How to Deal With Insurance Adjusters After a Car Crash

Posted on January 17, 2024 in Car Accidents

From the physical toll an accident can take on your body (including tension, whiplash, and other injuries) to the financial challenges (medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other expenses) and emotional stress, you can easily feel overwhelmed from the moment the accident takes place and long into the future.

On top of those factors, you will also face the added task of dealing with insurance companies and communicating with insurance adjusters.

Though they play an important role and are (for better or worse) somewhat inescapable during the car accident aftermath, insurance adjusters can be both potentially helpful and frustrating.

Rather than go through the hassle of communicating with insurance adjusters yourself, your best option is to work with an experienced car accident attorney and let your legal representative take care of the communication aspects of the process. With a skilled lawyer’s help, you can protect your rights and avoid potential missteps during the communication process.

After a car accident, contact a knowledgeable car accident attorney today for your free consultation. During every phase of the legal process, you can count on your attorney to offer counsel, receive your input, explain the options available to you, and assist in enabling you to make informed choices toward achieving a result that aligns with your requirements.

Don’t let yourself get entangled by confusing tactics used by insurance adjusters. Let a legal professional handle communication for you.

Overview of Insurance Adjusters and Car Accidents

How to Deal With Insurance Adjusters After a Car Crash

Insurance adjusters play a key role in the claims process by investigating claims, evaluating the accident, assessing value, and determining the extent of damage and amounts offered by the insurance provider to the claimants.

The outcome of a claim relies significantly on the information gathered by the insurance adjuster and the reports and assessments provided to the insurance company by the adjuster.

A breakdown of the responsibilities of an insurance adjuster and the role they play in the claims process includes:

  • Assessing Damages – This assessment includes property damage to a claimant’s vehicle and any physical injuries sustained in the accident. During the assessment, the insurance adjuster may inspect vehicles, review medical records, and gather other relevant documentation and evidence.
  • Determining Liability – Establishing who was at fault for an accident is one of the primary roles of an insurance adjuster. The adjuster’s investigation into the cause of the accident and all available evidence helps them determine who is responsible for paying for damages.
  • Negotiating Settlements – After damages receive an assessment and liability is determined, the adjuster will negotiate with the claimant or their legal representation to reach a settlement agreed upon by all parties.
  • Processing Claims – The insurance adjuster will handle the entire claim process, including providing status updates, answering questions, and conducting all communications with the claimant.

Though these aspects of the insurance adjuster’s role are largely positive and beneficial to the claimant in the aftermath of a car accident, always be cognizant that the adjuster works for the insurance company — not the claimant.

With that in mind, you should always approach all communications and interactions with an insurance adjuster with caution, with the best option being to have a car accident lawyer act as your representative in all communication.

Steps to Follow After a Car Accident

Though you’ve reached the point of seeking information about communicating with insurance adjusters, an overview of what to do after a car accident is worth repeating.

While the safety of everyone involved in the accident is the top priority, once everyone has moved to a safe location to avoid further danger and the proper emergency response personnel have received a call:

  • Seek Medical Attention – Swiftly addressing visible injuries and undergoing a thorough medical evaluation to detect hidden ones are crucial for insurance claims or potential legal actions after an accident. This comprehensive examination treats immediate issues and ensures all injuries are accounted for in your claim, supporting your complete recovery.
  • Gather Evidence and Documentation – Gathering essential documents like medical records, police reports, accident scene photos or videos, contact information of involved parties, and witness statements is vital. This collection forms the backbone of your case, providing factual support to strengthen your compensation claim.
  • Contact a Car Accident Lawyer – Whether injured or not, facing the aftermath of a car accident alone is unwise. A skilled attorney provides invaluable support, including communicating with insurance adjusters to protect your rights and ensure you receive proper representation.

By adhering to the steps outlined above, you position yourself favorably when it’s time to negotiate with insurance companies or seek legal remedies to address your case.

These proactive measures bolster your position and equip you to confidently navigate insurance processes or legal avenues, significantly improving your ability to secure a satisfactory resolution that aligns with your needs and rights.

The Role of Insurance Adjusters

As mentioned above, you should always remain aware that an insurance adjuster’s role is to guide the claim process to a resolution as efficiently as possible to reach a settlement that the insurance company is willing to accept.

This may — or may not — serve your best interests. When you enter the process with the understanding that the adjuster’s priorities may not match your own, you can take measures to ensure your rights are protected while still negotiating in good faith.

If an insurance adjuster contacts you, simply refer them to your legal representation for further communication and let your lawyer handle the rest.

Common Tactics Used by Insurance Adjusters

Insurance adjusters become successful by growing proficient at negotiating and reaching settlements that are as favorable to their companies as possible. This process involves common strategies that have proven to be effective in reaching the outcome they are looking for.

