By: John Colbert, Esq., Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys
Being injured by a defective product, in a traffic accident, or by a fall can be a traumatic experience. It can also be very frustrating when the accident was an avoidable incident had it not been for the negligence of another party. If your injury was caused by another driver, property owner, manufacturer or another party, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. The first step is to file a claim with that party’s insurance company. The company should appoint an insurance adjuster to your claim to investigate and process the claim.
What is an Insurance Adjuster?
The insurance adjuster, also called a claims adjuster, independent adjuster, or claims agent is the person who investigates the accident to determine the company’s liability. For the company to be liable, the insured must have been at fault for the accident that caused your injury, and the accident must have been a covered event under the insurance policy.
Steps the adjuster may take when investigating an injury claim include:
- Visiting the accident scene
- Evaluating the car, product, or other item involved in causing your injury
- Obtaining a copy of the police report
- Requesting and reviewing your medical records
- Interviewing you, the insured, and any eyewitnesses
- Consulting expert witnesses
After completing the investigation, if the adjuster determines the insured was at fault and the event is covered under the policy, he must then calculate the value of the claim. Many factors help determine the value of a claim, including the severity of your injury, your out-of-pocket costs, property damage, the length of your recovery, and whether you suffered any permanent impairments. The adjuster files a report with the insurance company detailing his determination of fault and his valuation of your claim.
If the insurance company agrees with the adjuster’s findings, it may make an offer of settlement. You are free to accept, reject, or counter the offer. However, you must remember one very important thing. Once you accept an offer, the claim is complete. You are not permitted to go back to the insurance company to request additional compensation, even if you discover additional injuries or require additional medical treatments.
Therefore, our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers strongly urge you to consult with our office before you accept a settlement. In fact, we encourage you to consult with one of our attorneys before you provide a statement to or sign a medical release for the adjuster. The insurance adjuster does not work for you and do
Who is an Insurance Adjuster Working for When Settling a Claim?
At all times, the insurance agent is working for the insurance company. He may tell you that he is here for you and will do everything he can to resolve our claim quickly for full value. However, the fact remains that an adjuster works for and has the best interest of the insurance company as his first priority.
Therefore, you need to take steps to protect your best interests by consulting with an experienced Massachusetts accident attorney. You need to put the weight of our experience and resources behind you when you are trying to negotiate a settlement for your injury claim. Our lawyers understand the tactics used by insurance companies and their claims agents. It is our goal to obtain full compensation for all damages for you from the insurance company.
Call for a Free Consultation with a Boston Accident Attorney
The injury lawyers of Jim Glaser Law help accident victims navigate the claims process and deal with insurance adjusters so that victims can focus on their recovery. We protect you from aggressive adjusters who want to settle your claim too quickly and for much less than the claim is worth.
Call 888-743-2079 or use the Live Chat feature on our website to request additional information or schedule a free consultation with a Boston injury lawyer.
About The Author
John Colbert is the founder and managing partner of Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, an Oklahoma personal injury law firm with offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Ardmore. John has been practicing law for more than 25 years and is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association.