The role of a car insurance adjuster is to investigate the circumstances of a car crash after you file a personal injury or property damage claim. In addition to investigating your claim, car insurance adjusters also negotiate and issue settlements once their investigations are complete and they come to a decision on what they believe the insurance company owes you after an accident.
Primary Roles of Insurance Adjusters
We discussed above that the car insurance adjusters investigate accidents and eventually negotiate settlements. More specifically, car insurance adjusters do the following after an accident:
Inspect Damage to the Vehicle
Inspecting the vehicle often reveals points of impact which may help indicate who was at fault in an accident.
Review Police Reports
Police reports are also a key element in determining the degree of fault a driver has in an accident.
Speak to Witnesses
Witnesses are often an unbiased source in accidents. They can add significant supporting evidence to a personal injury claim.
Attempt to Interview the Car Owners
The insurance adjuster will also attempt to get statements from everyone involved in an accident to supplement their reports.
While the above is an overview of what adjusters do, there is more specialization than most people realize with them.
Types of Car Insurance Adjusters
Depending on the accident and its circumstances, you deal with a different type of adjuster who will investigate your claim. And knowing the type of adjuster you are dealing with in your claim could greatly aid the process of hopefully collecting a claim. The following are the three types of adjusters you will likely come across:
These adjusters work directly for the insurance company. Their primary goal is generally to keep costs as low as possible for their employer. That usually means attempting to minimize payouts.
Both insurance companies and individuals can hire independent adjusters.
These adjusters work directly on your behalf as a policyholder. They want to get you as much money as possible. Public adjusters are particularly useful because they help policyholders file counterclaims if the settlement presented by the insurance company appears insufficient.
Be Careful When Dealing with Insurance Adjusters
As we mentioned above, adjusters want to pay you as little as possible. They have several ways of doing this:
Adjusters May Try to Get You to Sign Medical Authorizations
The insurance adjuster may claim the insurer wants access to your medical records to determine the severity of your injury. To obtain these records, the adjuster may ask you to sign a medical authorization.
What many people do not realize, however, is that a medical authorization often gives the insurer access to your entire medical history. The insurer can then scour your records to find a preexisting condition or old injury to blame your symptoms on to avoid paying you.
Adjusters May Try to Get Recorded Statements
We also mentioned above that insurance adjusters will often request statements from both parties. However, it is usually best not to accept the request for one. The reason for this is that the adjuster is usually doing their best to get you to say something which will hurt your case. If you do submit a statement, it is best to do so with the guidance of a personal injury attorney.
Adjusters May Offer You a Very Low Settlement
Insurance adjusters know that many people are desperate for money after an accident. They need to pay medical bills and cover the wages they lost if their injuries kept them out of work. Many adjusters use this against you and offer you a low settlement, hoping you will take whatever you can get.
Call an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
While getting into a car accident is a fairly common occurrence, many people feel intimidated when dealing with insurance companies and adjusters.
That is why working with someone who has experience on both sides of the table is so valuable. Sheryl Burke, who once worked for a large insurance company before opening her personal injury firm, is ideally placed to help you.
Insurance companies have teams supporting their efforts. And you should have the same when you are involved in an accident. If you or a loved one about was involved in an accident recently, we encourage you to call Atlanta car accident lawyer Sheryl Burke. The S. Burke Law team prides itself on representing the interests of Atlanta’s citizens.
To learn more about how we can help you, call us at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation.