If you are having trouble negotiating with an insurance adjuster or are struggling to obtain fair compensation, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help.
Simien & Simien’s Louisiana insurance lawyers have done this before and we know how to protect your rights and fight for fair compensation. If we cannot agree on a fair settlement from your insurer, we may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
Contact Simien & Simien for a free consultation. Call (800) 374-8422.