We often hear horror stories about insurance adjusters showing up in hospital rooms or calling injury victims incessantly or even showing up at the injured person’s house. They don’t all do this, but those who do can be annoying, intrusive, and at worst harassing.
After an accident, you need to report your accident to your own insurance company, but you should also call the other person’s insurance if you need them to pay damages. Remember, though, you can only get the insurance adjuster to pay damages if their insured client was at fault.
The Problem with Insurance Adjusters?
Their job is to get the claim settled as quickly and for as little money as possible. At least that’s how it appears to us. Insurance adjusters are paid by the insurance company to save money.
What Should You tell the Insurance Adjuster?
The truth. But do not give a recorded statement, and do not admit any liability. In fact, it’s often a good idea to tell the adjuster as little as possible because they can try to use anything you say against your claim for compensation through the insurance company.
What Will the Insurance Adjuster Do?
The adjuster will be nice, at least at first. But you need to understand their motives – they want to prevent you from hiring a lawyer so that they can offer you a low settlement amount. Remember, these large insurance companies care most about the bottom line. And paying out less money keeps the profits up!
Maybe insurance adjusters get trained on what to say. They seem to be really good at convincing people that their settlements are fair, that they are giving sound legal advice, and that they have your best interests at heart.
And perhaps they do, but it is important to know that adjusters are also trying to do their job, and this job is not dependent on whether injured people like them, think they are fair, or if they give reasonable liability settlements.
Will the Insurance Adjuster Make Me a Fair Offer?
Again, it is really hard to make blanket statements and the adjuster could make you a fair offer. But it seems that they often do not – or they convince people to accept offers and sign releases before the extent of the medical treatments is fully known. For example, if you have a head injury, the full affects and symptoms might not be known for several months so signing a release two weeks after the accident and accepting a low sum of money could not cover long-term treatments or wages losses.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Deal with the Insurance Adjuster?
Well, it depends. If the insurance adjuster offers a fair settlement and you are done treating, maybe you are fine. But sometimes it is a good idea to hire a professional to handle your case. Lawyers are just professionals offering a service like any other. If you cannot fix your toilet, you call a plumber. If you cannot diagnose your illness, you go to the doctor. If you cannot resolve your own personal injury claim, you choose a personal injury lawyer. And the best part is that, like a plumber or a doctor, a lawyer is hired to be one your side and help you – which is not true of insurance adjusters who are hired to help the insurance companies.
So if you are having problems with an adjuster, or cannot communicate your needs to the insurance company, you might want to consider hiring a Portland personal injury attorney. Or, you can order our free book 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case and start learning how to settle the case yourself.