Nothing can be as frustrating as getting into a car accident. You may have medical injuries, emotional pain, property damage, lost work, or other problems resulting from the incident. However, what can make a bad situation worse is when you must deal with a hard-nosed claims adjuster. Despite clear injuries, ascertainable property damage, and glaring indications of liability (such as a police report stating that the accident was the other guy’s fault), you may still find that the claims adjuster for the other guy’s insurance refuses to accept fault and settle your case. Of course, speaking with a personal injury attorney can benefit you greatly, but when dealing with insurance adjusters it may be helpful to remember the following:
1. The insurance adjuster may try to pay you as little as possible - It should come as no surprise that insurance companies make money when they don’t have to pay out as much on claims. As a representative of the insurance company, adjusters may try to find ways to value your case at less than what it is really worth. In some instances, the adjuster may face pressure from superiors and supervisors to settle cases for as little as possible. In other situations the adjuster may be part of a corporate culture of making it difficult for accident victims to settle their case. Understanding where an adjuster is coming from can help you negotiate your claim.
2. The insurance adjuster is not an expert - Although an insurance adjuster may know a lot about their area of expertise (insurance claims), it is important to recognize that they are not experts in the law. Despite speaking confidently, they may not actually have a clear understanding of which party in an accident is liable according to the negligence laws of Georgia. Likewise, they are not medical experts and do not know what kinds of treatments are, in fact, medically necessary for a certain type of injury.
3. The insurance adjuster may be in a rush to settle your case - Many insurance companies may try to quickly settle cases with the injured party for far less money than the case is worth. We hear stories from clients and potential clients where the insurance claims adjuster offers to pay the medical bills and “take care of everything.” It’s our experience that the adjuster is only trying to save the insurance carrier money, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s best to consultant with a lawyer to and not put your trust in an insurance company.
4. Determining the true value of your case may be difficult - In many instances, determining the true value of what your case is worth can be challenging. This value depends on a number of factors, including your property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, the likelihood of future treatments, etc. Claims adjusters may not have the necessary facts or understanding of the law necessary to accurately value your case.
What To Do When You Have Experienced An Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident it is essential that you contact a skilled Atlanta car accident attorney right away. If you have questions about who may be at fault for your injuries, how to deal with claims adjusters, or whether you may recover for your damages, the personal injury attorneys at Goldstein and Hayes, P.C., can answer your questions and assess your case. We have years of experience helping personal injury victims navigate the Georgia legal system to hold those responsible for their injuries accountable. Contact us today.