If you’ve been in an accident and are filing a claim with an insurance company, chances are you’ll come into contact with an insurance adjuster.
An insurance adjuster is an employee of the insurance company who determines liability and assesses the financial value of any damages or injuries resulting from an accident. While they may seem friendly and helpful, it’s important to learn some basic information about the process.
What is an Insurance Adjuster?
Insurance adjusters, or claims adjusters, are employed by the insurance company and tasked with processing all types of claims. These may include car accidents, product liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and other types of negligence claims.
More specifically, it is a claims adjuster’s job to take the following steps:
The job of an insurance adjuster begins with investigating claims in order to determine responsibility and identify involved parties. All information gathered during the investigation must be documented and recorded.
This includes interviewing witnesses, gathering and reviewing evidence, inspecting property damage, and reviewing police reports. The purpose of this step is to establish a clear understanding of how the incident or accident occurred.
Assess Injuries and Damages
After claims have been investigated, insurance adjusters will assess any damages that may have been sustained due to the incident or accident. They will review medical records and evaluate treatment plans if necessary.
The severity of injuries will impact policy coverage and claim payments, so this step must be completed accurately and thoroughly.
Analyze Policy Coverage
Next, insurance adjusters analyze policy coverage to determine what expenses are covered by each party’s insurance policy. This involves carefully reading through each policy’s terms to identify any exclusions or limits that may apply in a particular situation.
Calculate the Amount of Damages Incurred
Finally, insurance adjusters compute the amounts of damages incurred by each party involved in the incident. They use their findings from previous steps along with current market values to calculate how much money should be paid out for each claim based on its specifics.
What To Know Before Speaking To an Insurance Adjuster
Before speaking to an insurance adjuster, you should take the following information into account:
Anything You Say Could Hurt Your Claim
When dealing with a claims adjuster, it’s important to be aware that everything you say could potentially hurt your case. They may use any statement or evidence against you in order to reduce or deny your claim. It’s best practice to work with an experienced attorney who can handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf.
Comparative Fault Laws Can Impact Your Claim
In some cases, a claims adjuster might attempt to use comparative fault to reduce the compensation they pay you. Under Texas’s modified comparative fault law, a victim’s compensation will be reduced if they’re partially responsible for the accident.
If a victim is more than 50% at fault for the accident, they won’t be able to collect any compensation.
They Delay Claims
Insurance adjusters often use delay tactics to reduce the amount they have to pay out on claims. For example, they may drag their feet when it comes to getting back to you with requests for more information or deliberately slow down the process of investigating a claim.
This can be incredibly frustrating from a claimant’s perspective and can lead people to give up on their claims altogether. It’s important to remember that you have rights; don’t let an insurance adjuster intimidate you into giving up on a valid claim.
Watch Out for Low Settlement Offers
Another tactic commonly used by insurance adjusters is providing claimants with low settlement offers early in the process, often before all of the evidence has been collected and reviewed. They might even try to convince people that these offers are generous and should be accepted without question.
Don’t fall for it. You have no legal obligation to accept any offer, and you should always talk to an experienced lawyer before accepting an offer.
A Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer Will Handle Negotiations With an Insurance Adjuster on Your Behalf
Understanding the role of a claims adjuster can help protect you from being taken advantage of by insurance companies during an accident claim negotiation process.
Remember that these professionals work for the insurance company and are trying their best to save them money. Having a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side can help ensure you receive what you’re entitled to for any damages or injuries sustained during an accident. Contact a Fort Worth personal injury attorney at Anderson Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation by calling (817) 294-1900.