The Insurance Claim Process – The Insurance Adjuster
When you have been involved in an auto accident, one of the first things that you will do after the accident is file your claim with an insurance company. As soon as you have completed this important step, the first thing that they will do is to assign your claim an insurance adjuster. An insurance adjuster is someone who is employed by the insurance company and will work with you through the entire insurance claims process. Their primary responsibilities will include investigating the circumstances of the claim, determining whether or not you should be compensated for your claim, and negotiating any specifics of the auto accident compensation.
Beware of Unethical Practices
It is important to remember that the insurance adjuster’s number one priority is to ensure that they save their company as much as possible when it comes to auto accident compensation. For some claims, you will find that working with an adjuster is no problem at all, and you can easily receive any compensation for damages which you are due. However, there may be certain warning flags that you will need to watch out for when working with an adjuster.
First, if an insurance adjuster offers you any kind of legal advice, be warned. This is what’s known as an unauthorized practice of law, and the adjuster could be in serious legal trouble for this kind of behavior. Second, an insurance adjuster may tell you that you do not need an attorney. That may be true for certain small claims surrounding things like fender benders, but for major accidents with multiple injuries and extensive car damage, you will want to contact a personal injury attorney.
Tips for Handling a Claim on Your Own
If you feel like you can handle your claim on your own without the help of a personal injury attorney, there are several important tips that you will need to pay attention to:
- Never authorize the insurance adjuster to request your medical records. If an insurance adjuster requires copies of these documents, request them yourself and transfer copies of the documents to the adjuster yourself.
- Never settle your claim until you are completely recovered from your injuries, or you are told by a doctor that your injuries are permanent and determines a permanent disability rating. Understanding your long term injuries will be vital in receiving the appropriate auto accident compensation.
- Always pay attention to the statute of limitations for your claim. The statute of limitations will determine the time limits you have in order to file suit and settle your claim. If you are not aware of the statute of limitations and wait too long to file a claim, you will not be allowed to receive any compensation for your claim.
- Always detail all the possible damages that you can claim when working with the insurance company. Do you have lost wages? Do you have car damage? Do you have medical bills? All of these items can be calculated in your auto accident compensation.