An insurance adjuster will naturally want you to think that he or she is interested in your needs and hardships after an auto accident. However, experienced auto accident attorneys in Nevada know that this is not really the case. The insurance adjuster is always an employee of the insurance company, and their ultimate goal is to ensure that you receive as little compensation as possible. They want you to settle early and to settle low. The more that they can convince you to say when they contact you after an accident, the better their case might be to minimize the settlement.
Your wisest course of action is to seek legal representation in any car accident claim. You need an attorney who is not intimidated or fooled by insurance adjusters and who knows exactly how the legal system works in Nevada. An attorney who is familiar with all sorts of insurance issues, including uninsured and underinsured driver accidents will serve you best to build a solid case.
Common Questions About Insurance Adjusters
- What exactly does an insurance adjuster do?
- How should I respond if I am contacted by an insurance adjuster?
- Do I have to speak to the insurance adjuster?
- Do I have to accept the insurance company’s first offer?
- Should I hire a lawyer to handle the insurance adjusters?
What exactly does an insurance adjuster do?
An insurance adjuster is someone who works for an insurance company to gather evidence about a claim, interview the person who filed the claim, interview witnesses, and review police reports, accident reports, and medical records that are associated with the claimant’s accident.
How should I respond if I am contacted by an insurance adjuster?
You should always respond politely and respectfully when an insurance adjuster contacts you after an accident. You should avoid sharing any information at all and clearly, but respectfully, tell the insurance adjuster that you will be hiring an attorney. If you have already done so, then you are one step ahead and can provide the attorney’s contact information to the insurance adjuster. Always remember that whatever you say may be used against you by the insurance company to fight against your claim or reduce the value of your settlement. The goal of the insurance company will always be to pay less.
Do I have to speak to the insurance adjuster?
You do not actually have to speak to the insurance adjuster, and you are better off if you don’t. You should speak just enough to share your attorney’s contact information if you have one or to inform the insurance company of your intent to retain legal representation. You should feel comfortable declining to answer any further questions, but expect the insurance adjuster to try to get you to talk more.
Do I have to accept the insurance company’s first offer?
You do not have to accept the insurance company’s first offer, either. In fact, to do so is not in your best interests. The insurance company will make a low offer in hopes that you will accept it. It may seem simple and quick to accept the first offer, but you will benefit from negotiations for a larger settlement.
Should I hire a lawyer to handle the insurance adjusters?
It is definitely in your best interests to hire a lawyer to handle the insurance adjusters. A personal injury attorney or car accident attorney in Nevada will be prepared to deal with their tactics and ensure that the client receives a fair settlement for their damages and injuries. You deserve fair compensation, and the only way to improve your odds of getting it it is to hire an attorney who knows the system.
Insurance Adjuster Techniques
Typically, a personal injury attorney will work a case in two distinct phases. These are the pre-litigation phase and the litigation phase. The pre-litigation phase is the time between when the client first hires the lawyer and the time of settlement or lawsuit filing. The litigation phase begins when a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the client.
Taking a case to litigation will increase the time and expense that the case requires before compensation can be received. This makes it an unappealing option to most clients, though it is not something that can always be prevented. Negotiation takes place in the pre-litigation phase, but if no agreement is reached with the insurance company, then litigation will be necessary.
Having said that, the majority of cases are going to be resolved in the pre-litigation phase. The client should follow through with all treatments that have been approved by their medical care provider and the value of the claim will be determined when treatment is complete or when the statute of limitations is coming to its end. The idea is to ascertain the exact damages before pursuing the case.
Negotiation will begin with a demand letter sent to the insurance adjuster. This demand will include details of the accident, a summary of losses, citations that support liability claims, and a request for a specific amount of money to be paid by the insurance company.
The insurance adjuster will respond to this demand with a much lower offer along with an explanation of why they disagree with the amount requested in the demand letter. The insurance adjuster may use faulty reasoning and a standard answer that they use in multiple cases.
One example of this would be an insurance adjuster claim that minor vehicle damages indicate minor injuries. They are well aware that this argument is invalid, as even accidents with minor vehicle damage can create significant injuries, but they use this argument anyway in hopes of lowering the final settlement amount. The insurance adjuster may also claim that the client did not report any injuries at the time of the accident, so there must not have been any injuries. However, it is very well known that a person can experience injuries that don’t present symptoms until hours or even days later.
Whenever a client is only treated for a brief period of time, the insurance adjuster will claim that the injuries were not severe; yet whenever a client is treated for a much longer period of time, the insurance adjuster will claim that the treatment was excessive.
To the insurance adjuster, these techniques are the best way to minimize the value of any claim. The goal is always to settle the case for less than what it is actually worth. If you want to get fair compensation and avoid falling for these shady techniques employed by insurance adjusters, then you would be wise to hire a Nevada personal injury attorney who knows how to handle insurance companies and the many techniques of insurance adjusters.