After you are injured in an accident, you will be contacted by an insurance claims adjuster (whether from your own insurance or the other party’s insurance). This is especially true if the accident was a motor vehicle accident and if either party has automobile insurance. Unfortunately, people do not have much experience with insurance claims adjusters. But, before you speak to an insurance representative, it is important that you understand what they do, how the process works and what you can do to protect your rights during the claims process.
If you can, you should speak with an attorney prior to speaking to an insurance claims adjuster. An attorney can advise you of your rights, but also ensure that when you speak with insurance companies, you are not accidentally jeopardizing your claim or compensation amount.
What Does an Insurance Claims Adjuster Do?
Insurance adjusters are individuals that work for an insurance company. Sometimes they are hired through independent third parties to conduct an investigation that arises after an accident claim has been filed. The insurance adjuster will investigate and then negotiate a potential settlement on behalf of the insurance company with the injured party.
A claims adjuster is a person that you will speak with to settle your claim. Sometimes they may have different titles, such as insurance “representatives” or “claims specialists,” but they still have the same job. Regardless of their title, keep in mind that it is their job to lessen the compensation the company pays in your claim. That means that they will do what they can to negotiate a smaller settlement so the insurance company can preserve their profits.
How Does the Claims Process Work?
Insurance claims processes start after negotiations and after a claim is submitted to the insurance company. After your injury, the negotiation process begins almost immediately after the claim or demand letter has been filed. If the demand letter states the nature of your injuries and the amount you request from the insurance company, they will begin negotiating on that amount demanded.
After the process has commenced, the insurance company via their adjuster will negotiate with you or your attorney. They will do this after they have conducted their own investigation. Sometimes they will come back with a counter offer in the claim, which is typically lower than your initial demand offer. The process then requires your attorney submitting another offer and each side will go back and forth until an agreement can be made.
How Do You Protect Yourself from Insurance Claims Adjusters?
Protecting yourself from an insurance claims adjuster is not easy. They are trained negotiators and most importantly, they will try to gain your trust in order to use what you say against you. Insurance claims adjusters try to resolve claims and give out as little compensation as possible. In order to pay out a higher settlement value, they will need to get the approval of a supervisor because adjusters are given a maximum settlement authorization limit (which they will not disclose to you or your attorney).
Insurance adjusters are not there to get you, but they do have interests and goals that are not your own. They must keep costs low in order to keep their employer happy, which often means giving injured victims must less in compensation than they deserve.
Contact an Injury Attorney to Assist You
The only way to protect yourself from the insurance claims adjusters and to ensure you get compensation you deserve is to speak with a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at The Slocum Firm, P.C. understand what you are going through and we want to assist you with your claim. Contact us today to meet for a no obligation consultation at 888-367-4577 or fill out an online contact form with your legal questions.