When you get hurt in an accident, you’re entitled to file a claim to collect compensation from the insurance provider of the negligent party. As part of this process, you will doubtless have to deal with an adjuster for the insurance company. As your negotiations inevitably grow more frustrating, you might find yourself asking who this person is, and why they seem to have such power over your settlement?
These professionals serve as points of contact between insurance companies and those who have suffered harm or are otherwise filing claims. Unfortunately, they can also represent significant roadblocks to your compensation. Learn all about the job of an insurance adjuster, their role in moving an injury claim forward, and how they can be a hurdle if you don’t have the right help.
What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster may have any number of titles; they could be called a claims representative, claims specialist, claims analyst, or many other terms. They might work directly for the insurance company, or they could be freelance. In the end, regardless of what they call themselves or whether they’re independent or directly employed, they all do the same job. That job is to settle your claim as quickly as possible, for as low a sum as possible.
The Claims Settlement Process
A claims adjuster will usually start off polite and friendly, but they’ll tender an initial very low ball offer, with the goal to get you to sign off as quickly as possible. Understand that their job performance is rated on two main points—how little they can offer, and how many cases they close. Many might have a hundred or more cases come across their desks every month which they need to settle just to break even.
They’re also judged based on their ability to settle cases without having to elevate them to supervisors. However, they also might be limited in how much they’re permitted to offer. Some may be limited to as little as a few thousand dollars. Of course, they won’t reveal this to you. Understanding this can give you a major edge in negotiations.
Knowing Your Claim
The biggest advantage you’ll have in negotiating with the insurance adjuster is that you know your claim. While they know the process, they probably have only given your case a cursory glance. You, on the other hand, have your medical bills. You have the evidence you’ve gathered at the accident scene. You know the details of what’s happened, what you’ve suffered, and what it’s worth.
This gives you a major edge in the process. Since they don’t have the time to study or investigate your claim, they won’t be able to hold their own as well. Many might then try to compensate by getting threatening or bullying.
Hire an Injury Attorney
That’s why, when the negotiations hit a wall, you need help from an injury attorney. The right lawyer knows how to stand up to the insurance adjuster, defend your rights and cut through their non-payment tactics. If you’re in South Carolina and you need help, contact Harris and Graves for a free consultation today.