The Law Offices of Nordstrom, Steele, Nicolette & Blythe

Dealing With Car Insurance Claims Adjusters In California

For the majority of people having the ill fortune to be involved in an auto accident, insurance adjusters can be either their best friend or their worst enemy. However, generally dealing with insurance adjusters after a car accident can be an unpleasant experience especially for someone unfamiliar with their insurance policy and the legal verbiage entailed therein.  An insurance adjuster researches your accident and your insurance policy to determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to. It is advisable to behave respectfully towards the adjuster and be well prepared. Insurance adjusters work in insurance companies that make money by paying less in the way of claims. The main concern of the adjuster is justifying the insurance settlement for the file and in order to do this they must be provided with the correct documentation to prove your damages.

It is almost impossible for someone to negotiate their insurance claim on their own without an attorney with an insurance adjuster. A competent attorney knows the value of your claim and gathers the required documentation to prove it. It is important to be polite but also highly cautious when negotiating an accident claim with an insurance adjuster as they will always hold the insurance company’s interests above yours when negotiating a settlement. Some helpful tips to bear in mind when dealing with an insurance adjuster are:

Highlight The Circumstances And Facts Of Your Auto Accident Claim

Inform the adjuster of the circumstances that resulted in your auto insurance claim highlighting the points that support your value of the claim  The insurance adjuster is already aware of most of the facts that you will inform them of, however, it is important to portray yourself as an informed claimant that understands the value of their auto accident claim.

Highlight The Damages And Losses Incurred As A Result Of The Accident

Inform the adjuster regarding the total of your damages and the amount that you think is fair for the settlement of your auto accident claim. The insurance adjuster may break off the conversation at this point by saying that they will consider your demand and get back to you but this is only a tactic to break your momentum. They will often leave you high and dry waiting for a response. However, a well-documented claim has merit and if liability is proven the insurance company often tends to settle.

Never Lower The Prospective Value Of Your Claim Prior To Receiving A Counter Offer

People sometimes lower their demand for a claim because they are tired of waiting or overwhelmed by the costs. This is highly detrimental to your claim.  Documentation such as photos or medical records that can be used to substantiate the value of your claim should be provided to the insurance adjuster.

It Is Important To Keep Good Faith In Settlement Negotiations

Showing good faith during negotiations greatly helps in settling an auto accident claim. Determine the minimum amount that you are prepared to accept and understand that the insurance company’s initial offer will be as low as possible. Do not find this offensive and retaliate but remember that it is important to keep a calm and professional demeanor.

Be Prepared To Accept A Reduced Offer If It Meets Your Needs

In a settlement it is advisable to lower your demand gradually so that the other party is able to match your terms by increasing their offer. If you find the insurance adjuster’s offer reasonably acceptable at some point, during the negotiations then you should avoid litigation and consider accepting the mutually agreed upon amount. It is important to remember to take into account any and all outstanding medical bills or liens prior to accepting a settlement and signing a release form. Signing a release form without considering all these factors can put an injured individual in a precarious situation. You must confirm that the settlement amount covers your bills and adequately compensates you for your losses.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in California that was not their own fault then it is advisable to retain the services of a car accident lawyer in San Bernardino, CA to safeguard your rights and get you the compensation that you deserve.

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