It is common for a claims adjuster (a person who works for your insurance company) to be the first person to call after a car accident. The adjuster can either be a “staff adjuster” or an “independent” adjuster. A “staff adjuster” is an adjuster who has been employed by an insurance company while an “independent” adjuster works for a private company but has been hired by an insurance provider. Also, there are public adjusters that work independently in the interest of the common public. A claims adjuster will ask you many questions about your car accident, mostly in this order:
1. Where is your car?
2. Has your car sustained any damage?
3. What occurred in the accident?
4. Did anyone involved in the accident sustain injuries?
A claims adjuster will ask you about the location of your car as he or she wants to ensure that it is not accruing storage fees from a tow shop. If it is, the claims adjuster will ask you to contact the tow shop and ask them to release your car. Most of the insurance providers will then move your car to a body shop of their choice. If your car is at a tow yard, release it to your insurance provider and let them move it.
The claims adjuster will also want to know whether or not your car sustained any damage. If it was damaged, the adjuster will want to know the location of the damage. You don’t have to speak in auto terms. Tell the adjuster “passenger’s side”, “driver’s side”, “back”, “front” and so on. If your car is severely damaged, ensure that the insurance adjuster knows about it. And if the damage is minor, ensure that the adjuster knows about it too.
When the adjuster asks you to tell him or her what occurred, he or she may ask you to give a recorded statement. Avoid recording your statement as there is nothing in most policies that requires you to give the adjuster a recorded statement at this point. Tell the adjuster what you know. If you are still shaken, tell the adjuster you need a day or a few days to settle down before talking to him or her. For advice following an accident contact Stephens Law Firm Accident Lawyers.
Ensure that the adjuster knows if anyone involved in the accident was injured. Perhaps you have medical payments (med pay) coverage. This coverage pays for all medical expenses incurred for the injuries you sustained. You should also tell the adjuster whether or not anyone else was injured. Tell him or her what you know and if you are not sure whether or not you are hurt, let the adjuster know about it too.