Who’s an insurance adjuster?
An insurance adjuster or auto claims adjuster is a professional who works for an insurance company and is responsible for investigating and evaluating insurance claims. After an accident, an insurance adjuster will typically be assigned to your case to assess the damage, investigate the cause of the accident, and determine the appropriate amount of compensation to be paid.
The job of an insurance adjuster is to protect the interests of the insurance company while also ensuring that the claimant is fairly compensated for their losses. Auto claims adjusters may be employed by the insurance company directly or may work as independent adjusters who are contracted by the company on a case-by-case basis.
Auto claims adjusters also help to coordinate repairs or replacement of the damaged vehicle and ensure that the claimant is compensated for any expenses related to the accident. They are required to undergo training and certification to obtain the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively evaluate claims. They must have a good understanding of the insurance policy and applicable laws and regulations in San Bernardino, California.
When is an insurance adjuster appointed?
When you file a car insurance claim, an auto claims adjuster will be assigned to your case. Such a professional will investigate the accident, assess the damage to your vehicle, and determine the appropriate amount of compensation to be paid. The responsibilities of a claims adjuster include conducting interviews with witnesses and involved parties, reviewing medical records and police reports, and determining fault and liability for the accident.
The timing of the auto claim adjuster’s visit will depend on a variety of factors, such as the severity of the accident, the availability of the adjuster, and the location of the vehicle. In some cases, the insurance company may send an adjuster to the accident scene to assess the damage immediately after the accident. This is more likely to occur if the accident is severe or if there are injuries involved.
In other cases, the insurance adjuster may schedule an appointment with you to come to your home or office to assess the damage. The adjuster will typically take photos of the damage and may also inspect the vehicle to determine the extent of the damage.
Tips to deal with auto claims adjusters
The truth is dealing with auto claims adjusters can be quite overwhelming, especially after a stressful event like a road accident. Besides dealing with the material loss of your car, you might also have to cope with injuries, either of yourself or of your co-passengers. It’s unlikely that you will be familiar with the process. Nonetheless, it’s a step you cannot avoid.
The sooner you learn how to deal with them, the sooner you can be free of the hassle. If you have been allotted an insurance adjuster after an accident, here are tips to follow while dealing with them:
#1 Be cautious
Remember that insurance adjusters work for the insurance company, not for you. Although they are there to help you get a fair compensation, you will have to understand that it’s their employer’s interest that will hold precedence over yours. Since it’s a business and maximizing profits is their goal, it’s likely they would try to pay out as little as possible. So, be cautious with what you say, and don’t admit fault or apologize for the accident. No matter what, you should always stick to the facts.
#2 Get organized before negotiating
Dealing with claims adjusters after a car accident can be extremely stressful, to say the least. Organizing yourself after the mishap and talking to insurance adjusters is tough, but also an important step in the claims process. You will have to gather all the information you can about the accident, such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records. Have this information handy when you talk to the adjuster. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information, including their name, phone number, and email address. They may be able to provide valuable testimony in support of your claim.
#3 Communicate everything in writing
Communicating in writing is an important aspect of dealing with insurance adjusters after a car accident. If possible, maintain all communication with them through email. Not only is email readily accessible, but also helps you keep track of what was said and agreed upon. You should keep copies of all letters, emails, and other documents related to your claim. Provide specific details about the accident and any damages or injuries in your written communication. It’s also important to document all of your expenses related to the accident. These include medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages. You should provide copies of these documents to the insurance adjuster to support your claim.
#4 Be honest about everything
You should always answer the questions of the claims adjuster honestly and accurately. However, avoid volunteering information that is not directly relevant to your case. It’s important to note that you have a legal obligation to provide accurate and truthful information when making a claim to your insurance company. Misrepresenting or exaggerating your claim could result in serious legal consequences. Also, it is your ethical responsibility to be honest when making an insurance claim. Any exaggeration or misrepresentation can result in higher insurance premiums and can contribute to insurance fraud. If auto claim adjusters believe that you are being honest, they are more likely to work with you amicably to resolve your claim quickly and fairly.
