So, you have decided to file a personal injury claim. In just about every personal injury claim filed, you will be dealing with an insurance company. One of the first people you will interact with, besides your car accident attorney, is the insurance adjuster. Who are these people and what is their job?
What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?
An insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and settles claims for them. The adjuster’s goal is to settle for the least amount of money possible. The main strategy is trying to get you to settle the claim right away before you have time to assess damages or work with an attorney. In fact, those are the criteria for a positive job rating for an insurance adjuster. If they can settle on their own, without consulting with the next level supervisor, it looks better for them.
An insurance adjuster will approach you with the premise that they are there to give you a good settlement and make you whole again. But you need to protect yourself before it’s too late.
How Does an Insurance Adjuster Calculate What to Pay You?
They will look at two different classifications and make calculations on what your claim is worth. Typically, the settlement is much lower than you expect.
These are easy to calculate because they are based on actual expenses. Therefore, record-keeping is also important to your claim. You should factor in medical expenses, lost wages or other lost income, and property damage.
These are a bit trickier to calculate and can be subjective. Non-financial considerations include pain and suffering and emotional distress. They are usually calculated by the adjuster one of two ways.
The adjuster might use a formula that considers the financial loss and multiplies it by a number to determine what they will offer.
They may use a per diem system, where you are paid an amount per day that you suffered.
The system that is used will depend on the insurance company’s policies and how the adjuster has been instructed to calculate these offers.
What Other Considerations are Factored into the Settlement Offer?
Before an adjuster offers you a settlement, they will also consider the limits of the policy. You will not be offered a settlement that exceeds the total dollar amount of the coverage.
They will always consider how strong your case is before making you an offer. In California, they follow guidelines according to the “comparative negligence” rule. If it appears that you are partly to blame for the incident, that will weigh against you. Make sure your evidence is strong and organized so that the case you present is successful.
Use What You Know
As you file your claim, use this knowledge about how insurance adjusters work to protect yourself after you file a personal injury claim.If you feel like you need help, hire a legal professional. Get a personal injury attorney to assist you as soon as possible. Use someone local to your area with a good reputation. They have in-depth knowledge of how the system works. You can benefit from having someone on your team with a great deal of experience working with insurance adjusters.