After a car accident in New Mexico, an insurance claims adjuster will contact you about the crash. The insurance claims adjuster’s goal is to settle your claim as quickly as possible while saving the insurance provider money. When an adjuster contacts you, he or she will be looking for specific information. Knowing what to expect can help you avoid saying the wrong thing and potentially hurting your chances of obtaining compensation.
Facts About the Accident
First, the claims adjuster will ask you basic questions about your auto accident. The adjuster will ask where and when it happened, how many drivers were involved, how the collision occurred, if there were any injuries and other questions. Only state facts when talking to the adjuster. Do not make guesses or speculate, especially about fault. Never say you caused the accident, even if you think you did. Keep your answers short and simple, and only offer the information asked.
Vehicle Inspections and Evaluations
Next, the insurance claims adjuster will need an inspection of your vehicle and its damages. The adjuster may schedule a visual inspection of your car or require you to submit photographs of the property damages. Then, the adjuster will request to see shop evaluations. You will need to bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop for a professional evaluation and price estimate for repairs. The adjuster may request copies of these documents.
Police Report Number
An adjuster may also ask you for a police report number. It is important to call the police after an auto accident in New Mexico for an official record of the event. A police report can document important facts about the crash, including which driver the officer suspects caused the collision. It can also include official photographs of property damages. Request your police report number while the officer is still at the scene.
Medical documentation is typically a requirement if you file an insurance claim for expenses related to a personal injury. The insurance claims adjuster will need official documents from your health care provider to prove the extent of your injuries, including copies of test results, x-rays and treatment plans. The adjuster may also request copies of medical bills and statements from your health insurance company or the hospital to prove your accident-related health care costs. A common reason for an adjuster to delay the settlement of a claim is lack of adequate injury documentation.
A Recorded Statement
An insurance adjuster typically explains that he or she wants a recorded statement to gather information about your accident and build an understanding of the claim. These are not the only reasons, however. Claims adjusters often try to extract recorded statements from accident survivors immediately after crashes – often in the first day or two. The adjuster wants this statement quickly, while the victim might not fully understand the accident.
Your recorded statement may be missing key information that will come to light later, after an investigation of the crash. The insurance company could then use your recorded statement against you as evidence that you are an unreliable witness. An insurance claims adjuster can make you feel like issuing a recorded statement is a normal part of the insurance claims process. However, it is not a requirement. You do not have to give a recorded statement to complete your claim. Politely decline the opportunity and continue with the rest of your claim.
What you say to an insurance claims adjuster could decide the future of your car accident case. Hire a lawyer to talk to the claims adjuster for you if you are worried about saying the wrong thing. An Albuquerque car accident lawyer can help you protect your rights and negotiate a fair settlement amount in New Mexico.