After you are injured in an accident, your first thought may be to reach out to insurance. A car accident is a good example. After a crash in which your vehicle is totaled or damaged and you are hurt, you will pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance. You may then communicate with an insurance adjuster, either from your own company or the other driver’s insurance.
You need to be careful about dealing with an insurance adjuster during a personal injury claim. Doing so without the help of a Dallas personal injury lawyer can lead to your claim being wrongly denied or receiving a settlement far less than your case is worth.
Remember Who the Insurance Adjuster Works for
When you are working with an insurance adjuster after an accident, it is important to remember who that person works for. The adjuster’s job is to look out for the insurance company, which will want to avoid paying out any more than it has to on claims. The adjuster will investigate the accident, analyze the policy benefits, assess the damage, and deny the claim or negotiate the settlement.
More yet, you may be dealing with the at-fault party’s insurer. In this situation, the company’s contractual duties are to its policyholder, not you.
Because the insurance adjuster is not on your side, even when it is your own insurance company, it is best to work with someone who is. You should contact a Dallas personal injury attorney as soon as possible for help with the claim.
Anything You Say Can Be Used During the Claim
Insurance adjusters will often want to get you on the phone, answering questions and talking about the accident. That is because anything you say to an insurance claims adjuster can be used against you in regard to your claim. Anything you say may be used to deny your claim or reduce the settlement amount you are offered.
The best way to avoid saying anything that could hurt you is to talk with an adjuster as little as possible. Do not provide a written or oral statement and do not answer questions until you have spoken with an attorney. Your lawyer can make sure the insurance company receives all of the information it needs to review your claim.
An insurance adjuster may state or suggest they cannot continue your claim without a statement. This is not true. If you are told this, call Brooker Law, PLLC immediately.
You Do Not Have to Agree with the Adjuster’s Conclusions
Much of an adjuster’s job is to investigate the accident, determine whether your damages are covered by the relevant insurance policy, and decide how much your property damage and injuries are worth. Throughout this process, the adjuster will come to many conclusions in regard to what happened, why it happened, why was at fault, and the value of the property damages and injuries.
You may not agree with the adjuster’s findings. In fact, it is likely you will disagree with something, even if it is something as common as a disagreement over the value of your totaled vehicle. The best way to handle disagreements with an insurer is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Dallas.
Our attorneys at Brooker Law, PLLC are highly experienced in handling the insurance claim process and disputing an adjuster’s findings.
Be Wary of Delay Tactics
After an accident, you hope the insurance company will treat you fairly. You hope the adjuster assigned to your claim will be prompt, do their job well, and offer you an adequate amount of compensation. This is not what usually happens.
Insurance adjusters may take days or weeks to return your calls or emails—or ignore your attempts to contact them. They may repeatedly ask for the same information, documentation, or medical records. An insurer may try to get you to take your car to one of their affiliate garages or go to one of their doctors.
All of this suggests the adjuster is delaying your claim and not handling it properly. Your response should not be to keep calling the insurance company, whether it is your own or the at-fault party’s insurer. Instead, reach out to a Dallas personal injury attorney.
If your own insurance company is not treating you fairly and handling your claim as it should, then you may have a claim of bad faith against the business.
Adjusters Want to Settle for as Little as Possible
One of the most important things to remember during an insurance claim is that it is the adjuster’s job to settle valid claims for as little as possible.
The adjuster may use several tactics to limit your compensation including:
- Blaming your injuries and pain on previous medical conditions;
- Claiming you are partly to blame for the accident;
- Claiming you are responsible for making your injuries worse;
- Claiming your medical and other injury-related are excessive; or
- Offering a settlement before you know your full diagnosis or future medical needs.
To talk with a Dallas personal injury lawyer about the value of your claim, contact Brooker Law, PLLC at (214) 217-0277 or through our online form.