Do We Give a Defendant’s Adjuster a Statement?
Kimberly Camarena, Trial Attorney
One of the many questions we get is, “do we give the defendant’s adjuster a statement?” Before you’ve contacted an attorney’s office, you’ve probably already given a statement to the defendant’s insurance company.
If you’re contemplating reaching out to a personal injury attorney, let the adjuster know that you are not ready to give a statement, but you would like to get my property damage fixed. We say this because it is our practice, once we have a client, we inform them to stop all communication with the defendant’s insurance claims adjustors. They no longer need to contact you. They will contact us.
One of the first things adjusters ask clients is information pertaining to their
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Where did you go for treatment
- Who are you treating with
We will not hide any of this information from them, but we will not give it to them at that moment. We need to look at information first, such as the police report.
When you are in an accident, adrenalin goes through your body. Therefore, you may not feel or report your injuries right away. You may think you can put ice on it and see how you feel the next day. If you speak with the adjuster during that time and ask how you’re feeling, and you say fine, then they can take that statement and put it into terms of you saying you didn’t have any injuries the day of the accident. Now you’re saying they have injuries after the date they meet with you.
So, don’t tell them if you are injured or not, and do not provide them with your date of birth because that can be used to find where you received treatment. The insurance company doesn’t need to know this at the beginning of your case. They also don’t need your social security number because the adjuster can use it to find Medicare/Medicaid information. Why is this important?
Medicare and Medicaid want to get reimbursed for the monies paid for injuries caused by the negligent party. Our law firm manages this. We will contact them and inform them of your personal injury claim and request for them to send us the bills and send their conditional payment so we can take care of the reimbursement from any settlement or verdict money received.
However, the insurance company is going to want to use Medicaid and Medicare so that they can pay a lower amount towards your settlement.
It’s important to know that when providing a statement to the insurance company, they could and will use your words out of context and try to confuse you with the questions they ask so that it contradicts what the police report or witness said about the crash.
For this reason, we inform our clients not to talk to the insurance adjuster and not to give a statement. Before you do, speak to a personal injury attorney to find out what you need to know.
When you’re talking about property damage, all you need to tell them is where my care is and where the damage is. And send adjuster pictures of the property damage.
If the insurance adjuster asks you, “how are you doing today?”, that may be a way they are trying to sneak in and get information from you about your injuries. Be careful of these tactics. You should only be talking to them about property damage.
Contact us and let us know how we can help you.
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