After your accident, you will not only be dealing with your insurance company, but also the insurance company and claim adjuster of the other party’s involved. The role of an insurance adjuster is to work for the insurance company to research the accident, studies your policy and the policy of others involved, and inevitably decides the amount that you are entitled to. An insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and helps the insurance companies make more money by paying you less for your accident.
How to Deal with an Insurance Adjuster
We strongly suggest that you do not deal with an insurance adjuster by yourself, hiring an experienced accident attorney to negotiate with them is the best call of action. But if you must deal with an adjuster on your own, know that you will most likely know more details about your claim than the adjuster will. This is most likely due to the fact that they may not have update records or statements. What you need to know first is that a claim adjuster has the authority to come to a verbal agreement with you over the phone for your settlement. And they will most likely try to low-ball your settlement offer.
If you decide to deal with an adjuster without being represented by an attorney, here are a few tips in negotiating with them to get the settlement you deserve.
- Be respectful and be prepared. One of the most important things to do when dealing with an adjuster is to be prepared. Know all aspects of your claim. We highly recommend that you hire an attorney to represent you during this time. An experienced car accident lawyer can help with negotiations so that you will not have to deal with unfair settlements.
- Do not give the adjuster more information than is necessary. All you need to tell them is your full name, address, telephone number, and perhaps place of business. You do not need to discuss your work schedule or your income.
- All insurance adjusters already have the full story by the time you have your first call with them. We advise that you do not give them your account of the accident, it is already in the police report. This is because, a lot of times an insurance adjuster will try to get a statement from you that will cast doubt on who was at fault. Politely refuse to discuss any details about the accident except the most basic facts (which are in the police report) – where the accident happened, when it happened, type of accident, vehicles involved, and identify any witnesses to the accident. It is always a good idea to tell them that the details of your accident are still under investigation.
- Do not go into detail about the injuries you sustained in your accident. They will likely ask and if there is a chance that you leave something out, or discover a later injury, or your injury is worse than originally thought, it could greatly impact your claim.
- You are not telling the insurance adjuster anything they don’t already know; you are merely letting them know that you are just as informed about your case and that you understand the value of your insurance claim.
- When fault is not in question, a well-documented insurance claim has merit. Advise them of the total damages and the amount that you are demanding – not only for repairs to your car, but any injuries that you or any passengers may have suffered from due to the other party’s negligence.
- Do not be surprised if the insurance adjuster cuts the conversation short and tells you that they will consider your demand and will get back to you. This is a classic waiting tactic that they use to break the momentum of your case. They will use this to slow you down and make you believe that you should settle for less than what your case is worth.
- We advise that you do not lower your claim value or offer. The insurance company will come back with a counter offer – again, in negotiating offers, we strongly suggest that you let an experienced attorney represent you, we know exactly how insurance companies and adjusters work when it comes to offering low ball settlements.
- If an adjuster requests more documentation such as medical bills, health records, police reports, etc., send them whatever you think will best help with your case. Oftentimes they do not have all of the paperwork necessary to substantiate your claim.
- It is an adjuster’s job to try to settle your case for a low-ball sum in order to save the insurance company’s money. Stay calm and professional throughout the process and remember that if you have a strong case, you will win in the end.
- Take notes throughout your call with a claim adjuster.
We always recommend that you hire an attorney to help you with an insurance adjuster. We, here at Silverthorne Attorneys, have experience in negotiating with insurance adjusters. We can get you the settlement you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation.