However, you’ll likely have to deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company before you can receive any money. This can be a challenging and frustrating process, as insurance adjusters are trained to minimize your claim and protect their bottom line.
In this blog, our experienced personal injury attorneys will share tips on dealing with insurance adjusters and getting the best possible outcome for your case. We’ll also explain how California law affects your rights and options when dealing with insurance companies.
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What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
Adjusters form part of an insurance company and are responsible for investigating, evaluating, and settling claims. They may also be called claims adjusters, representatives, or handlers.
Insurance adjusters have two main goals: to pay as little as possible of your claim and to close your case as quickly as possible. They may use various tactics to achieve these goals, such as:
- Asking for a recorded statement from you, which they can use against you later
- Requesting unnecessary or excessive documentation from you, which can delay your claim
- Offering you a lowball settlement, which may not cover all your damages
- Denying or disputing your claim based on technicalities or false allegations
- Pressuring you to accept their offer before you can consult with an attorney
Remember that you are not obligated to accept any offer made by an insurance adjuster before consulting with your attorney.
How Should You Communicate With an Insurance Adjuster?
These communications can have a significant impact on your claim. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when dealing with insurance adjusters:
- Do be polite and respectful but firm and assertive.
- Don’t admit fault or apologize for the accident, even if you think you may be partly to blame.
- Do stick to the facts and avoid giving opinions or speculations.
- Don’t provide more information than necessary or answer irrelevant or inappropriate questions.
- Do document everything, including the adjuster’s date, time, name, contact information, and your conversation details.
- Don’t agree to give a recorded statement or sign any documents without consulting with an attorney first.
Do consult with an attorney before accepting or rejecting any settlement offer, regardless of your feelings.
What Are Your Rights and Options Under California Law?
California law gives you specific rights and options when dealing with insurance companies. Some of these rights include:
- A prompt and fair investigation of your claim. The insurance company must acknowledge your claim within 15 days and complete their investigation within 40 days unless there are reasonable grounds for delay.
- A reasonable explanation for any denial or dispute of your claim. The insurance company must provide you with a written explanation of the reasons for their decision and the evidence or legal authority that supports it.
- The option to file a complaint with the California Department of Insurance. If you believe the insurance company has acted in bad faith, violated your rights, or mistreated you, you can file a complaint with the state agency that regulates insurance companies.
- The right to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. If you cannot reach a satisfactory settlement with the insurance company, you can file a lawsuit to pursue your claim in court.
You may also be able to sue the insurance company for bad faith if they have acted dishonestly, unreasonably, or maliciously.
How Can an Experienced Attorney Help You?
Dealing with insurance adjusters can be stressful and overwhelming, especially while recovering from a serious injury. So, hiring an experienced attorney to represent you and protect your interests is often in your best interest.
An attorney can help you by:
- Evaluating your case and determining the full extent of your damages
- Gathering and preserving evidence to support your claim
- Negotiating with the insurance adjuster on your behalf
- Advising you on whether to accept or reject a settlement offer
- Filing a lawsuit and taking your case to trial, if necessary
Why HHJ Attorneys?
At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we have the skills, experience, and resources to handle your personal injury case. We’ve helped thousands of clients in California obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your case.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and need help dealing with insurance adjusters, contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll be here to guide you every step of the way, answer your questions, and provide the advice you need to get your case started on the right foot.