The insurance company contacts you through its claims adjuster, also called claims rep or claims handler. The adjuster typically works for the liability insurance company of the at-fault driver who hurt you. Oddly, in an underinsurance or uninsured claim, the adjuster actually works for your insurance company.
Regardless of who he works for, the adjuster’s primary goal is very simple—get the insurance company out of this as quickly and cheaply as possible. The adjuster may be friendly, but he is not your friend. You must deal with him accordingly. Check out these typical tactics they use, and how to deal with them.
Here’s tips on whether you should speak to the adjuster now, or consider hiring someone to do it for you:
- If you have a simple claim—like you went to the ER and then a couple visits of physical therapy for a sore back—you may be able to handle the adjuster by yourself.
- If you have serious injuries OR AREN'T SURE YET HOW EXTENSIVELY YOU'RE HURT [which is often the case], you're a prime candidate for the adjuster to beat you into a quick, cheap settlement. This situation includes:
- a broken bone,
- anything requiring a referral to a specialist like an orthopedist or neurosurgeon,
- signs of a brain injury- which might not develop until later.
Your case will be more complicated from a medical standpoint, so you've got to know how to protect your rights to present it the right way in court. It's also important for you to know the true value of your case, so you don't get cheated out of compensation you could really use. Unlike the adjuster, you have no idea of what your case is worth, which can be more complicated than you think. And the key to getting a proper out of court settlement can often be showing the adjuster you're ready for court, with a convincing evidence package to prove it.
You owe it to yourself and your family to get your own professional on your side: an experienced car accident attorney. You need to focus on recovery and not worry about having your rights violated, or responding to repeated demands for information, or waiting for the adjuster to call you back.
- If you are unsure how seriously you are hurt, you risk torpedoing your claim by giving uncertain information to the adjuster. Like trying to be tough, telling him you feel okay, only to discover later you actually need a spinal operation. Yep, that’s happened.
Final analysis: If you are seriously hurt, unsure how your medical treatment will turn out, or unsure how to do deal with the adjuster, then don’t immediately talk to the adjuster.
Here's more info on the process to get your claim settled.
Remember: information is power, especially when you’re dealing with an experienced professional who’s handled potentially thousands of claims and is skilled at shortchanging injury victims like you. Talking to an experienced car accident lawyer first is in your best interest. If you tell the adjuster, he'll object- here's why and how to counteract it.
At Holland & Usry, we help people like you. Contact us with a live chat or email to answer your questions, or even set up a free meeting to discuss your claim and evaluate every possible insurance policy that could provide money to help you. Even if we don’t accept your case or you decide not to hire us, it might give you peace of mind and some free pointers.