How To Deal With The Claims Adjuster When Filing A Personal Injury Claim?
When you report your accident to an insurance company and file a personal injury claim, the insurer will assign a claims adjuster to your case. Contrary to popular belief, claims adjusters play a pivotal role in resolving your claim and determining what compensation you will receive.
That’s why it is critical to understand how to deal with the insurance claims adjuster to maximize your compensation and negotiate a fair settlement offer.
Speak with a Rhode Island personal injury attorney to help you navigate the claims process after an accident. Our lawyers at Robert E. Craven & Associates will help you deal with the claims adjuster in your personal injury case.
Should I Accept the Adjuster’s Settlement Offer?
If the claims adjuster makes a settlement offer, contact an attorney to determine whether the offered amount would fully compensate you for your losses and damages.
In most cases, however, the initial settlement offer never reflects the full extent of the victim’s damages and losses. As a rule of thumb, it is not advised to settle your personal injury claim or even begin negotiating a settlement until you have fully recovered or reached the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), a point when your condition cannot be improved any further.
While receiving medical treatment, provide the adjuster with copies of your medical bills, statements of lost wages, and other types of documentation that establish your damages and financial losses.
Sending a Demand Letter for Your Personal Injury Claim
Negotiating a fair settlement offer can be a daunting and time-consuming experience, especially if you do not have a personal injury attorney representing your best interests and using their excellent negotiation skills to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Note: You need to understand that while both parties are interested in settling a claim as quickly as possible, each of you has different goals. You want to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries and damages, while the claims adjuster wants to pay you as little as possible because it is their job to protect the insurance company’s bottom line.
Once you have recovered or reached the MMI, you may be ready to begin negotiating with the claims adjuster. This can be done in three steps:
- Gather evidence to prove that the insurance company’s policyholder was at fault for causing your injury due to their negligence.
- Determine a fair settlement amount to compensate you for your losses. This can be done by adding up your medical expenses, property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, and loss of income. Then, you will need to determine your pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. Consult with an attorney to help to calculate your pain and suffering damages.
- Have a skilled personal injury attorney draft a Demand Letter and send it to the insurance adjuster. The letter should state your demand for compensation and explain why the company’s insured must cover your losses. Your lawyer will also help you support the letter with evidence.
After sending the Demand Letter along with all relevant documentation and evidence to prove your claim, wait for a response from the claims adjuster.
How to Negotiate with the Claims Adjuster?
It may take several days or weeks to hear back from the adjuster. Most often, the claims adjuster will be ready to make a settlement offer. As a rule of thumb, the first settlement offer made by the claims adjuster is usually very low and should be rejected right away, though it makes sense to consult with your lawyer first.
After you reject the low-ball settlement offer, the claims adjuster will expect you to send a counter-offer, which should be higher than the adjuster’s proposed amount and a little lower than the original amount in your Demand Letter.
Your personal injury lawyer will facilitate the negotiation process to help you arrive at a fair settlement figure and make sure that you do not settle your claim for less than you deserve.
You need a Rhode Island personal injury attorney to help you negotiate with the claims adjuster to maximize your compensation. Contact Robert E. Craven & Associates to discuss your particular situation. Call 401-453-2700 to receive a consultation.