Dealing with an insurance adjuster after a personal injury accident can be a frustrating experience. Even when the insurance company is your own, your insurance claims adjuster will absolutely try to settle your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Securing adequate compensation requires knowledge about your insurance adjuster, knowing the information he or she has available to him or her, and knowing how to counter this information. Make sure to pose the following questions:
Question 1: “What are you offering me as settlement of my claim?” Your claims adjuster may answer this question for you without even being asked. If he or she does not, you should inquire as to what amount he or she is offering to settle your claim. This is the essential starting point to negotiating a higher settlement amount, if needed.
Question 2: “How did you calculate your settlement figure?” In addition to revealing the settlement amount your claims adjuster is offering, you should also inquire as to how the claims adjuster arrived at that amount. At the very least, the insurance adjuster should be able to describe for you the factors or information he or she relied on in arriving at his or her settlement figure. This gives you an idea of what factors he or she did not consider, but should have, such as your pain and suffering, your loss of enjoyment of life, and other emotional aspects of your claim.
Question 3: “What information do you have about me already?” Insurance companies may ask you to sign a medical authorization and release. This would allow them to have unfettered access to your medical records and can help them reduce the amount of compensation they pay you – or deny your claim altogether by claiming your injuries were from before the accident. Before signing a medical authorization and release, it is important to consider using the services of an experienced personal injury attorney to help limit the amount of extraneous and irrelevant medical information the insurance adjuster is able to access.
Question 4: “Why do you need a recorded statement from me?” Your insurance adjuster is not likely to give you an honest answer to this question, but your adjuster is looking for you to trap yourself with your own words. If you admit that you had a prior condition (for example) or did not take appropriate steps after the accident like seeking immediate medical attention, your insurance company can use these statements to reduce or deny your claim.
Do Not Deal with an Insurance Adjuster Alone
Your insurance adjuster is a professional adversary, trained to expose weaknesses in your claim as a way of reducing the amount your insurance company has to pay for your injuries. Because your insurance adjuster is not the one injured, out of work, or without a car, the adjuster removed from your situation and in a better position to objectively attack your claim to compensation. You should have your own professional advocate who is able to protect your rights and ensure your adjuster deals with you fairly and compensates you in a like manner. South Carolina personal injury lawyer David R. Price, Jr. will fight on your behalf and ensure your insurance adjuster does not try to shortchange your claim. Contact his office immediately after a personal injury accident and schedule your free initial consultation by calling (864) 271-2636.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.