You have been in a car accident, caused by the inattention and negligence of another driver. Unfortunately, this happens much too often in our busy society. The roads are filled with inattentive, distracted drivers and with cell phones, GPS, and other devices, and this is only getting worse.
This can be a stressful situation and dealing with insurance adjusters can often make it worse. There are certain basic facts you must understand to protect your rights in this situation.
You Don’t Have to Give A Recorded Statement To The Opposing Insurance Adjuster
While you must certainly report the claim and give a description to your own insurance company, the converse is not true when dealing with an adjuster working for the person that caused your damage. There is no contractual or legal obligation to give such a statement. If you hire an experienced trial lawyer to handle your claim, he or she may allow this, but you certainly have no obligation to give such a statement, despite what the opposing insurance adjuster may tell you. In fact, pressure to do this may be a “red flag” that you need to consult a lawyer.
You Can Choose the Auto Repair Shop
Insurance adjusters may ask, or tell you, to use a certain auto repair shop. There is no legal obligation to do this, and if you prefer another shop, feel free to use it. While the recommended shop may well be qualified, and do very good work, keep in mind that the repair facility is your choice. If you are not familiar with the shops in your area, talk to friends or acquaintances or do some internet research before you choose. But remember, it’s your choice.
The Job of An Insurance Adjuster Is to Settle Your Claim as Cheaply as Possible
Let’s get this straight, the insurance adjuster is not your friend. Despite effective advertising to the contrary, the job of an adjuster is to settle a claim as cheaply as possible. While many adjusters are genuinely nice, friendly people, they are your adversary in a car claim against their insureds.
You Don’t Have to Take the First Offer
As stated above, the goal of an adjuster is to settle your claim as cheaply as possible. In most circumstances, they will make a very low offer to settle your claim, whether you are represented or not. They are trained negotiators, and most are not candid about what the claim is worth, or how much “authority” they have to settle for a claim. In certain cases, the first offer may be reasonable or be the full amount of the policy limits, but this is very rare. A board-certified lawyer will have many years dealing with these tactics and can give you the best advice on offers and the value of your case.
You Should Consult with An Attorney
If you were injured as a result of a car crash, you should not be at the mercy of the opposing adjuster. You should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer.it costs nothing to consult with the most experienced lawyers. If they take your case and settle your case, you will owe a fee, but otherwise, there is no obligation. Why not consult with an lawyer?
The insurance adjuster will tell you that you do not need a lawyer, it will cost you more than it is worth, and that they will be rare. Don’t fall for this strategy. They do not have your bests interests at heart, and only want to settle as cheaply as possible. You have an absolute right to consult with an lawyer, and you should consult with an experienced lawyer to get the best advice.
Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are Board Certified in Civil Trial.
So, when potential clients ask us about whether or when to hire a lawyer after an accident, we remind them that only a Board-Certified civil trial lawyer is a specialist in this area of the law. Since all injury lawyers have the same “no fee no cost unless you win” payout structure, there is no reason to hire someone who is not a specialist.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.