How To Deal With Your Insurance Claims Adjuster
As if being involved in an accident weren’t bad enough, if you filed a car accident claim, you will also need to negotiate with your car accident claims adjuster, and that can be intimidating and overwhelming. That may be why some people opt to hire an attorney to manage negotiations – especially when they have substantial injuries. However, if you feel confident and comfortable enough, you can try to handle it on your own.
What Does An Adjuster Do?
Your insurance adjuster, one of the employees at your insurance company, works to determine the value – a dollar amount – of your car accident claim. In doing so, your adjuster will take into consideration the value of your car, the amount of damage done to it and you (and your passengers, if applicable), and what it would cost to fix or replace your vehicle. Once your adjuster reaches a dollar amount decision, they can close your case and get you that much closer to returning to your normal life.
Because the compensation you will receive comes from the insurance company, it is in their best interest to pay you as little as possible, so the adjuster will try to settle your claim for as little money as you will accept. It is important to note that the adjuster works for the insurance company, not you, so it is not their job to make sure you are adequately compensated, but to save their employer as much money as they can. You should remember this when you have to negotiate with the adjuster – they are not paid to care about the damages or injuries you have suffered.
Understand that in negotiating with an insurance adjuster, you will be arguing with someone who does this work professionally, every day. This is how the adjuster makes a living, so they are very familiar and comfortable doing their work. You, on the other hand, don’t do this very often, so you will have to work hard to prepare yourself. Get as much information as you can before you meet with the insurance adjuster, including the accident report, medical reports, and any records and receipts of any missed work time, and fixes already performed or estimates of work to be performed on your vehicle. Do your math and your research before you meet with the adjuster so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the adjuster and how much they know. Knowledge is power, so arm yourself with as much information as you can; make sure that you can support any requests or claims with solid reasoning and evidence.
Negotiating With An Insurance Claims Adjuster
In any back and forth negotiation, it is good practice to begin by offering more than what you actually need. Remember that the insurance adjuster’s job is to save his employer money, so they will start by offering a low amount; hopefully, you will come to an agreement somewhere in between. Negotiations often involve compromise on both sides: they may go up from their initial offer, and you may come down – that is why you should always start high.
Take Your Time
Your insurance company knows that if they offer you a low settlement soon, you will accept it because you do not have all of the information that you would have if you had time to do adequate research. For that reason, and because insurance claims adjusters have a lot of cases and are therefore very busy with their work, they want to rush through their tasks to close as many cases as possible.
Try to resist their persistent pushiness to get you to agree to their low settlement offer; instead, have patience. Wait until you receive all of your receipts and estimates related to your accident. Because you can’t renegotiate after you have signed an agreement, you should never agree to any settlement until you know the full scope and extent of your injuries and any future treatments or surgeries you may require. Keeping that in mind, however, know the statute of limitations; after that expires, you will not be able to file a lawsuit to get reimbursed for your bills related to your accident.
Don’t Agree To Less Than You Deserve
Negotiations may not always result in each side making compromises, so if your insurance company refuses to provide enough compensation to make you whole again, you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney who has plenty of experience filing lawsuits in these types of situations.
Some insurance companies will settle for the amount they believe they will lose in a lawsuit, but they will not settle until they are threatened with a lawsuit, and some companies don’t feel truly threatened until they know you have hired an attorney. That is one of the major reasons for hiring an experienced, knowledgeable attorney that isn’t afraid to take your case to court.
If you have any questions or need help with your negotiations with the insurance adjuster, call The Bader Law Firm at 678-562-5595 for a free consultation.