What Should You Not Do When Talking With an Insurance Adjuster in a Dog Bite or Attack Case?

women talking on headset phones at workLike most Iowans, you have likely had a claim against an insurance company for a property damage claim such as a fender bender car accident, hail damage or other property damage matter.  You may have received a call or visit from the insurance adjuster to discuss your claim.  If you have to deal with an insurance company in the future, this article provides some advice for dealing with the adjuster. 

Tell the Truth and Keep Records

First, anything you say can and will be used against you by the insurance company and their lawyers.  No matter what, do not lie because even a small lie can ruin your credibility.  The best policy is to always tell the truth so you will never have to worry about what you said.  Second, you should document your damages by keeping track of documents and other information which may not seem important at the time, but later may become important.  Also, you should keep a diary or journal of persons you speak with and when you spoke with them.  Your diary or journal will help you prove the extent of your damages and can mean a higher evaluation of your claim.  It will also help you keep things straight when you are trying to recall what happened right after the accident.

 

Medical Records and Doctor Visits

If you sustained injuries there are several other things to keep in mind.  If you miss work, keep track of the time you miss.  This includes keeping doctors' excuses for missed work and keeping track of the time you miss from work for doctors' appointments.  Also, you should review 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 companies will base its offer to you on this critical information.  If you fail to tell your doctors everything that hurts, not only will you not be treated properly, but also no one will know about it.  If you first begin to complain about a medical 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. 

Likewise, if you are still having problems and they aren't improving, return to your doctors because 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.

 

Dealing With the Insurance Adjuster

Insurance adjusters spend hours training to use techniques and words to try to settle your case.  Remember, the adjuster does this for a living, all day, every day.  When you are 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 lawyers and other professionals working for them, so you should consider having a professional on your side - an injury lawyer with experience in handling dog bite and attack injuries.    

Often after a dog bite injury, 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, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to change your mind later.  While often you can handle a property damage only claim on your own, when it comes to a personal injury dog bite claim you may need the expertise of an Iowa personal injury attorney. 

 

What Should I Do Next?


Iowa Consumer's Guide to Dog BitesFor more information about Iowa dog bites, including · 10 Myths about Dog Bites · 6 Things to Know Before Talking to the Insurance Adjustor, Forms or Hiring a Lawyer, and much more, click on the image of the dog bite book to the left, go to www.IowaDogBiteBook.com or Call Now 1-800-707-2552, ext. 813 (24-Hour Recorded Message).  Why offer a Free Book?  Since 1997 Iowa personal injury attorney Corey Walker has represented hundreds of injured Iowans including many who were injured when they were bitten or attacked by a dog from Des Moines, Newton, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Iowa City, Grinnell, Pella, Knoxville and from 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 dog bites in the comfort of your own home with no risk or obligation.  If you need immediate assistance with your dog bite or dog attack case, contact us online or call 641-792-3595 and ask to talk to Corey or Erik.

Corey Walker
With over 20 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.