Our Kansas City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Says Be Careful Talking to the Adjuster
Motorcycle accidents can result in traumatic injuries and permanent impairments for riders. Riders may sustain a variety of injuries, including brain injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, severe scarring, and spinal cord injuries. Motorcyclists can seek compensation for their injuries, financial losses, and other damages by filing a personal injury claim.
However, filing a personal injury claim means dealing with an insurance company. Our Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney explains why you need to be careful talking to the adjuster for the at-fault party. Before you give a statement, we recommend you at least get a free case review with an attorney experienced in motorcycle crashes. You can call our law firm right now for a free consultation at 816-203-0143.
Why Is an Insurance Company Contacting Me About My Motorcycle Accident in Kansas City?
Kansas and Missouri require motorists to have liability insurance for automobile accidents. Liability insurance compensates accident victims for their damages after a motorcycle accident caused by an insured driver.
An insurance adjuster may contact you after an accident to discuss the claim. It is important to remember that an insurance adjuster is not on your side. Even if the insurance adjuster works for the same company you use for your car insurance coverage, the adjuster is not on your side.
Insurance adjusters protect the best interest of the insurance company. Their job is to gather evidence that the insurance company can use to limit its liability for your claim. In other words, the insurance adjuster works to lower the amount of money you receive for your motorcycle accident claim.
Therefore, you must be very careful when you communicate with an insurance adjuster, investigator, or other party representing the other party’s insurance provider. If an insurance adjuster contacts you to discuss your claim, the best thing you can do is refer the adjuster to your accident attorney. Your lawyer understands insurance tactics used to reduce or deny injury claims. Your lawyer also has the training and experience needed to deal with aggressive insurance representatives.
What Should I Do If the Insurance Company Calls After a Motorcycle Accident in Kansas or Missouri?
If you have not hired a Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer yet, the following tips can help you deal with an insurance adjuster until you hire an attorney.
Do Not Agree to Provide a Written or Recorded Statement
The adjuster may ask you to provide a written or recorded statement. He may tell you that the company cannot process your motorcycle accident claim without a statement. Do not agree to provide a statement.
The insurance adjuster wants you to commit to a record of the details of the accident. The statement could be used against you in court to convince a jury that you were at fault for the crash or partially at fault for the crash. The compensation you receive for your injuries could be reduced if a jury believes your actions contributed to the cause of the crash. If the jury finds you are more than 50 percent at fault in Kansas, you cannot recover any money for your claim.
The insurance adjuster may ask leading questions about your injuries. The questions are designed to get you to state that your injuries are not serious. For example, the adjuster may ask you how you feel. He may then ask you about your normal daily activities. Your responses could be used to argue your injuries did not interfere with your activities, so you could not have been seriously injured in the motorcycle crash.
Insurance adjusters are highly trained professionals. They have learned techniques for getting responses to questions that can be intentionally misconstrued and twisted.
Your Conversation Could Be Recorded Without Your Knowledge
Both Missouri and Kansas are one-party consent states for recording conversations. In other words, the insurance adjuster or representative may not tell you that your telephone call is being recorded.
Therefore, answering questions during a telephone call could be risky. If you change your story slightly, the insurance company might use the recording in court to make you appear to be confused or a liar.
Your best move is to refer the insurance company to your attorney or tell the company you are in the process of hiring a lawyer who will contact the company to discuss your claim.
Tips for Dealing With an Adjuster After a Kansas City Motorcycle Accident
If you decide to talk with an insurance adjuster, the following tips could help ensure you do not say something that could help the insurance company deny or undervalue your claim:
- Write down the motorcycle accident details so that you do not become confused or make an incorrect statement.
- Never admit fault for causing the accident. Pay close attention to questions designed to get you to admit fault, such as asking how fast you were going, if you were running late, if you were talking on your cell phone, etc.
- When the adjuster asks about your injuries, respond that you are continuing treatment. Never say you are “fine” or “doing well.” Instead, repeat that you are continuing treatment. You are not required to offer specifics about your injuries at this time.
- Your answers should be short and direct. Do not embellish or add information that is not requested. Yes and no responses are ideal.
- Always be honest. If you do not know the answer to a question, say that you do not know instead of guessing.
- Have a family member or close friend present to listen to the telephone call and take notes for you.
- Do not accept a settlement offer made at the end of the conversation. The offer is probably far below the actual value of your motorcycle accident claim. Talk with a lawyer before accepting a settlement offer.
The insurance adjuster may try to bully you or trick you into answering specific questions. If you feel bullied or the insurance adjuster asks leading or intrusive questions, end the telephone call.
Contact a Kansas City Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Help
One of the best things you can do after a motorcycle crash is to learn about your legal rights from an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Kansas City.
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus represents clients in Missouri and Kansas. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation with an attorney by calling 816-203-0143 or completing our online contact form.