If you or a family member has been in an auto accident, you know how stressful the following days and weeks can be. Even if there are no injuries, there is property damage to contend with, phone calls to make and concerns over coverage limits, compensation and rental car fees.
One aspect of the process that you should be prepared to handle is conversations and negotiations with a car insurance adjuster. Many people view these individuals as if they have ultimate power and the ability to decide their fate without any option for intervention. This is not the case.
The adjuster’s job is to assess the damage and evaluate costs for repairs or replacement of the damaged vehicle. The adjuster works for the insurance company, so it’s logical to assume he or she is trained to save money for the company whenever possible. This is why low dollar settlement offers are often made.
While low offers are not always the first course of action for an insurance company, it is a tactic that you need to be aware of, and you also need to be prepared to inform the adjuster of the extent of your loss, including medical bills if appropriate and property damage costs. Your ability to negotiate with the adjuster could have a significant impact on the outcome of your claim.
Five Tips for Working with the Insurance Adjuster
Whether you are dealing with an insurance adjuster from your own insurance company or from the other party’s insurance company, your approach should be similar. You are protecting your interests and investments and those of your family. Do not succumb to pressure and keep calm.
The following tips should help you through this process:
- Begin by asking for the maximum you think that you will need to cover past, current and future medical needs, property damage and emotional damages. If calculating all of this sounds overwhelming, confer with a personal injury lawyer who can give you ballpark estimates based on his or her experience with cases similar to yours.
- Be calm. If you appear overly eager or desperate for the settlement check, the adjuster may sense this and push you to accept less than you are entitled to. Keep a clear head. Breathe. Prepare yourself for each conversation so that you are not caught off-guard or railroaded into saying something you don’t mean. Writing a script before talking on the phone can eliminate stress about forgetting something.
- Take your time. Medical bills come in slowly, and car repair estimates are only estimates. You might find that if you refuse to let the adjuster rush you into agreeing to a settlement, you will have additional costs that will need to be paid out of your pocket. Insist that you need to see all final bills before you can accept a settlement.
- Keep your claim documents in order. By being prepared to present your accident report, all invoices, estimates and medical bills, you will increase your confidence and leave little to doubt regarding your incurred expenses.
- Talk to a lawyer who specializes in car insurance claims. Having an expert on your team will show the insurance company that you’re serious about receiving what you deserve and nothing less. It will take some of the workload off of you and allow you to relax and recover, knowing that your case is being handled by a professional.
Cordisco & Saile LLC Can Help You
If you’ve been in an auto accident, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. Call us today to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.