If you were recently involved in a motor-vehicle collision and you intend to seek compensation for the associated damages, you’ll likely start by filing a car insurance claim. Whether you pursue funds from your own carrier or the other party’s insurer will depend on the severity of your injuries. Under Minnesota’s no-fault system, car accident victims may only proceed with third-party claims if they meet the state’s serious injury threshold.
Either way, however, you’ll eventually have to correspond with a claims adjuster. These seasoned professionals are skilled negotiators whose primary goal is to protect their employer’s bottom line. That means even if you file a claim with your own carrier under your own policy, it’s up to you to advocate for yourself. The claims adjuster won’t be inclined to protect your best interests just because you’re a loyal customer.
Since every car accident is unique, there’s no single strategy for corresponding with claims adjusters. There are, however, a few common mistakes that you should avoid along the way. Let’s take a look at such mistakes here:
1. Giving a Recorded Statement
The insurance adjuster may ask you to provide a recorded statement fairly early into the proceedings. He or she may even give you the impression that your claim won’t be processed until you do.
It’s advisable, however, to avoid giving any kind of statement before you’ve confirmed the full extent of the damages. Otherwise, you could essentially “lock in” the total losses. If you were to suffer additional damages after giving a statement, the insurer wouldn’t necessarily be obligated to cover them.
2. Admitting Fault
Motor-vehicle collisions are inherently chaotic, and multiple factors are often at play. Even if you think you played a role in the wreck, however, do not admit as much until your legal team has completed their investigation. If it turns out you weren’t to blame, having accepted fault will hurt your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.
3. Accepting an Unfair Payout
Insurance adjusters are well aware of the financial stress that car accident victims face—and they’re not above using this desperation in their favor. They might offer a settlement almost immediately, for example, in the hopes that the claimant will accept it before considering all the damages he or she actually incurred.
Generally speaking, however, carriers are not inclined to take claims at face value, which means their initial offers are probably unfair. If you receive a prompt offer that seems decent, consider what you might be overlooking. For example, in addition to your medical bills and vehicle repairs, does it cover lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish?
Speak with a Minneapolis Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were seriously hurt in a motor-vehicle collision, turn to Bradshaw & Bryant to determine the most strategic way to proceed. We’ll conduct a thorough investigation into the crash and gather the evidence needed to help you pursue the maximum payout possible. Call 800-770-7008 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Minneapolis.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.