Following a St. Louis car accident, you are, at the very least, disoriented and confused. If you suffer an injury, you can be more distracted and and in pain, causing you to not think clearly. Often, a St. Louis car accident insurance adjuster will contact you before you can contact them. This is where your potential claim can go awry. The St. Louis car accident lawyers at Kullmann, Klein & Dioneda review how you should handle your initial phone call with the St. Louis car accident adjuster:
Make a Police Report
It is important to contact the police following your St. Louis car accident. Whether you feel you were not injured, or the property damage appears to be minor, you should ALWAYS contact the police. It is not necessary to have a police report to file a claim, but documenting that you were indeed involved in an accident reduces the chances of an adjuster denying your claim in the future.
Remain Calm & Polite
St. Louis car accident adjusters are people too. They are doing their jobs in collecting information from you regarding your accident. You may be better served further down the line if you are cordial and polite. The adjuster will be more willing to work with you on your claim if you are pleasant.
Identify the St. Louis Car Accident Adjuster
Request their name, phone number, fax number and email address, if possible, as well as their mailing address and claim number. This may be helpful to you in processing your claim at a later time.
Limit Personal Information
You may advise the St. Louis car accident adjuster of your name, address, phone number and employer name, but DO NOT provide any additional information. You have the right to refuse to answer any question they may have for you.
Give NO Details Regarding Your Injuries OR Your St. Louis Car Accident
Do not share anything with the adjuster about the way the accident happened, what you were doing at the time or whether you had passengers or distractions. Often times, victims of St. Louis car accidents do not have symptoms of injury until the next day or so up to even weeks or months after the accident. If you tell the adjuster you are not injured, and find yourself with a herniated disc later on, for example, your claim will likely be denied since you previously testified you were not injured. You can state you are still investigating the claim and politely refuse to give any injury information.
It is important to keep a log of what the St. Louis car accident adjuster tells you, but it is also key to keep a log of what YOU have told the adjuster. This will prevent any discrepancies in your testimony at a later date that may cause your claim to be denied.
Resist the Urge to Settle Quickly
St. Louis car accident adjusters will try to settle your claim quickly to save work, and in turn, save money. Early settlement is also the insurance adjuster’s way of barring you from recovering for additional expenses that may arise out of further injury that has not yet been determined
Set Limits on Your Conversations
Make it known to your St. Louis car accident adjuster on the 1st call that you will be giving very little information. It is also important to make clear with the adjuster whether you will allow further phone contact.
Refuse to Give a Recorded Statement
If an adjuster asks to record your call, or give a recorded statement, ALWAYS REFUSE. Anything you say on a recorded statement/call can be used against you in your claim process. Also, be sure to refrain from engaging in casual conversation with your St. Louis car accident adjuster. This can be a tactic to get you to give additional information without being aware of doing so. If the adjuster asks why you will not provide a recorded statement, simply tell them you are still investigating the claim and do not wish to give information at this time.
These are ways you can protect yourself after a car accident. The St. Louis car accident attorneys at Kullmann, Klein and Dioneda are here to help if you feel you cannot handle your claim on your own.
If you have been involved in a St. Louis car accident and need help, contact us via our online form.