If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, you should be prepared for a call from the insurance adjuster for the negligent property or business owner within a day or two after the incident. What you say to them can strengthen or weaken your claim for compensation—even if you were not at all to blame for your injuries. Here’s the best way you can handle their call to protect your rights.
Take These Steps When the Insurance Company Calls
You need to understand why the insurance adjuster is calling you before you talk to them. One reason is to investigate your accident so they can make a decision on settling your claim. However, they are also looking for information they could use to deny your claim or pay less than you are owed. That’s why you have to be extremely careful about what you say.
Whenever you talk to the insurance company, you should remain calm and polite even if you are angry at the negligent party that caused your injuries or the adjuster who may be treating you unfairly. Here are other steps you should take:
- Obtain contact information. You should get the name of the insurance representative calling you and their contact information. Be sure to get your claim number too.
- Provide limited personal info. You should not give the insurance adjuster detailed personal information about yourself. Provide the basics of your name, address, and telephone number, your place of employment, and job position, but do not discuss other details of your work or your life.
- Don’t discuss details of the accident. You can tell the adjuster where and when your premises liability accident occurred. However, do not discuss in detail how it happened or agree to give a recorded statement, which is a tape-recorded question and answer session between you and the insurance adjuster.
- Don’t talk about your injuries. You should expect the insurance adjuster to ask you questions about your injuries. Just tell them that you are receiving treatment for your injuries, but do not go into any details about your medical care or your injuries. It could be months or longer before you know how serious your injuries are or all the treatments that your doctor will prescribe.
- Take notes. Either during the call or right afterward, you should write down notes about everything that you discussed so that you remember what was said.
Do You Have to Talk to the Insurance Company?
You do not have to take the insurance adjuster’s call. You should definitely limit your communications with them.
Your best strategy is to hire an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will handle all contact with the insurance company for you and negotiate your settlement so that you receive the maximum recovery that you are entitled to.
Did you or a family member suffer an injury in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident? Call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today to learn how we can help.