Posted on August 27, 2013 in Personal Injury
Imagine a nightmare scenario. Your car is demolished due to the violation of numerous driver safety rules by an insured motorist. The motorist admits she left her glasses at home and can barely see. She tells the officer she does not know if the light was green or not, she couldn’t see it. You contact the driver’s insurer and they demand a statement from you before accepting liability. In fact they tell you that unless you give them the statement they won’t do a thing for you.
Against the advice of any experienced personal injury attorney you give the statement. Near the end the insurance adjuster asks: Do you think there is anything you could have done to avoid the accident? You respond, "anticipate she would run the red light maybe?" You have just stepped on a landmine. Two days later the adjuster calls you back and says "we have decided you are 25% at fault because you didn’t react soon enough when our insured ran the red light". Then they offer to pay nothing for a rental car and only 75% of your car’s value. This nightmare plays out hundreds of times a day in Washington and Oregon as insurers attempt to take advantage of the elimination of strict liability they shoved through the legislature years ago.
You can protect yourself.
1. Refuse to give a recorded statement.
2. Read the police report before talking to the adjuster.
3. Do not agree that you did anything wrong.
4. Don’t agree with anything the adjuster tells you about how the crash happened.
5. Be very careful of the "what else could you have done" type of question, these are traps.
6. Perhaps most important, if you are hurt and it was not your fault call an experienced personal injury attorney at Caron, Colven, Robison, Shafton PS in Vancouver Washington for a free consultation before the insurance company can close the trap on you.
Some auto insurance companies are allegedly paying adjusters bonuses based on the amount of "comparative negligence" they can get innocent drivers to accept in exchange for prompt payment of their automobile property damage claims. Insurance adjusters are using tricks to get innocent victims of negligent drivers to seem to admit fault when they have no fault at all. Be careful what you tell any adjuster for another driver even if you know you are fault free and the police have told you