If you recently suffered injuries from a dog bite in Norfolk, you must be prepared for a potential call from the dog owner's insurance company. An insurance adjuster may contact you within days of the incident to discuss your claim. You need to know how to handle this call to protect your rights. You should also retain an experienced premises liability attorney immediately to pursue your claim for compensation.
Why the Insurance Adjuster is Contacting You
When they call you, the insurance adjuster may seem friendly and genuinely concerned about your injuries. However, you need to understand their goals in contacting you. They have two purposes:
- Investigating your claim. The insurance company is responsible for investigating the circumstances surrounding the dog bite incident. The adjuster will gather information, review medical records, interview witnesses, assess the dog owner's liability, and determine the potential value of your claim.
- Seeking information to minimize payout. The insurance adjuster's primary goal is to protect the insurance company's interests. They may be looking for information they can use to deny your claim or reduce the amount of money they have to pay you in a settlement. Therefore, you must proceed with caution during the conversation.
Tips on How to Handle an Insurance Adjuster's Call
When speaking with an insurance adjuster, you do not want to make any mistakes that can weaken your case. Follow these essential steps to protect your rights and strengthen your claim:
- Be polite. Maintain a courteous and professional demeanor throughout the conversation. Avoid arguing, becoming defensive, or making statements that could be misconstrued.
- Get contact information. Obtain the insurance adjuster's full name, phone number, email address, and your claim number. Having this information will be helpful for future communication with the insurance company.
- Provide limited information. While providing basic details about the dog attack is necessary, be cautious about sharing too much information. Stick to the basic facts of when and where it occurred, but avoid discussing the incident in detail, your injuries, medical treatment, or speculating on fault or liability.
- Do not agree to a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters often request recorded statements, but you are not obligated to provide one. Politely decline to give one. Even if you are careful, you could say something that hurts your case.
- Refer them to your attorney. Inform the insurance adjuster that you have retained the services of a premises liability attorney or will be hiring one shortly. Provide them with your lawyer's contact information and request that all further communication be directed through your legal representative.