If you have been in a car accident then you will most likely have to deal with an insurance claims adjuster at some point. The claims adjuster is the person who looks at the facts of your case and determines how much your claim is worth. Because the insurance adjuster often holds the fate of your settlement in their hands, it is important to understand how best to work with the adjuster in reaching a fair settlement.
Before you start dealing with an insurance adjuster it is beneficial to understand the adjuster’s perspective. The insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and has two main goals. First, the adjuster wants to pay you as little as possible for your claim. Second, in most cases, the adjuster wants to settle your claim and avoid going to trial. Going to trial is expensive and risky for all parties involved. As such, unless the facts are clearly in the insurance company’s favor, the insurance company will most likely want to settle your claim without going to court.
Insurance adjusters often operate with the thought of litigation in mind, even if you have not filed a civil lawsuit. For this reason, much of the claims process and dealing with an adjuster resembles the litigation process. You start by filing your claim, the claim gets assigned to an adjuster, and then the adjuster works to gather facts and data about your claim.
Establish your case
To be successful in dealing with an insurance adjuster you need to have very clear evidence concerning the issues of fault and damages. An insurance company will not compensate you for unsubstantiated claims so you need to gather evidence of the facts of your case. You must establish that insured is clearly responsible for your injuries, and you must prove the severity of your injuries as well as any property damage resulting from the accident. Medical records and itemized bills can help to prove your injuries while photos and a mechanic’s statement can show damage to your car.
Counterintuitive as it may seem, cooperating and working with the adjuster is often the best way to obtain a fair settlement. You can ask the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim if there is any specific information you can provide that will aid in reaching in settlement. Of course it is important to keep in mind that the insurance adjuster is not on your side so you should keep a certain level of discretion.
Send a demand letter
Finally, you can send the insurance claim adjuster a demand letter outlining the terms of a potential settlement. The demand letter should include evidence, like accident reports and medical records, to substantiate your demands, especially where you are asking to be compensated for non-economic injuries. For example, if you are seeking compensation for pain and suffering, you might want to include a treatment evaluation from your doctor as proof. The more proof you can offer, the more likely you will be able to reach a fair settlement. Our team of Auto Accident Lawyers can help you. Give is a call today for a FREE consultation.