After you are injured in an accident, you will be getting a call from the other driver's insurance company. This person is the claims adjuster, and their job is to estimate the right amount of compensation for your injury.
If you don't have a lawyer yet, BE CAREFUL. How you handle this conversation matters a lot. You have been injured, but you can be injured again if the insurance company lowballs you.
They will usually seem quite friendly, but their objective is not friendly - it is to save their company money by seeing that you are offered the minimum amount.
The best response of all? "I have a lawyer at Jacobs, Schwalbe & Petruzzelli. Talk to them."
Without a lawyer, carefully follow this advice:
1. Be proactive. Have a pencil handy to write down their name, the company they represent, and a number to call back. You do not want to have to refer later to "some guy from the insurance company."
2. Be cool. Even if you are upset about your injury, don't let that boil over. Claims adjusters are human and they will hold it against you if you are rude to them.
3. Be firm. The claims adjuster will suggest recording the conversation, "for your protection." You have the right to say no to this request. If you enter into this conversation without preparation, the insurance company will treat it as your definitive statement.
4. Be discreet. Don't provide details about your injuries, or describe your view of how the accident happened. Anything you say can be used against you.
5. Be patient. The claims adjuster will appeal to your natural desire for closure. "Why don't we settle this problem right here and now," they may say. Resist the temptation - the amount will be their lowest possible offer.