If you’ve been in an accident where some damage has occurred, chances are you will have to deal with an insurance adjuster. There are three different types: independent, public, and claims. All three primarily do the same thing, which is to investigate the accident, advise the insurance company, determine the compensation needed, and negotiate for a settlement. The claims adjuster may be an attorney, but they have the same power as a standard adjuster and cannot make you do anything against your will.
How do you handle dealing with an insurance adjuster?
There are many horror stories about insurance adjusters, with quite a few of them true. If you do not have an attorney representing you, here are a few things you should know:
- Do not sign anything on your first contact.
You may still be in shock or pain directly after the accident. The adjuster may request a statement and a signed release for your medical records. You do NOT have to give a statement upon initial contact. If you need more time, take it.
- Relay pertinent information.
Pertinent information would be the name of the doctor or doctors you are seeing. Let them know you will continue treatment and keep them updated on progress. You also should request a letter detailing your conversation, and get the claim number. Do not discuss a settlement until you know the extent of your injuries and what medical attention you may need now and in the future.
- Keep track of all correspondence.
You will likely receive a number of letters regarding your accident. File them all away together in a safe place. If you have retained an attorney, they will also receive a copy.
- Get quotes on repairs.
If you were involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle, get a few quotes to see how much it will cost for your vehicle to be repaired. Although the adjuster will have their own estimation, you should know what the general repair costs will be. If you do not have transportation and your policy includes rental coverage, request a rental car. If you are part of a third-party claim, you can have the adjuster or insurance company get you a rental while your vehicle is being repaired.
After your accident, start preparing your documents to back up your claim for a fair settlement. Write down everything you remember in a notebook, and keep track of every conversation, including dates and times. You should have proof of any wages you lost, all medical bills, how much you paid for any medications, invoices for any repairs, receipts of miscellaneous expenses resulting from the accident, and estimates for personal property damage. All throughout your treatment, you should keep copies of anything that has been an expense to you. Provide all of this information to an experienced personal injury law firm and let them negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.
Remember: The adjuster’s role is to save the insurance company money. Allowing a seasoned attorney to handle your claim will ensure that you receive all compensation you are entitled to. If an insurance company refuses to pay a valid claim, it’s called insurance bad faith — and it is illegal. The personal injury attorneys at the Mann Law Firm can help by reviewing your circumstances and discussing all available legal options. Call us at 478-742-3381 or fill out our online form. In addition to cases handled in Macon, we are prepared to handle claims on behalf of clients in Dublin, Warner Robins, Milledgeville and other Georgia communities. We would like to meet with you to discuss your case, and we are proud to offer free initial consultations.