How to Handle the First Call from an Adjuster after Your Car Accident

Posted on: 14 January 2016

After you've had a car accident, you can expect a phone call from the insurance adjuster or car insurance representative of the other party involved in the accident. Depending on the severity of your collision, you may be pretty shaken up and may not know how to handle yourself during such a telephone call. Keep reading to learn exactly what to do and not do when on the phone with the other driver's insurance adjuster after you've been involved in a car accident:

Obtain Identification

As soon as you pick up the phone and the caller identifies himself or herself as an insurance adjuster calling about your recent car accident, ask for details about the adjuster's identification. Write down the adjuster's full name, telephone number, and address. Also write down the name of the insurance company and the name of the person that the insurance company is representing. That name should match the name you have as the other driver involved in the car accident.

Provide Limited Personal Info

Immediately tell the adjuster that you won't be discussing much over the telephone at this time, but you will be happy to provide your full name, phone number, and address. At this point in time, you should not discuss your work, schedule, income, or anything else the adjuster may be pushing for.

Don't Give Details about the Accident or Injuries

Many insurance companies try to convince accident victims to give a statement that includes details about the crash and any injuries, or they may subtly try to get you to casually talk to them about the accident so they can write down the details you provide. Don't fall for it.

It's okay to provide the adjuster with the time and location of the accident, the number of vehicles involved, and the identity of any witnesses. Then, politely inform the caller that you will not be discussing any additional facts about the accident at this time because the investigation is still underway. The insurance company will receive all the details of the accident and your injuries from the police report, medical reports, and your written demand for compensation.

The reason you don't want to give information about your injuries at this time (if you have any) is that you may forget to mention something, the injury may end up being worse than you originally thought, or you may discover an injury later.

Do Not Give a Recorded Statement

Politely but firmly decline the adjuster's request to record any part of your telephone conversation. This will protect you later because you won't be inadvertently saying something that will be used against you. It's common for people to tense up when they know they are being recorded, and then they forget to mention important details or they provide incomplete or inaccurate information. The insurance company will get written correspondence with well-detailed information that will be much more precise and thorough than what you would provide during this initial conversation with the insurance adjuster.

Resist the Urge to Settle Quickly

The insurance adjuster may offer you a settlement during the first or second phone call because it saves the insurance company a lot of work. This may try to get you to settle for a much smaller amount than if you had waited to hear the the extent of your injuries and the total amount of medical and vehicle repair bills. While it's very tempting to accept, you should always discuss your situation and your options with a personal injury attorney before settling with an insurance company.  

Now that you are armed with a few tips to help you get through the first phone call with an insurance adjuster after you've been involved in an accident, you can feel confident that the call won't be very stressful. If you don't feel up to this conversation, politely tell the adjuster that you'll call back when it's move convenient for you, or have them call your lawyer. If you have any questions about what to do after being injured in a car crash, then contact a personal injury attorney through a website like He or she will be happy to help you.