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Dealing With Insurance Adjusters

Insurance Adjusters

If experiencing a car accident wasn’t bad enough, the aftermath of an accident brings a new set of challenges, especially for individuals and families dealing with insurance adjusters while trying to piece things together.

Picture a typical Colorado family – we’ll call them the Smiths – still reeling from a recent car accident on the way home from a weekend camping trip. Sarah, the mother, suffered significant injuries, leaving her unable to work or resume her normal activities. James, the father, and their two kids escaped with minor injuries, but James is struggling with juggling hospital visits, trying to manage the household, and keeping up with his full-time job.

In the midst of a myriad of medical appointments, a barrage of insurance paperwork and family responsibilities, the Smiths are bombarded with calls from an insurance adjuster seeking information and pushing for a quick settlement.

John and Sarah, feeling overwhelmed, aren’t sure what information to provide or how to navigate the process. They just want everything to be over as soon as possible – but aren’t sure they’re being treated fairly.

This scenario mirrors the experiences of numerous families and individuals after a car accident. At Veritas, we understand the difficulties people face when negotiating with insurance companies. Many do not realize they have rights and options.

However, many of our attorneys come from an insurance background and we understand their motivations and strategies. Here is our best advice for dealing with insurance adjusters and securing the compensation you deserve.

What Is the Role of an Insurance Adjuster?

Insurance adjusters are tasked with evaluating claims to determine settlements. They are not an impartial party. Their priority is to protect their company's interests by minimizing payouts.

Many may even try to blame the victims of the accident in order to steer them toward lowball settlements. This is especially true for fault and comparative negligence states, of which Colorado is one. The comparative negligence statute means that even a victim could be determined to be partially responsible for an accident.

For instance, if a car is rear-ended, but its brake lights are not working, the driver of the vehicle that was hit may be held partially liable for causing the accident. The amount of their settlement can then be reduced by the percentage of liability.

Insurance adjusters, then, will often try to shift blame onto accident victims. Getting a person to settle quickly and cheaply is their main goal.

Tips for Dealing With Insurance Adjusters in Colorado

1. Be Mindful of Your Conversations

  • Limit communication and refrain from discussing specifics or admitting fault without legal advice.
  • Record details: Document conversations, noting dates, times, and the adjuster's name.
  • Remain polite, but firm. Insurance adjusters may make life harder for you if you get angry, antagonize them, or are rude.

2. Don’t Overshare

  • Avoid speculation and stick to the facts.
  • Provide basic details only. You can share essential information, such as your contact and insurance details, but don’t elaborate further.
  • Don’t accept blame, admit fault, or make assumptions about responsibility.
  • Avoid discussing medical opinions, injuries, or accident details. This will prevent them from leveraging something to minimize your injuries or prove fault.

3. Resist the Urge to Settle

  • We all want the bad things in life to be over as quickly as possible. In the case of an accident, that may not be in your best interest.
  • A quick settlement usually benefits the insurance company the most. They know the longer you wait, the more likely it is that you will hire a lawyer and end up with a much better compensation.

If, when dealing with an insurance adjuster, they are pressuring you to agree to a settlement, and you feel stressed or worried, tell them you are consulting with an attorney – even if you haven’t yet.

Strategies for Negotiating With Insurance Adjusters

1. Collect Evidence

  • Gather medical records, bills, accident reports, and any relevant documents.
  • You will need to present clear, concise, organized documentation to support your claim's validity, and if you do hire an accident or personal injury attorney, this evidence and documentation will be of great benefit to your case.

2. Calculate Damages

  • Account for all costs, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and potential future expenses.
  • Quantify pain and suffering: Describe the impact of the accident on your daily life and emotional well-being.

3. Remain Firm but Polite

  • Stick to your justified claim amount while maintaining a respectful tone.
  • Negotiations may take time; avoid rushing or accepting inadequate offers. When the claims process begins, you may not yet know the full extent of your injuries and recovery. That’s why patience is key to securing fair compensation.

What Happens If a Car Accident Is Your Fault?

In the unfortunate event that you're deemed responsible for an accident, navigating the claims process becomes a different challenge. Here's a breakdown of what to expect:

1. Insurance Coverage Matters

  • Liability Coverage: Your insurance coverage for liability will come into play. This coverage is meant to compensate others for injuries or damages you cause.

2. Report the Accident

  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Even if the car accident is your fault, report it promptly. Delaying or avoiding reporting the accident might violate your policy terms.

3. Admitting Fault

  • Avoid admitting fault or making statements regarding responsibility without consulting your insurance company or lawyer. Admissions might impact the outcome of the claim or legal proceedings.

4. Investigation and Evaluation

  • Your insurance company will investigate the accident to determine liability and assess damages.
  • If the other party files a claim against you, your insurance company may negotiate a settlement or, in case of a dispute, proceed to court.

5. You Can Hire a Lawyer Even When “At Fault”

  • If faced with legal action or complexities in the claims process, seeking legal counsel is highly advised. An experienced accident attorney can guide you through legal proceedings and protect your interests.

Remember, accidents happen, and while being at fault can be distressing, knowing how to deal with insurance adjusters, understanding your insurance coverage and obligations, and seeking legal guidance, if necessary, can alleviate some of the post-accident stress.

When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer for Dealing With Insurance Adjusters

Knowing when to seek legal counsel is crucial. The benefits of having an experienced accident attorney in your corner are many. Consider contacting Veritas when:

  • Complex Cases: If you’re involved in an accident in Colorado or Western Utah that involves multiple parties or unclear liability, our attorneys can guide you and protect your best interests.
  • Disputed Liability: If the insurance company disputes or denies responsibility, our lawyers can fight for compensation on your behalf.
  • Low Settlement Offers: If the insurance adjuster’s offer fails to cover expenses or adequately compensate for damages, Veritas is well-versed in dealing with insurance adjusters and can secure the recovery you deserve.
  • Legal Guidance Needed: If you’re simply unsure about your legal rights or how to negotiate, consulting with experienced attorneys who specialize in these cases can ensure you’re on the right path and that you’re not taken advantage of.

Regardless of fault, dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. Dealing with insurance adjusters demands patience, diligence, and a strategic approach. It's essential to stay informed, seek help when needed, and remember that legal support is available to ensure fair treatment.

By adhering to these tips and seeking legal advice when necessary, individuals can navigate these challenges and increase their chances of securing fair compensation for their injuries and damages.

Remember, at Veritas, we're here to support you through the process and ensure your rights are protected. Don't hesitate to reach out to us for assistance when dealing with insurance adjusters or pursuing a personal injury claim. We have over 60 years of combined experience and millions in recovery for our clients.

Call (970) 292-7171 or contact us online today!