How to Interact With Insurance Adjusters After an Injury
You may have suffered a painful personal injury that arose out of a traumatic event. All you want to do is move on with your life. This means getting your medical bills paid so that you can get back on your feet. There are steps to personal injury cases. One step includes speaking to an insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters are individuals who work for insurance companies, investigate claims, and decide whether or how much to pay out for your claim.
An insurance adjuster is likely the last person you will want to interact with during this trying time. Insurance adjusters can get a bad rap for not being compassionate and trying to deny claims at all costs. Some of this is not completely unfounded. After all, an insurance adjuster’s job is to help maximize profits for the insurance company. This means paying out as little for claims as possible.
Still, this does not mean that you will not get any money. A claim that is covered under the terms of your policy should be paid out to you. Nevertheless, sometimes insurance adjusters can underpay or outright deny your claim.
Here is how to make the most of those interactions so you can get the compensation you deserve and move forward from your personal injury.
Top Tips for Interacting with Insurance Adjusters
Here are some important things to keep in mind when communicating with insurance adjusters.
Be Proactive with Documentation
Insurance adjusters will review all information before deciding whether to pay out your claim and how much. To do this, they need documentation. Be forthright and proactive with this documentation.
Gather all documents you may think that you will need, ideally before the insurance adjuster begins the investigation. Get all medical records, police or incident reports, proof of lost wages, or accident-related bills and make copies.
Remember: you are not on trial for having a legitimate injury. You have the right to ask questions, and you should. Here are some of the questions that you should ask:
- Will you cover my medical expenses?
- If another party was at fault, what are they covering?
- What compensation will I receive?
If the answers to the questions are not satisfactory, or you are not getting the answers you need, speak to an attorney.
Have a Settlement Number in Mind
Don’t rely on the insurance adjuster to fully compensate you for your injuries. Be forthright about what you believe is a fair number and be willing to provide evidence to back up that number.
Here is where having an attorney would be especially helpful. They can tell you what to expect for your particular injury. Personal injury compensation can be calculated by looking at several factors.
Seasoned personal injury attorneys can also identify future expenses that you may not have considered. For instance, you may have suffered a back injury. While you may feel better now, certain injuries have a tendency to be chronic. That is, you might shortchange yourself for future medical expenses if you don’t anticipate your needs in the future.
Communicate in Writing
When possible, communicate in writing. Make sure that what both you and the adjuster are saying is documented. If possible, send emails or certified mail. If it is a conversation, make a note of the conversation. Do not accept offers that are made orally.
Don’t Expect Insurance Adjusters to Tell You Everything
Here is something else to keep in mind when communicating with insurance adjusters: they may not tell you the full truth all the time. This means that you cannot fully rely on what they are telling you.
The insurance adjuster you deal with may be incredibly friendly, but this doesn’t mean that they are being entirely forthright. There are certain things that an insurance adjuster might fail to tell you, either as an oversight or on purpose.
For instance, they might not tell you that you are able to consult with a personal injury attorney during the process. They might imply that consulting with an attorney could jeopardize your claim or significantly delay it. This is not true.
Another thing that an insurance adjuster might lead you to believe is that you have to immediately accept their offer. Do not sign anything immediately. Take what time you need to consider what they are willing to pay and think carefully about whether it is a fair offer.
One other thing that insurance adjusters might not disclose is the at-fault party’s policy limits. The person at fault will pay out your claim, and then your insurance would pick up the balance. Be sure to understand the at-fault party’s insurance policy limits so you can ensure you are getting the maximum amount.
Things You Should Not Tell Insurance Adjusters
There are also some things that you should not communicate with insurance adjusters about. Here are some of the most important.
Do Not Describe Your Injuries
To get compensated for your injuries, the insurance adjuster will have to understand what happened to you and what your injuries are. However, let medical records and statements from medical professionals describe that for you. Don’t explain your injuries on your own. You could end up describing them in a way that casts doubt on the severity of your injuries.
Do Not Recount the Accident
The insurance company will have to understand what happened to cause the injury. Police reports or, in the case of slips and falls, reports from store managers or eyewitnesses are adequate.
Do Not Admit Fault
Make sure that you are honest about the incident. However, if you think that you are partially responsible for the accident, you do not need to admit this. It could result in your claim being denied.
Final Thoughts on Insurance Adjusters
Insurance adjusters stand between you and recovery. Many times, insurance adjusters are just doing their jobs. If you feel like the insurance adjuster is acting in bad faith, or you are struggling to communicate with the insurance adjuster after a traumatic event, a seasoned personal injury attorney can do all of the communicating for you. Contact us today.