What do I do if an insurance adjuster calls me?

If you have been in a car accident, you may receive a phone call — or even an in-person visit — from the other driver’s insurance adjuster.  These calls can be stressful, as the adjuster may put pressure on you to settle the case.  They may also push for you to provide details about the crash, asking questions that are designed to get you to admit fault.

The most important thing to remember is that the insurance adjuster — no matter how nice they may be — does not work for you.  The adjuster’s goal is not to help you get the most money for your losses; it is to pay you as little money as possible, or even get your claim dismissed.

With that in mind, if an insurance adjuster calls you, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself.  First, ask for the adjuster’s name and contact information.  This may be useful later if you need to give this information to your Southern California car accident attorney.

Second, you are only required to give the adjuster your full name, address and telephone (if you haven’t done so already).  You do not need to explain anything else at this point.

Third, do not provide any details about the accident or your injuries.  Anything that you say may be used to disprove your claim later.  If you are asked to give a recorded statement, say no.  Under California law, both parties to a conversation have to agree to recording it.  This means that unless you give your permission, the adjuster cannot record your call.

Fourth, do not agree anything, such as a settlement or releasing your medical records.  Anything that you agree to or sign should be reviewed by a lawyer first so that you don’t give up important legal rights.

Fifth, tell the adjuster that you will be hiring a lawyer, and that all future communications will go through them.  After you hang up, start your search for a Southern California car accident attorney.  They will be able to protect your interests and help you get the maximum compensation for your loss. Importantly, these tips only apply to calls from the other driver’s insurance adjuster.  If an adjuster from your own insurance company calls, then you will probably be obligated under the terms of your insurance policy to talk to them.  However, you can and should talk to a lawyer before doing so.