After a car accident, filing an insurance claim can help you out financially as you can receive compensation to pay for medical bills and car damages. However, it is not as simple as sending in the claim form to ask for a specified amount. The insurance company will evaluate the circumstances of the accident to determine who was at fault for the accident. Then they will decide on the amount to pay out in compensation.
Under certain circumstances, you may receive the entire amount of the insurance compensation as the other party involved in the accident was completely at fault. Other times, the insurance company will claim that you are partially liable for the accident. When held partially liable, the insurance company may only pay part of the claim. Another situation that you may encounter is when the insurance company won’t fully pay for all of your expenses as they will argue that your injuries didn’t warrant certain medical treatments or that the damages were not as bad to require such high repair bills.
What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster works for the insurance company to offer a settlement amount. They will interview all parties that were involved in the accident. In addition, the insurance adjuster will also review hospital records, police reports and any other documentation that relates to the accident and your claim. After reviewing all the information and accident stories, the insurance adjuster will put in a first offer of settlement.
What Happens During the First Call with an Insurance Adjuster?
When an insurance adjuster calls to perform an initial interview, make sure to answer all of their questions concisely. Give all the details in a clear manner when telling your version of the car accident.
Avoid becoming impatient or stressed out as you may feel as if the questions aren’t necessary or are repetitive. If you fail to give all the details of the accident, then the adjuster could have the insurance company deny your claim because you may inadvertently admit to causing the accident or not give enough details to convince them to pay the claim. After gathering all the details, the insurance adjuster will provide you with a settlement amount.
Negotiating the First Offer
Typically, the settlement amount that the insurance adjuster offers will be way lower than the amount you had in your mind. Don’t be afraid to refuse the first settlement offer or ask questions on why the amount is so low. Let the insurance adjuster explain why they came by with that compensation amount as you can ask additional questions and provide other evidence while stressing on why you should receive higher compensation.
The whole negotiation process may take several phone calls as you and the insurance adjuster will continue providing counter offers. Have a realistic number in your mind regarding what you would like to receive, and also have a minimum amount of how much you are willing to take.
Remember not to belabor the facts regarding the accident during the negotiations with the insurance adjuster as they already have your side of the story. Instead, focus on emphasizing how traumatic the accident was and how the damages or injuries severely impacted your daily life.
Let the insurance adjuster know how reasonable your medical compensation and vehicle damage costs are to the insurance company. Tell them how the injuries could have a long-term impact on your physical health. Make sure to also keep stressing on how it was the other parties fault for the accident.
Reaching an Agreement
If the insurance adjuster offers a price that you can accept, then confirm the agreement. Immediately send a letter confirming that you are accepting the agreed-upon amount and how that amount will pay for medical expenses and damages. Make sure the letter has the insurance adjuster’s name, date and time on when the agreement was made. This process will ensure that the amount doesn’t suddenly change when the insurance company send out the payment.
What to Do When You Can’t Reach a Compensation Amount
If you are becoming frustrated with how long the settlement negotiations are taking or the low amount of compensation they want to offer, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer who is versed about the insurance claim process. The attorney can help negotiate your claim as the will not let the insurance adjuster play on your emotions or make you feel as if you will lose out on everything if you don’t immediately take the first offer.
Seek Assistance from an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you are seeking legal help when it comes to dealing with insurance adjusters, contact Siler & Ingber, LLP. We are personal injury attorneys with in-depth insurance company knowledge. We can expertly negotiate with insurance claim adjusters so you can get the best compensation amount for your needs.