What Do Auto Insurance Adjusters Look for in an Accident Claim?
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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 and the auto insurance adjuster assigned to each claim are not on your side. This is also why the auto adjuster will always try to resolve the case for as little compensation as possible.
If you have been involved in an auto accident or other personal injury claim, it is wise to contact an experienced attorney like those at Avrek Law before you sign a waiver agreement, which waives your right to take legal action against the company’s insured. While many people believe they’ll get more money by taking on the claim by themselves, this strategy can backfire as dealing with a car insurance adjuster can be complicated.
When Will the Insurance Adjuster Call?
Once the insurance company receives your claim, it may send an auto insurance claim adjuster to assess the damage to the property and to assist you through the claim process. In many states, a public adjuster for auto claims can also be hired. A public adjuster represents you as plaintiff, but then charges you a percentage of your compensation.
If you decide to hire a public adjuster, be careful and make sure they are licensed to do business in your state. It is also a good idea to avoid an auto adjuster who comes from out of state or contacts you in search of business.
Other warning signs of a questionable auto insurance claim adjuster include:
- Adjusters who charge large sums in advance. Many states set a limit on fees.
- The car insurance 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 for auto claims who suspiciously asks 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. By phone or in person, it is the job of an auto adjuster to speak to all the parties involved in the accident (called the date of loss) in the name of the insurance company. Once gathered, this information can take the form of a written statement, a recorded statement and/or photographs.
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. A car insurance adjuster focuses on the material damages in an accident.
Material damage is damage to a vehicle or property in the wake of the traffic accident. When this type of damage occurs, an insurance company will appoint an expert, the auto adjuster, to compile a report, in which they will confirm the damages to the vehicle coincide with those declared in the accident report. In the report, they will also issue their own assessment of any damages from the accident.
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 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 in addition to the costs of repairing the vehicle as long as they derive directly from the traffic accident, including any loss or damage suffered by objects that were being transported or damage to eye glasses or clothing. In these cases, it is important to 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 for your records.
- Payment of expenses incurred as a result of the accident, including travel and the cost of a rental vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired.
The Car Insurance Adjuster and Other Types of Adjusters
There are some general rules to follow when speaking to a car insurance adjuster that apply to almost every case. These tips can help victims file a claim while protecting themselves from giving away their rights.
Some of the rules when speaking to an auto insurance adjuster in California are:
- Be courteous. Plaintiffs only cause more stress if they allow their emotions to control their interaction with the auto adjuster.
- Provide your name, address and phone number. These are the only personal information you need to give insurance companies.
- Talk about the generalities of the accident. Do not name any specific witnesses or give specific diagnoses that you receive. For example, it is enough to simply say that your back is injured or that there were witnesses to the accident. Eventually, all this information will be revealed, but it is advisable to speak to a to a knowledgeable attorney before revealing any detailed information.
- Do not sign anything until you understand exactly what you are signing. Often, an auto insurance adjuster will claim that the forms are routine, when in reality they waive your rights to medical or personal privacy. Again, it’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer before signing anything.
- Investigate accident sites
- Conduct the interviews
- Record the declarations
- Initiate investigations to determine the liability
How to Avoid a Rejected Claim from a Car Insurance Adjuster?
You may disagree with how your auto insurance claim has been handled or resolved, in which case 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 with expertise in resolving this type of claim.
Know Your Rights in an Auto Insurance Claim
Avrek Law has more than 50 years of experience and has recovered more than $1 Billion for our clients. You don’t have to fight a car insurance adjuster or the insurance companies alone – we are here to help you understand what your car accident case might be worth. Contact us today for a free consultation on your car accident claim so you can realize the maximum amount of compensation you deserve!