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If you sustain a personal injury or are involved in an accident, you will likely deal with an insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters investigate claims filed by policyholders and other parties and settle claims on behalf of the company.
Continue reading to learn more about insurance adjusters, how they handle claims, and some tactics they frequently use.
An independent adjuster in New York is a person, independent adjusting firm, or another party who works on behalf of an insurance company. They investigate claims to determine if the insurance company is liable.
Insurance adjusters work for the insurer, whether employed by the insurance company or an independent insurance adjuster. An independent adjuster must pass a licensing exam and obtain a license in New York City.
A public adjuster is a person, firm, or company representing the insured in an insurance claim. Public claims adjusters work to determine the amount of loss incurred by the insured in property damage. The claims adjuster negotiates a settlement with the insurance provider for property damage claims.
Most people associate claims adjusters with car accident claims. However, a claims adjuster may handle almost any time of insurance claim. For example, an adjuster may handle workers’ compensation claims, medical malpractice claims, premises liability claims, and other types of insurance claims.
A claims adjuster for the insurance company plays a central role in the claims process. The claims adjuster investigates the claim by gathering police reports, accident reports, witness statements, and other evidence.
The adjuster uses the information and evidence to determine:
The insurance company should pay your claim if the policyholder or other covered person caused your injury. However, insurance companies are in business to make money. Therefore, they try to avoid paying claims whenever possible.
If you were in an accident or suffered a personal injury, there are a few things you need to know about insurance adjusters. First, the insurance adjuster will try to find a way to deny your claim if possible. If not, their job is to pay you as little as possible to resolve your claim.
When dealing with insurance claims adjusters, keep the following things in mind:
The insurance adjuster does not protect your best interests. They might tell you that they are working on getting you a large settlement or giving you more money than their supervisor would like for the claim. However, everything an insurance adjuster does and says is to benefit the insurance company.
Claims adjusters are very good at asking leading questions to get you to say something that could hurt your case. They also ask open-ended questions to encourage you to provide more information.
It is not in your best interest to provide written or recorded statements after an accident or injury. Instead, tell the insurance adjuster to contact your personal injury lawyer.
The insurance adjuster might tell you that they are offering you the highest amount available for your injury claim. However, that is generally not true. The insurance adjuster undervalues your damages.
If you are not aware of the damages you can receive for an injury claim, the adjuster may not compensate you for those damages. For example, you are generally entitled to compensation for non-economic damages (pain and suffering) and your economic damages (financial losses).
When you sign the settlement agreement, you waive your right to any further compensation for your injury claim. Therefore, talk with a lawyer before you sign the settlement agreement to ensure that you receive compensation for all damages and that the amount offered is fair.
Blaming victims for contributing to the cause of their injuries is a common way insurance companies avoid paying the full value for injury claims. New York’s pure comparative negligence law reduces your compensation by your percentage of fault for the cause of your injury.
Therefore, never assume fault for the cause of an accident or injury, including apologizing for an accident. Likewise, avoid talking to the insurance adjuster without a lawyer so that you do not inadvertently say something that could be misunderstood as admitting fault.
The initial settlement offer is typically lower than the value of your personal injury claim. You are not required to accept an offer from the insurance company. You have the right to legal counsel and to negotiate a better settlement amount for your claim.
Insurance adjusters protect the insurance company. Let an experienced personal injury lawyer protect your right to fair compensation after an accident. Contact an experienced New York City personal injury lawyer to schedule a free case evaluation.
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