If you were injured in a premises liability accident, you will need to file a claim with the negligent property or business owner’s insurance company. They will most likely call you within days of your accident to investigate your claim.
What you say to the insurance adjuster can have a significant impact on the strength of your claim. Here are five statements you do not want to make to them because they could hurt your case and may prevent you from obtaining all the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
#1: Making Apologies or Admissions of Fault
You should avoid statements where you apologize for the accident or admit that you did something that caused your injuries. Your statements can be misconstrued by the insurance adjuster as an admission of fault in causing your accident and may be used against you in settlement negotiations and in court.
#2: Guessing an Answer
When speaking to the insurance company, you should stick to discussing the basic facts of how your premises liability accident occurred and how you were injured. Avoid making “I think” statements where you are guessing at an answer to a question. You could say something that turns out not to be true, which could hurt your credibility. It is better to simply say “I don’t know.”
#3: Minimizing Your Injuries
You should avoid making statements that downplay your injuries, such as “they are not that bad.” The insurance company will use your words against you and argue that you should receive less damages than you are seeking.
The best strategy is to say little about how injured you are when talking to the insurance adjuster. In the days after your accident, you may not know exactly how you were injured and how serious your injuries are, the treatments you will need, and whether you will make a full recovery.
#4: Accepting an Offer
The insurance adjuster could make an offer to settle your claim soon after you file your claim. You should not accept a quick settlement of your claim. It is probably a low-ball offer of far less than you are entitled to under Virginia law. You should never agree to settle your claim or sign the insurance company’s legal documents without first retaining an experienced premises liability attorney.
#5: Agreeing to Give a Recorded Statement
A recorded statement is a question and answer session between you and the insurance adjuster that is recorded and transcribed into a written document. The insurance adjuster may make it sound like you need to give one before they can settle your claim.
However, this is not true, and you should not agree to give one. The insurance adjuster is trained to ask confusing questions that are designed to elicit a response that hurts your case. Even if you are careful and have nothing to hide, you may make a statement that could be used against you.
Were you or family member injured in a premises liability accident? The best way to avoid making harmful statements to the insurance company is to hire a skilled premises liability accident lawyer immediately and leave all communications with the insurance adjuster to them. To learn about our track record of success in these cases and how we can assist you, fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.