Some of these common tactics include:

  • Quick Settlement Offers – Adjusters often make early Settlement offers to resolve the claim quickly. Be aware, however, that these early offers may not consider all of the damages or cover all the costs. You should consult your lawyer before accepting any offer, especially an early one.
  • Recorded Statements – Insurance adjusters will seek statements from you and other involved parties. You should always be wary of making such statements, as they can pose a risk of inadvertently making admissions of guilt or accepting blame, which can negatively affect your claim and compensation.
  • Strategies to Minimize Claim Value – An insurance adjuster may downplay the severity of a claimant’s injuries or property damage. Disputing medical records, undervaluing repair estimates, and other strategies may lead to a low settlement offer.

Being aware of these types of tactics should lead you to be cautious at all times when dealing with insurance adjusters. Having your car accident attorney communicate for you can keep you in a position to steer clear of possible expensive errors.

Reasons to Avoid Direct Communication

Avoid making any statements or communicating directly with an insurance adjuster following your accident, because you might:

  • Disclose Potentially Damaging Information – When making recorded statements, a claimant may unintentionally admit fault or provide information that has the potential to be utilized against them in negotiations and negatively impact their claim.
  • Create Misunderstanding or Misinterpretations – Insurance claims are complex, leaving an opportunity for miscommunication between adjusters and claimants. These types of issues can lead to obstacles in the claim process or challenges with negotiations.
  • Give Them a Way to Take Advantage of You – Insurance adjusters are often adept at creating a friendly rapport with claimants, opening the door for a claimant to provide information that the adjuster can use strategically against them in negotiations.

An experienced car accident lawyer can eliminate some of the risks listed above and ensure that professional and ethical management oversees negotiations while maintaining the overall goal of pursuing a settlement agreement that is in your best interests.

How Attorneys Communicate with Insurance Adjusters

How Attorneys Communicate with Insurance Adjusters

When you have a car accident, the lawyer handles communications with an insurance adjuster; you allow a much more structured process. Attorneys play a unique role in simultaneously protecting their client’s interests while also helping to facilitate and progress negotiations and move the claim toward a resolution.

Your lawyer can:

  • Protect your rights while still cooperating with the claims process
  • Help the process adhere to a more formal and regulated structure
  • Serve as your professional negotiator to pursue a fair settlement offer
  • Assist in steering clear of potential pitfalls during communications

Attorneys bring a wealth of negotiating experience to the table, which can significantly improve your chances of obtaining the desired outcome in your claim. Having a lawyer by your side can safeguard your rights and strengthen your claim during every step of the process.

Benefits of Having an Attorney Handle Communication

In addition to the legal advice and insight provided throughout the process, some of the other benefits of having a knowledgeable car accident lawyer handle communication with insurance adjusters for you include:

  • Maximizing Claim Value – Your lawyer’s extensive experience in insurance regulations and car accident laws will be instrumental in maximizing the value of your Settlement.
  • Minimizing Stress – Knowing that the burden of communicating with the insurance adjuster is taken off your shoulders and being taken care of by a highly trained professional can be a significant relief.
  • Reducing Risk – Placing trust in your lawyer to manage communication can mitigate the potential pitfalls and errors mentioned in the claims process above by trusting your lawyer to handle communication.
  • Ensuring a Fair Resolution – While the insurance adjuster is working toward the best resolution for the insurance company, your attorney is working toward an outcome that is the best available scenario for you.

With so much at stake, you can’t afford to leave things up to chance or leave yourself vulnerable to making a costly mistake when negotiating with an insurance adjuster. Let your lawyer go to work while you focus on seeking a positive result.

The Importance of Having Legal Representation

As with any formal negotiation process or legal situation, dealing with an insurance adjuster and the company they represent can be complicated.

If you suffered an injury or had a severely damaged vehicle in a car accident, you have a lot riding on the outcome of your insurance claim. Putting your claim in the hands of a skilled car accident attorney will give you your best chance at obtaining the type of outcome you deserve.

Trust an Experienced Car Accident Attorney for Help

While insurance adjusters and the companies they work for will always portray themselves as being on your side in the aftermath of a car accident, you need someone you can fully trust to stand by you and look out for your best interests throughout the process.

Though an insurance adjuster may not blatantly attempt to harm your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve, their priority may not necessarily be seeking the best outcome for you.

Thankfully, you can count on an experienced car accident lawyer to provide the insight and advocacy you need to move forward with the appropriate action to pursue the fair financial compensation you need.

By working closely with a lawyer who has extensive knowledge of car accident cases and experience with communicating with insurance adjusters, rest assured that your best interests take priority throughout every phase of the process.

Bob Boatman, Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer

Car Accident Attorney in Phoenix, Robert W. Boatman

If you have suffered damages in a car accident (including physical injuries or financial harm), contact a skilled car accident attorney today to schedule a consultation.

A knowledgeable Phoenix personal injury lawyer by your side ensures the professional handling of all communication with insurance adjusters, protecting your claim and actively pursuing the most favorable outcome.

Case evaluations are free with car accident lawyers, so you have nothing to lose by meeting with a legal team near you and learning about your rights.