When they come to see a Henderson car accident attorney for the first time, many clients admit that they’ve already had a few discussions with an insurance adjuster. This is when an attorney becomes worried. Unfortunately, many accident victims are not aware that the adjuster is not there to help them. On the contrary, they are trying to get as much incriminatory information as possible in order to devalue or deny the accident claim at a later date.
Any Nevada car accident attorney can tell you that insurance companies are almost never fair. Even out team of personal injury attorneys used to work for insurers. So we know that the only thing that matters for these companies is their profit. They do not care about your pain and suffering. They don’t care that you will go in debt trying to pay your medical bills. All they want is to get you to say something that hurts your case.
Comparative Negligence in Nevada Gives Insurers the Reason to Act in This Way
Your Henderson car accident attorney will tell you in great detail how insurers try to devalue your claim. However, the basic principle they rely on is the comparative negligence principle applicable to all personal injury cases in the state of Nevada.
This principle states that you must not be more at fault than the other party for the accident in order to be eligible to file an insurance claim. Thus, if the insurance adjuster can determine that you were 51% at fault for your car accident, they have legal grounds to dismiss your claim.
And even if you are less than 50% at fault, the same comparative negligence principle stipulates that your compensatory amount will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. Now, imagine that your car accident resulted in damages amounting to $100,000. For an insurance company it makes a huge difference if they have to pay $90,000 if you were just 10% at fault or $75,000 if you were 25% at fault. For this reason, they will try to increase your proportion of fault as much as possible.
Sadly, many accident victims give them a helping hand.
So, What Must You Avoid Saying at Any Cost to an Insurance Adjuster?
Here are the most common phrases which people utter without thinking or without truly meaning them, but which end up costing them a lot when they file an accident claim:
1. It Was My Fault
This is probably the biggest mistake people make after a car accident. They are confused and they may genuinely believe that they were at fault. Even if it is so, you never admit that to the other driver and, most importantly, to an insurance adjuster.
A Nevada car accident attorney can tell you whether you have a case during a free initial consultation. In many cases, people who believed that they were at fault found out that they actually had a valid case. Yet, that admittance of fault will make their attorney’s work more difficult.
2. I Am Sorry
We are all educated to be courteous and polite. Thus, after a car accident, you may say this instinctively to the other driver or to an insurance adjuster. While it is not an overt admission of fault, it certainly points in that direction.
Any Henderson car accident attorney can tell you that every word you say can be recorded, taken out of context and construed to fit the insurer’s narrative. In the end, physical evidence is stronger than mere words, but your car accident claim will take much longer than it should.
3. I Will Give You a Statement
A statement given to an insurance adjuster after a car accident becomes a valid piece of evidence in any setting – settlement negotiations or personal injury lawsuit. No one can overturn the words you said, which were duly recorded and bear your signature as to their accuracy.
Never make a statement or accept to sign any paper the insurance adjuster gives you. It will most definitely be used against you at a later date – sometimes leading to a much lower settlement amount than you deserved.
4. Any Unnecessary Details
Let’s say that you had passengers in the car when the accident occurred. They are most likely coworkers, friends and family members. Never give their names to the insurance adjuster. They can find out their contact details and get in touch with them to ask them questions about you.
You would be surprised how much such a chat can hurt your case. Close friends and family members may talk about a previous injury or illness, or an incident from several years ago when you got a parking ticket. All these aspects will be used to reduce the value of your car accident claim.
5. I Think/ I Believe
We usually start a sentence with these words when we are not sure about the answer. But any speculation or slightly inaccurate answer will be used against you. The insurer can make it look like you are a liar, contradicting yourself or making up the entire situation.
Any Nevada car accident attorney will tell you that when you are not sure about an answer, you don’t provide one.
6. I’m Fine
Here is a very important thing to know: moments after the crash your body releases adrenaline. This will prevent you from feeling pain or other negative symptoms for several minutes – up to half an hour. Moreover, some serious internal injuries do not show symptoms for hours or days.
Even if you believe that you are alright, you must call an ambulance and seek medical attention. And you must never tell an insurance adjuster that you are fine. They will use this statement to claim that you are not really injured but want a quick payout.
7. I’ll Take Your Offer
Finally, never accept the first settlement offer an insurance adjuster makes. Even if you do not sign anything right then and there, your acceptance will be duly noted. When you try to file a claim, they will use that acceptance to deny it.
For a Henderson car accident attorney, it will be very hard to negotiate from this point onwards or to persuade a jury that you deserve more money than it was initially offered. After all, you accepted the deal, why would you change your mind?
The Only Thing to Tell and Adjuster: My Car Accident Law Firm Will Contact You
The only person who has the experience and know-how to negotiate a fair deal for you is a Nevada car accident attorney at the Nettles Morris law firm. We have a combined experience of over 30 years and know how to avoid all the pitfalls in a claims process.
Also, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis and collect our fees only after we win your case. Thus, you have absolutely no reason to worry that you can’t afford an experienced lawyer. Reach out to us and schedule an initial consultation as soon as possible after your car accident: 702-410-6239!