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Imagine that it is Friday morning and you are on your way to work. Your weekend outlook seems good, with a little rest and relaxation on the schedule and maybe an evening out to enjoy some St. Louis Blues. Things are going smoothly until you come to the final intersection before you arrive at work. That's when another driver fails to stop at a red light and slams into the side of your car. Now, you have a wrecked car, you are on your way to the hospital and you are already getting calls from the other driver's insurer.

Dealing with an insurance adjuster after an accident can be tricky. In fact, saying the wrong thing could cause your claim to completely go up in smoke. Here are a few tips to remember when you have to deal with the insurance adjuster.

Don't admit fault

In the hours or maybe days after a car accident, you might be a little confused on the details. However, the very last thing you should do is apologize for the accident or admit to any amount of fault. For instance, if you are speaking with the other driver's insurance company and say something along the lines of "maybe if I had been driving a little slower, I could have avoided the accident," the insurance company can take this statement as an admission of fault, even if you were driving the speed limit. Make it clear that you did nothing wrong and that the other driver was completely at fault for the accident. After all, they were the one who ran the red light.

Don't downplay your injuries

Even if you feel perfectly fine in the hours after the car accident, that does not mean you are without injury. If the insurance adjuster is pushing you for an answer, simply reply that you must first be examined by a doctor before you know the state of your injuries. It is possible that you suffered an injury that could take a few days to fully manifest and if you tell the insurance adjuster you are fine, you could cheat yourself out of the compensation you need to pay related medical bills.

The adjuster is not your friend

No matter how friendly the insurance adjuster is, he or she is not your friend. The insurer is not looking out for your best interests and is only concerned with how to pay as little on your claim as possible. In other words, don't let the adjuster get chatty with you about your personal life or even the weather. Stick only to the facts about the car accident and keep things simple. The insurance company can and will use your statements against you when it comes time to process your claim.

If you have been the victim of a car accident with a reckless or negligent driver, remember the above tips when you have to deal with the insurance adjuster. One wrong move can seriously damage your claim for compensation and you should take steps to protect your interests.

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Bonifield & Rosenstengel
16 East Main Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Toll Free: 866-223-2525
Phone: 618-215-2412
Fax: 618-277-5155
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