Like most Iowans, you have likely had a claim against an insurance company for a property damage claim such as hail damage, a leaking roof, etc. You may have received a call or visit from the insurance adjuster to discuss your claim. If you have to deal with an insurance adjuster in the future, here are some tips which may help your matter go better:
Anything You Tell the Adjuster Will Be Used in Your Case
First of all, anything you say can and may be used against you by the insurance company and their lawyers. Therefore, no matter what, tell the truth. Even a small lie can ruin your credibility. The best policy is to always tell the truth. If you don't know an answer, tell them you don't know. Making up or guessing at an answer can only hurt your case.
Secondly, you should document your damages by keeping documents which may not seem important at the time, but later may become important. Also, you should keep a diary or journal of who you speak to and when you speak to them. Your diary or journal will help you prove the extent of your damages, and can mean a higher evaluation of your claim. Use your journal to keep track of your medical appointments so that you can provide the information to the insurance company.
Your Case is Different if You Have Serious Injuries
If you sustained injuries in a car or truck accident or other personal injury case, you should keep the following things in mind when dealing with a claim against an insurance company:
- If you miss work, keep track of the time you miss. This includes keeping doctors' excuses for missed work and keeping track of time you miss work for doctors' appointments.
- Retain any medical bills or explanation of benefits forms that you receive from your health insurance company. The medical records made when you visit your doctor, physical therapist or other medical providers are very important. They will include your description of how you were injured, your physical complaints, your injuries, the doctor's examination findings, and the treatment you received. The insurance company will base its offer to you on this critical information. If you fail to tell the doctor everything that hurts, not only will it not be treated properly, but also no one will know about it. If you first begin to complain about some problem weeks or even months after you were hurt, the insurance company will likely claim that the problem was not from the accident and reduce their settlement offer to you.
- See your doctor on a regular basis if you are still having pain or other problems. Failing to see a physician regularly is considered evidence that you have fully recovered to the insurance company and, eventually, perhaps to a judge or jury. While you should not go to the doctor every day, you need to see your doctors and tell them if you are still having problems. If your doctor says "follow-up as needed", that means to come back in a few weeks if you are still having problems. If you do not follow-up, then in the eyes of the doctor, insurance company, and perhaps even a jury, you are no longer having problems and have made a full recovery.
A Personal Injury Attorney May Be Able to Help
Insurance adjusters are trained to use words and techniques to try to settle your case and close your file. They do this for a living, all day, every day. When dealing with an insurance adjuster you need to be smart and watch what you say because it could later be used against you. Insurance companies have professionals working for them, so you should consider having a professional on your side - a personal injury attorney with experience in handling car, truck, and other injury accidents.
Often after a motor vehicle or other accident, an adjuster will offer a few thousand dollars in the hope that you will take the offer and settle the claim quickly. If you accept the settlement and sign the release forms, then it is very difficult to change your mind later. While you can often handle a property damage-only claim on your own, when it comes to a car accident, truck accident, or other injury accident you may need the expertise of a personal injury attorney.
To learn more, including the 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case, go to IowaCarAccidentBook, or Call Now 1-800-707-2552, ext. 810 (24-Hour Recorded Message). Why offer a free book? Since 1997 Iowa personal injury attorney Corey Walker has represented hundreds of Iowans injured in car accidents from Newton, Des Moines, Iowa City, Waterloo, and other towns throughout the state of Iowa. He has seen too many clients make mistakes before they had the "right" information, resulting in them losing thousands of dollars. Finally, you can learn about car accidents in the comfort of your own home with no risk or obligation. If you need immediate assistance, contact us online or call (641) 792-3595 and ask for Corey.