#5 Be careful of accepting the first offer
More often than not, insurance companies make low ball settlement offers to see if you will accept them. Ultimately, they are running a business and would want to reduce the amount of compensation they have to pay as much as possible. Don’t accept the first offer without carefully considering it, and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Any shortcut to a quick settlement offered by your claims adjuster can trap you in trouble because their tactics are often directed towards protecting the interest of the insurance company. Be skeptical of offers and make sure you ask for the compensation that you genuinely deserve.
#6 Practice patience always
Insurance companies often take their time when processing claims after a car accident. It may take a while for an insurance adjuster to evaluate your claim and compensate for the loss you have suffered. It’s natural to feel annoyed and restless till the issue is resolved, but the key to getting a fair and just settlement lies in being patient. Accept that the whole process of claims adjustment will take time—days, weeks, or even months. But you will have to be patient while dealing with auto claims adjusters.
Don’t rush to accept a settlement offer without careful consideration of facts pertaining to the car accident. You should take the time to carefully consider all of your options.
#7 Be careful of signing anything without understanding it
If the claims adjuster sends you any documents to sign, read them very carefully and make sure you understand everything that is written on the document. You should seek legal advice before signing if you are unsure about something. Following an accident, auto claims adjusters often want to get access to the victim’s medical records. The insurance company does have the right to review relevant records, but insurance adjusters are known to make overly broad requests by seeking access to your entire medical history. They want to see if they can dig through your medical record in order to find any reason to deny certain treatment as a ‘pre-existing’ condition. Do not sign a release for your medical records without first having the specific request reviewing by an car accident attorney in San Bernardino, California.
#8 Get multiple estimates
If your car was damaged in the accident, get multiple repair estimates from reputable repair
shops. This will give you a better idea of the true cost of the repairs and help you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster. Make sure the repair shops you choose are reputable and have experience working on your type of vehicle. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your insurance company. To get a good idea of the fair market price for the repairs, it’s a good idea to get at least three estimates from different repair shops. When comparing the estimates, make sure they are all for the same repairs and parts. Look for any discrepancies in the estimates and ask the repair shops to explain them.
#9 Always know your rights
While dealing with auto claims adjusters, you may often forget about your rights. But knowing your rights after a car accident is important to ensure that you receive fair treatment and compensation. You have the right to seek medical treatment for any injuries you sustained in the accident. Your insurance policy and the other driver’s insurance policy may cover your medical expenses. You may feel that you’re not being treated fairly by the insurance company or need assistance in negotiating a settlement with the insurance adjuster. In such a situation, you have the right to hire a personal injury lawyer. In any case, you have the right to receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries resulting from the car accident. This compensation may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
#10 Stay in touch with your insurance company
Keeping your insurance company informed after a car accident is important to ensure that your claim is processed smoothly and you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. Update your insurance company on any new developments in the case, such as changes to your medical condition or new information about the other driver. Follow up with your insurance company regularly to ensure that your claim is being processed and to get updates on the status of your claim. Work with your claims adjuster sincerely and cooperatively to provide any additional information or documentation that they need to process your claim. All you have to do is provide accurate and complete information and to follow up regularly to stay on top of the process.
Role of an attorney in insurance claims after an accident
An attorney or a law firm can play a crucial role in insurance claims after an accident. An attorney can help investigate the accident by reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and examining physical evidence, such as photographs or videos. They can also hire experts, such as an accident reconstructionist, to help establish liability. They can help you evaluate the damages incurred as a result of the accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
They can also consider future damages, such as ongoing medical treatment or lost earning capacity.
A car accident attorney can help negotiate with the insurance company and auto claims adjusters to ensure that the client receives a fair settlement offer. This may involve providing evidence of liability or damages, presenting legal arguments, or engaging in mediation or arbitration. If the insurance company is not willing to offer a fair settlement, an attorney can represent the client in court. This may involve filing a lawsuit, arguing the case in front of a judge or jury, and seeking compensation for damages.
An attorney can provide legal advice to the client throughout the claims process, answering relevant questions and addressing concerns. They can also advise on the legal options available and help the client make informed decisions about how to proceed. They can prove valuable in insurance claims after a car accident, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Dealing with insurance adjusters after a car accident can be complex and stressful. But you should always remember that you have the right to fair compensation for the damages and injuries you sustained. By following these tips and working with a car accident law firm like Krasney Law Accident Attorneys, you can protect your rights and seek fair and just compensation for everything.