Motor vehicle accidents happen every day on Arizona roads and highways. In 2020, there were 98,778 traffic accidents statewide, 970 of which were fatal and 28,610 of which caused injury, as reported by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). If you have been involved in an accident, don’t count on insurance adjusters to offer you a fair settlement that covers all your damages.
Why Do Insurance Adjusters Have Incentive to Limit Claims?
It is the job of insurance adjusters to investigate cases and determine their value. Adjusters are employees of insurance companies, however, and these companies are in business for profit. The less they pay out in claims, the greater their profits will be. The main focus of an insurance provider and its employees is to minimize payouts or avoid them altogether.
What Are Some Common Tactics of Car Insurance Claims Adjusters?
If another driver caused the accident, an adjuster with that driver’s insurance company may contact you and attempt to get a recorded statement from you. The adjuster will ask questions or restructure statements in a way that is designed to correct the value of your claim. If the statement is taken soon after the accident, you may know yet the nature and full extent of your injuries. You are under no legal obligations to provide a recorded statement the minute the insurance company asks for it. It is not desirable to give such a statement before speaking with an experienced Arizona personal injury lawyer.
What Steps Should You Take After an Arizona Car Accident?
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience that can leave you feeling stunned or shocked. It is a good idea to consider in advance what steps to take afterwards, in case an accident should occur.
- Call the police and get medical attention: Call 911 to get an officer out to investigate the accident and let them know if you or anyone else involved needs emergency medical treatment. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as you can. Adrenaline and the shock of a car accident can mask your initial symptoms, and some may take hours or days to appear. A doctor’s visit creates a record of your injuries.
- Tell the police what happened: When the police arrive at the scene, give them the information they ask for. Answer their questions simply and honestly. Report any injury symptoms you are experiencing to the officer who speaks with you, even if you believe they are minor.
- Take pictures of the accident scene: Most people carry smartphones with cameras in their vehicles. If you are able to do so, take plenty of pictures of the accident scene. These should include photos of the vehicles involved and their relative positions to each other, skid marks on the road or debris left from the accident, and any traffic signs or signals. If you have bruising swelling, or any visible injuries, take pictures of those, as well.
- Other information: You are required under state law to exchange information with the other driver, including names, addresses, registrations, and driver’s licenses. Also get names and contact information for any eyewitnesses to the accident – in case they leave the scene before talking to the police. The police report will be available several days after the accident.
- Speak with an experienced Arizona car accident attorney: The Husband & Wife Law Team can advise you on how to deal with insurance adjusters. We can secure evidence, build your claim, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and fight for the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in an Arizona car accident, call us today at (602) 457-6222.