Should I talk with the insurance company following the wrongful death of a family member?

January 28, 2022

No, you should not. You’re not required to speak to adjusters from the defendant’s insurance company if you’ve filed a wrongful death claim. They’re likely to call—sounding sympathetic and compassionate, offering condolences, and asking “routine” questions. They’ll say it’s company policy or there’s a deadline for getting your signature, so they can settle your claim as soon as possible.

The Truth

None of what they say is true. Their job is to deny as many claims as they can and give low settlements to claimants they can’t deny. They want to:

  • Catch you when you’re not thinking clearly because of grief, your own injuries, and/or medication
  • Ask you to make a recorded or written statement
  • Ask misleading questions to confuse you
  • Ask for a blanket medical authorization to get all your deceased loved one’s records
  • Discourage you from hiring an attorney
  • Offer you a quick, low settlement before you see a wrongful death lawyer and learn what your case is worth

The adjuster wants a statement to compare with coroners’ reports or depositions related to your loved one’s death. If there’s any discrepancy, the adjuster will use it to question the validity of your claim. A medical authorization can be used to look for pre-existing conditions that the adjuster will cite as evidence your loved one’s death was not the defendant’s fault.

If the Insurance Company Calls

You should give an insurance adjuster the least amount of information possible and take notes of the conversation. After getting their name, title, company, and contact information, you should say your attorney will handle all further communication. Don’t make a statement or agree to sign anything. Disclose no more than your full name, address, phone number, and email address. Don’t give an adjuster your deceased loved one’s Social Security number.

If you’ve already been contacted by an adjuster and disclosed more than minimal information, it’s even more important to consult a lawyer right away to assess and control any damage that’s been done.

Have You Filed a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?

Take the first step toward a fair settlement by consulting an experienced wrongful death attorney who knows how to deal with insurance adjusters. Contact us online, start a chat, or call our Coral Springs office at 954-755-7803 to schedule a free consultation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, so you pay no attorney fees until we win your case.

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