You’ve been in an auto accident. You’ve called your car insurance company to file the claim. Now you’re faced with dealing with someone called the “claims adjuster”. It is this person who has a lot of control over how much your insurance company will be offering to pay for medical bills, for repairs or replacement of a damaged vehicle, and for any other property damage that might have occurred. Suffice it to say, this person has a pretty important role in calculating your recovery. And it may very well seem like you are at their mercy. But the truth is that there are concrete things that you can do that will make your dealings with the claims adjuster more palatable and—hopefully—fruitful.
The claims adjuster can’t just make up a number out of thin air. They are required to follow the insurance laws of the state where you live and they are also required to follow the terms of your policy. You will be better equipped to deal with the adjuster if you also know what your rights are and what your policy actually says it covers. Make sure you read and understand your policy. And educate yourself on what your rights are. For California residents, a good place to start is the Department of Insurance guide on what to do following an accident.
(2)Gather your own evidence
In addition to having general knowledge about your policy and rights, it is also necessary to do your own research about the specifics of your accident and the harm it caused—whether personal or property. Gather as much information and documents that show what you think your claim should be worth. This includes things like: getting your own estimates for car repairs; doing market research to see what it will cost to replace your vehicle; obtaining copies of your medical records; compiling documents about medical treatment that you have already sought; asking about—and documenting—future medical treatments that might be necessary and their costs; holding on to receipts for expenses you’ve already incurred due to the accident.
(3)Be your own advocate
It can be intimidating to work with a claims adjuster—after all, they deal with claims issues on a daily basis, while it is (hopefully) a one-time event for you. But even with that experience gap, stand up for your own rights and interests in a professional manner. If the claims adjuster says something you don’t understand, ask for explanation and documentation. If the claims adjuster seems to be overlooking something in your policy, point it out. If you disagree with an estimate that the adjuster makes, fall back on the evidence you collected—send them a letter detailing your disagreement and support it with documentation. If the adjuster seems to have some facts mistaken, correct them.
(4)Know when to get outside help
Sometimes—especially with complex claims—you might just be in over your head. Of course, this is a judgment call and may very well depend on the extent of injuries and harm, but it is okay to admit to yourself that you simply aren’t getting anywhere with the adjuster. That means it might be time to turn to an attorney who can help you navigate and understand the claims process.
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The Demas Law Group has been providing the highest quality of legal services to Californians for nearly twenty years. We take great pride in meeting our clients’ needs while working together to win your case and obtain the maximum compensation allowed by law. We are here to help you during this difficult time. Call our team of Sacramento personal injury lawyers at 888 776 0977 to speak with an attorney. To learn more about why you should hire us click here.