If you are involved in a serious Iowa car accident, you will likely be contacted by an insurance adjuster following the incident. Although you may believe that the adjuster is just trying to get the facts of your accident, their primary responsibility is to save money for the insurance company so the information you give him or her may jeopardize your ability to recover compensation.
While it is in your best interests to hire an experienced lawyer to help you following an injury accident, in general, there are several tips you can follow to ensure that your claim is not devalued.
Contacting Your Insurance Company After a Serious Iowa Car Accident
First, make sure that you report the collision to your insurance company or the at-fault party’s insurer. If you do not report the accident in a reasonable amount of time, the insurer may refuse to process your claim preventing you from obtaining compensation for damage to your vehicle or an injury.
Should I Talk to an Insurance Claims Adjuster Following My Accident?
Although, it is highly recommended that you let your attorney handle any communications with an adjuster, if you are contacted, it is important not to consent to making an official statement regarding your car accident until you have fully recovered from your injuries.
An insurance adjuster considers a statement regarding details of your car accident as your official recollection and if there are discrepancies or contradictions in the statements you make, it could affect the outcome of your claim.
It is better to decline an adjuster’s request for a statement until you have time to prepare or have hired an experienced attorney to help you. Working with an attorney, you can fully prepare to provide an official statement which will include details regarding the events of the accident, property damage and an accounting of medical expenses or lost wages that resulted from you injuries.
Signing a Medical Release After an Injury Accident
If you are asked to sign documents, it is important to read everything thoroughly. If an adjuster asks you to sign a medical release form, be aware that you are giving them permission to see your medical records related to the accident and also any pre-existing conditions you may suffer from. The adjuster may use this information to reduce the value of your claim or deny you compensation by drawing a line between your injury and the pre-existing conditions.
Should I Sign an Insurance Claim Release?
If you are presented with a claim release form, understand that this legal document states that you are releasing the at-fault party from any further liability by accepting the settlement the insurer offers you. If injuries become apparent or worsen after the passage of time, you will not be able to pursue any further damages if you sign the release.
It is a good idea to ask your attorney’s advise before signing a medical release form and, if you are considering signing a claim release, have your attorney review the document to determine if it fairly represents your interests and compensates you for your loss.
Beware of an Insurer’s Initial Settlement Offer
After an insurance adjuster evaluates your case, he or she may make you an initial offer. Remember, the adjuster is looking out for the insurance company so he or she will likely make a low offer hoping you will take it. If you are confident that the offer will cover the full cost of your injuries and damages, you may want to accept it. However, an unreasonably low amount may not even be enough to cover the basics so you may want to consult with an injury attorney before moving forward.
Contact Our Davenport Car Accident Lawyers for Help
The Quad-Cities Personal Injury Law Offices of McDonald Woodward & Carlson PC can help if you or a family member has been injured in a car or truck accident. We have helped many car accident victims who were treated unfairly by adjusters and the insurance companies they represent recover fair compensation for their injuries. Email or call us at 563-355-6478.