After an accident, an insurance adjuster may be your first point of contact in recovering costs for damages or injuries. But in those crucial days just after an accident, how can you be certain they’re offering you the compensation you deserve? Knowing more about the role of insurance adjusters will better prepare you to fight for interests.
THE ADJUSTER’S RESPONSIBILITIES
The insurance adjuster’s job is to determine how much coverage is the insurance company’s responsibility. They may work on damage claims for vehicles or property and physical injury claims. In some cases, an insurance company will assign an adjuster to investigate claims that seem suspicious. If the company suspects an attempt to commit fraud, they may bring in an adjuster to seek confirmation and provide proof before going to court.
THE ADJUSTER AND YOU
Ideally, the insurance adjuster seeks a settlement that satisfies both you and the insurance company. However, whether they’re independent adjusters or insurance company employees, they’re paid by the company. Their primary goal is to settle your claim at the lowest possible cost. Many insurance adjusters will make you feel like they’re looking out for your interests. This personable approach may well be authentic, but don’t be disarmed by their kind demeanour into accepting a lower settlement than reasonable. A false sense of security may make you susceptible to “oversharing” information that could undermine the credibility of your claim.
THE CLAIM PROCESS
When the insurance company assigns a claims adjuster to your case, they’ll ask you to complete and submit forms detailing injuries or damages. In the case of physical injuries, you’ll need details of your injuries and treatment plans from your healthcare provider. The claims adjuster will examine your claim submission, review the professional reports on your injuries or property damage, visit the scene of the incident, and write legal and investigative reports based on their assessments. They may also consult with medical professionals hired by the insurance company. Then, the adjuster can either negotiate with you to arrive at a settlement amount or deny your claim altogether.
THE SETTLEMENT OFFER
Don’t be too quick to accept the first settlement offer. In many cases, it’s a mere fraction of the full value of the claim. If you find this lower amount reasonable, they’ve achieved a win-win situation where you’re happy, and their insurance company saves money. Under Ontario law, you have recourse to appeal the settlement.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS IN SAULT STE MARIE, WAWA, ELLIOT LAKE AND DISTRICT OF ALGOMA
If you’ve been injured in car, ATV, motorcycle or snowmobile accident, be sure you have a professional who’s on your side. At Feifel Gualazzi, our personal injury lawyers will help you navigate the insurance process and get you the settlement you deserve. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation.