Personal Injuries and Insurance Adjusters – 3 Questions

If you are injured in an accident, you’ll often have to deal with an insurance adjuster. This is especially true if, for example, you’ve been hurt in an automobile accident and either you, or the other driver, has insurance coverage.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have much experience with insurance companies, much less insurance adjusters. Understanding what an insurance adjuster does, how the claims process works, and what you can do to protect yourself, will always be better than going into the process blind. Here are some common questions many people have about insurance adjusters.

What does an insurance adjuster do?

Insurance adjusters work for insurance companies, or independent third parties, to investigate the facts arising out of a claim. After investigating, the adjusters have the responsibility of negotiating a potential settlement on behalf of the insurance company.

Adjusters, in other words, are the people with whom you talk to about settling your claim. Sometimes adjusters might go under different titles, such as claims representative, claims specialist, or by similar terminology. While other times, the insurance company might be represented by an attorney. Regardless of the title of the person with whom you speak, it’s the insurance adjusters job to try to obtain the best possible settlement for the insurance company.

How does the insurance claim process work?

The insurance claim process is essentially a settlement negotiation. After you suffer your injury, the negotiation process begins after you file a claim or send a demand letter. The claim or demand letter states the nature of your injuries and the amount the insured must pay you to settle the claim.
After you begin the process, the insurance company, through the insurance adjuster, will negotiate with you, typically by first investigating, and then by making a counteroffer. The counteroffer is usually lower than your initial offer. This process of offer, counteroffer, and subsequent counter offer can go on for quite some time until the two sides reach a settlement agreement.

What can I do to protect myself when I talk to insurance adjusters?

Insurance adjusters want to successfully resolve each claim assigned to them by their employer. They also want to resolve each claim without having to pay too much, and without seeking the approval of their supervisor to settle the claim for an amount in excess of their authorization limit.

In other words, insurance adjusters are not necessarily out to get you, but they do have their own interests and goals. Speaking to an insurance adjuster on your own can be tricky, especially if you don’t have experience dealing with insurance companies. For many people, having an attorney deal with the adjuster on their behalf is far less stressful than doing it on their own. Not only that, but an experienced attorney negotiating a settlement can often achieve far better results than an injured victim trying to do the same on their own.

Even if you don’t believe you can afford an attorney, it’s always best to talk to one about your personal injury case before you try to negotiate with an insurance adjuster.

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