Were you injured in a Texas car accident? Are you filing an insurance claim in an attempt to collect compensation for your injuries and other damages? The first call you’ll make is to your insurance agent. This person will gather the necessary information, start the claims process, and act as a general point of contact in the future. Sooner rather than later, a car insurance adjuster for the at-fault party will get involved. Also known as a claims adjuster, the role of this person is to inspect personal injury claims and property damage to determine how much the insurance company should pay.
Here are some other things you need to know about car insurance adjusters:
- An adjuster for the at-fault party’s insurance company is not on your side.
- In some cases, a claim may be managed by an independent insurance adjuster.
- You’re not required to accept the first offer from a claims adjuster.
The role of a car insurance adjuster
Now that you know the basics of what a car insurance adjuster does, let’s dive into the specifics of their role which include the following points:
- An insurance adjuster’s job is to save the insurance company money, which means they will examine the accident and your claim with the goal of finding evidence that will reduce the amount of money the insurance company pays out.
- They have a quota—similar to a salesperson—in which they need to close a certain number of claims in a specified period of time for the least amount of money. In other words, they want to pay you as little money as possible,then close your claim, and move onto the next.
- They will “play nice” along the way, but they’re only doing so to gain your trust so they can dig for incriminating details that will help them reduce or deny your claim.
What an insurance adjuster will ask for
Depending on the type of information the insurance adjuster has access to, they may have several questions for you. These can include but are not limited to:
- What is your full name?
- Are you aware that this conversation will be recorded?
- Can I share the information we discuss with other insurance company personnel?
- How many vehicles were involved in the accident?
- Do you believe that you are responsible in any way for the accident?
- What type of damage was done to your vehicle?
- Did you suffer any injuries? If so, can you explain them?
- Did you receive immediate medical attention?
- Was a police report taken?
As you can see, some of these questions are more complicated than others and giving the wrong answer could impact your ability to receive compensation. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to these tricky questions; enlist the expertise of a skilled Corpus Christi car accident attorney to speak with the insurance company on your behalf and protect your legal rights to compensation.
How to talk to an insurance claims adjuster
If you choose to engage with an insurance adjuster, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Remain calm and polite: Now’s not the time to become upset or aggressive. This may make it appear that you have something to hide, or you can let something slip that may be misinterpreted and could ultimately damage your claim.
- Know who you’re speaking with: Ask for the insurance adjuster’s name, title, company name, and contact information.
- Don’t discuss the details of the accident: No matter what the adjuster tells you, you’re under no obligation to answer questions about the accident, such as who was at fault or what may have caused the accident.
- Don’t prematurely accept a settlement offer: The adjuster may make you a (low) offer with hopes that you accept it on the spot. But remember, accepting an offer eliminates your ability to seek additional compensation in the future. Rather than jumping the gun, consult with an experienced Corpus Christi car accident lawyer who will negotiate aggressively for a full and fair settlement.
- Don’t give a recorded statement: Unless you’re in the company of an attorney, it’s best to avoid this (no matter how much the adjuster pushes for it).
Negotiating a settlement with a car insurance adjuster
The insurance adjuster is staffed with the responsibility of settling your claim for as little money as possible. Conversely, your goal is to obtain as much compensation as you can.
This conflict typically results in negotiations. When the claims process enters into the negotiation stage, use these tips to your advantage:
- Never accept the first offer from an insurance adjuster.
- Have a clear idea of the value of your losses, ranging from medical bills to lost wages to property damage.
- Consult with an experienced Corpus Christi car accident attorney who can help you calculate and demand maximum compensation.
With so much going on in the aftermath of a car accident, it’s easy to fall into the trap of opening up to an insurance adjuster with hopes that they treat you fairly. And when you do that, it almost always leads to accepting an offer that is less than what you rightfully deserve.
The best way to protect yourself is to avoid all contact with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Rather than communicate with them on your own, refer all actions to your Corpus Christi car accident attorney. Not only does this protect you, but it shows the insurance adjuster that you mean business.
Let our Corpus Christi car accident lawyers handle the insurance adjusters for you
At The Burkett Law Firm, every case is personal so you can be sure that we’ll fight hard to protect your best interests against the tricky insurance adjusters. Our three generations of Corpus Christi car accident attorneys have been helping accident victims across Texas seek full compensation since 1960 and we’re eager to help you on your path to recovery. Contact us online or give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.