The insurance adjuster assigned to your accident case can have a significant impact on your case. It is important that you understand the role of insurance adjusters and how they can impact your case. If you need help dealing with an insurance adjuster, you can contact Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers for help.
What Is An Insurance Adjuster?
Insurance adjusters work for insurance companies. They investigate claims, determine if damages are covered under an applicable insurance policy, and recommend how much money the insurance company should pay. The insurance adjuster is not typically the person you buy insurance coverage from. Instead, they are the person you deal with if you believe your injuries and/or property damage are covered by your insurance.
What Is The Insurance Adjuster’s Role?
To understand the insurance adjuster’s role in a claim, let’s imagine you were involved in a car accident.
The insurance adjuster may be responsible for the following tasks:
- Investigating the claim
- Going to the scene of the accident
- Photographing damage to the vehicle
- Arranging for the vehicle to be inspected at an authorized mechanic shop
- Reviewing the insurance policy to determine if the damage is covered under the insurance policy
- Receiving medical records and employment loss statements
- Recommending to the insurance company how much the company should pay if the claim is approved
The insurance adjuster’s specific role will depend on the insurance company they work for and how their job is structured. Some insurance adjusters may share their responsibilities with other workers or be limited in their authority regarding how much they can offer to settle a claim for.
Adjusters may require approval from a supervising claim manager or someone in the legal department before they can make a settlement offer.
How Should I Deal With An Insurance Adjuster?
Here are some tips to help you deal with an insurance adjuster:
Remember The Insurance Adjuster’s Role
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, so car accident victims turn to their own insurance provider for coverage under their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage regardless of who was at fault for the accident. They can only pursue a claim against the at-fault driver If they suffer a serious injury as defined under Florida law.
Whether you are filing a claim with your own insurance carrier or the at fault party’s, the role of the insurance adjuster is the same: minimize the value of the claim to protect the insurance company’s profits. Insurance companies are for-profit companies that protect their profits by bringing in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims.
Therefore, it is important to remember that insurance adjusters are not on your side. Instead, they want to deny or devalue the claims that come across their desks.
Don’t Give A Recorded Statement
Insurance companies may try to tell you they need a recorded statement to process your claim.
Insurance adjusters try to get recorded statements and use them against you. They may:
- Get you to admit you are “fine” in order to deny the seriousness of your injuries
- Interview you while you are not feeling well or under the influence of medication
- Get you to commit to information early in the settlement process, such as by getting you to discuss your injuries when you may not be aware of their severity
- Getting you to agree to a lowball settlement offer on the record
You should always let your personal injury lawyers handle communications with the insurance company.
Be Careful What You Say
Any time you communicate with the insurance company, you should think about how the insurance company might use what you say against you. Be careful about what you say. Insurance claims adjusters are often trained in how to effectively take statements from claimants that serve the insurance company’s interests.
If you do talk to an insurance adjuster, follow these tips:
- Do not volunteer information
- Only answer the question asked
- Be honest
- Do not try to guess an answer or estimate
- Avoid giving opinions
You can also refer the insurance adjuster to your lawyer.
Don’t Trust The Insurance Company When They Say You Don’t Need An Attorney
Some claims adjusters will go so far as to tell you it’s not necessary to hire a lawyer or that a lawyer will only take money from your claim that you could otherwise keep for yourself. However, if the insurance company is advising you not to hire a lawyer, that’s usually a good indication that you should hire one.
Contact an Experienced Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
Insurance companies may try to settle the claim for far less than it is worth. At first, the offer might seem fair, but have you considered the long-term effects of your injuries? Will you need to pay for medical expenses in the future that are due to injuries you suffered in the accident? Will your long-term earning capacity be impacted?
Before accepting any settlement offer, talk to an experienced accident lawyer who can give you a good evaluation of your claim. Contact our experienced attorneys at Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers by dialing (904) 396-1100.