Shortly after your car accident, you will be contacted by one or more insurance adjusters. Expect to be contacted by at least one insurance adjuster for each insurance company involved in the crash (including your own). The insurance adjuster’s job is twofold: First, the adjuster performs an investigative task by determining the damage you suffered and to whom the loss is properly attributable. Next, the adjuster performs a “cost-saving” by attempting to settle your claim as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible.
While the adjuster(s) involved in your case may be friendly and seem knowledgeable, remember this: the adjuster is not your friend and is not concerned with the actual extent of your loss. His or her employer – the insurance company – is most concerned with expending as little time and money on your claim as possible. Keep these tips in mind when dealing with an adjuster:
- Stick to the facts: Do not give the adjuster information of which you are not completely certain.
- Don’t be recorded: You do not have to give a recorded statement to an adjuster to have the adjuster process your claim, and you should decline to give such a statement until after you have met with a car accident lawyer.
- Get any proposed settlement in writing: Your adjuster may propose a settlement offer to you to resolve your claim, but unless you obtain this offer in writing and signed by the proper individuals within the insurance company the company is not obligated to honor the offer.
- Review any settlement offer with your attorney: Do not sign or agree to a settlement offer until you thoroughly understand the terms and conditions of the offer. Oftentimes you will be asked to give up important rights in exchange for obtaining the benefits of the settlement. A South Carolina car accident lawyer can help you in determining whether a settlement offer made to you is in your best interest.
Remember that one of the benefits of hiring an attorney to represent you is that your attorney will handle calls from the insurance adjuster, leaving you free to focus on your recovery and getting your life back together.