The Role Of The Insurance Adjuster In Your Injury Case
In the course of your personal injury case, you will no doubt hear your attorney talk about the insurance adjuster. If you have had insurance claims of any sort, you may have also heard of adjusters. But what is an adjuster, and how does an adjuster affect or impact your injury case?
The Role of the Adjuster
An adjuster is someone who works for an insurance company, gathers evidence about the claim, and makes recommendations to the company about how much it should pay towards a settlement, or how much the company could potentially stand to lose if the case went to trial.
Adjusters are experts in their fields, depending on what kind of insurance they may adjust for. They aren’t attorneys, but often, through years of experience and training, they know a lot about the law—often more than you do as an untrained lay person.
Additionally, adjusters may have access to in-house attorneys at the insurance companies, who often advise the adjusters. They also may have access to software, like databases, or online services, that give them information about you or about what juries tend to do with cases like yours.
Some adjusters work in office, and others are out in the field, gathering evidence or information.
Before Suit is Filed
Before you file a personal injury lawsuit, the adjuster will be the person that your attorney negotiates with. The adjuster will look at the claim and make offers to your attorney. The adjuster will ask for information about your case, to see if it can be resolved. The adjuster is usually given a settlement range by the insurance company, and within that range, the adjuster can settle the case, at his or her discretion. Above that range, the adjuster may need to get additional permissions from the insurance company.
When the Case is Filed in Court
The adjuster will remain on the case even after it is filed in court. The attorney for the Defendant will work with the adjuster, and the adjuster will be the “eyes and ears” for the insurance company. The adjuster will pick the Defendant’s experts, or determine whether you will need to have an independent medical examination.
The adjuster will be present, as the representative of the insurance company, at any court procedures, like hearings, mediations, or trial.
In a trial, there may be many adjusters. If there are multiple insurances involved, like the Defendant’s insurance company, as well as your own uninsured motorist insurance, there will be more than open adjuster in attendance at court procedures.
Don’t Handle Adjusters By Yourself
You should not deal with the other side’s adjuster by yourself. Adjusters are well trained and knowledgeable, but they are no match for your personal injury attorney. Don’t let an adjuster fool you, deceive you, or make you do or say something in your case that’s against your own interests. Let your personal injury attorney handle things for you.