How To Deal With Auto Insurance Claims Adjusters
Why It’s Smart To Call a Lawyer
In spite of all the rhetoric of the insurance industry remember that these companies are in business to make money.
They seek the welfare of their shareholders.
Insurance Companies are not on your side.
This is why the adjuster will always try to resolve the case for as little as possible.
We have written this article to educate the public, but we suggest contacting a lawyer before anything else.
Many people believe they’ll get more money by doing it all themselves.
This strategy can backfire as dealing with insurance companies can be complicated.
It is wise to consult with a lawyer at Avrek Law before you surrender your rights by signing a waiver agreement (waiving your right to take legal action against the company’s insured).
If you’ve been injured in a car accident protect your legal rights by contacting Avrek Law.
Why Contact Avrek Law
Avrek Law has over 30 years experience and has recovered over $250 Million for our clients.
You can call us at 866-598-5548 or you can contact us on our website 24 hours a day.
At Avrek we treat every client like family and we’re here to help.
We also handle unique cases like Uber accidents.
Don’t fight the insurance companies alone, call our experienced lawyers at Avrek.
We will help you understand what your car accident case might be worth.
First Contact With an Adjuster
Once the insurance company receives your claim, it may send an adjuster to assess the damage to the property and to assist you through the claim process.
In many states, public adjusters can also be hired.
A public adjuster represents you as plaintiff, but then charge you a percentage of your compensation.
However, be careful if you decide to hire a public adjuster.
Make sure they are licensed to do business in your state.
Avoid adjusters who come out of state or contact you in search of business.
Other warning signs include:
- Adjusters who charge large sums in advance. Many states set a limit on fees.
- The adjuster advises a contractor. Dishonest adjusters sometimes work with contractors who give them commissions.
- Avoid any adjuster or counselor who asks you to make a false or inflated claim. This is a fraud against the insurance company.
- Avoid hiring a public adjuster who is suspiciously asking for too much personal information.
The State of California, through the Department of Insurance, has a set of standards that are called the Fair Claims Practice Act which requires insurance companies to investigate claims quickly.
What the adjuster does is talk to all the parties involved in the accident (called the date of loss) in the name of the insurance company.
The adjuster will get the data either by phone or in person.
This information can take the form of a written statement, a recorded statement and photographs if necessary.
Insurance companies need their policyholders to cooperate with them when investigating a claim.
To ensure the co-operation of its policyholders, the insurance company contract (the policy) generally has a “co-operation clause”.
Vehicle Repairs and Temporary Transportation
Accidents are always unexpected but you can be prepared for what to do after a car accident.
The damages that can be derived from a traffic accident are of two types: material and personal.
Here we will be focusing on the material damage.
- Material damage
These affect the vehicle in the wake of the traffic accident.
In these cases the company will appoint an expert to make a report in which, first they will state if the damages presented by the vehicle coincide with those declared in the “accident report”, and second, they will issue an assessment themselves.
If you are the owner of the damaged vehicle, you have the right to:
- Require the repair of damages: The amount of the repair is determined by performing a vehicle inspection.
- Be compensated for the damages caused by the amount of this sale value if you are not going to repair your car or the value of the repair is higher than the sale value at the same at the time of the accident.
- Claim other material damages as long as they derive directly from the traffic accident for example, loss or damage suffered by objects transported, the breaking of glasses or clothing, etc., in addition to the costs of repairing the vehicle.
In these cases, please state in the accident declaration or in the complaint that these damages have occurred and keep both the damaged items and the purchase receipts of the new ones.
Finally, you can also request the payment of expenses incurred as a result of the accident, for example, travel, renting another vehicle while the repair lasts, etc.
Getting Ready to Negotiate – Insights About Negotiation
There are some general rules for talking to insurance adjusters that apply to almost every case.
And these tips can help victims file a claim while protecting themselves from giving away their rights.
Some of the rules for talking to insurance adjusters in California are:
- Be courteous: Plaintiffs only cause more stress if they allow their emotions to control their interaction with the adjusters.
- Say your name, address and phone number: These are the only personal information you need to give insurance companies.
- You just need to talk about generalities: Do not name any specific witnesses or give specific diagnoses that you receive. For example, it is enough to just say that your back is injured or that there were some witnesses. Eventually all this information will be revealed, but talk to an attorney before revealing any detailed information.
- Do not sign anything until you understand exactly what you are signing: Often adjusters claim that the forms are “routine,” when they actually waive your rights to medical or personal privacy. Again, talk to your lawyer before signing anything.
Most adjusters will issue a pyrrhic amount for your damages, trying to see how little they can pay you.
That is why it is important to have a good lawyer to represent you in this process.
It’s also wise to understand who might be at fault in a car accident in order for you to get the maximum compensation for your injuries under the Californian law.
Adjusters Main Duties – Some Types of Adjusters
- Investigate accident sites
- Conduct the interviews
- Record the declarations
- Initiate investigations to determine the liability
Claims adjusters are expert professionals in many fields of action ranging from risk engineering necessary to adjust a fire or engineering case, to the complex forensic accounting required to quantify a profit and loss analysis.
Adjusters also have legal expertise for the evaluation of terms and conditions of the policy.
Within the multiple classes of specializations you can also count medical professions for personal injury cases.
These are just a couple of examples of the variety of specializations and contributions of the adjusters.
How to Avoid a Rejected Claim?
You may disagree with how your auto insurance claim has been handled or resolved.
In these cases you can follow these steps to reduce your chances of a rejected claim:
- Contact your insurance company. The easiest and most immediate way to resolve any concerns is by contacting your insurance agent or the company’s customer service department.
- Provide sufficient evidence. When presenting any nonconformity, support it with documents, photographs, and any other evidence that supports your case.
- Request valuation and arbitration services. Check with your counselor and discuss your policy to determine if your insurance company offers these services to resolve disagreements.
- Hire a lawyer.