After a Nova Scotia car accident, people often assume that the insurance adjuster working for the other driver’s insurance company will treat them fairly and with compassion. After all, where their driver’s negligence results in injuries, doesn’t the law allow for fair compensation? The answer is of course, “yes”. But it’s important to understand that the objective of the other driver’s insurance company isn’t to provide this fair compensation. Instead their goal is to have the injured person sign a release for the least amount of compensation possible.
This means that injured people don’t receive fair compensation simply by filing a claim with the insurance company and playing nice with the insurance adjuster assigned to negotiate the compensation.
In this blog we’ll examine the basic duties of insurance adjusters after a car accident. Then we’ll consider how these duties help adjusters with their actual goal of paying the least amount of compensation possible.
The basic duties of insurance adjusters:
Insurance companies’ adjusters have several responsibilities following a car accident. They perform these duties with the ultimate goal of collecting facts and information to help the insurance company pay the least amount of compensation possible in exchange for a signed release.
Insurance adjusters offer some administrative functions, such as record keeping and taking photographs of the injuries/property damage. Some of the basic duties of insurance adjusters after a car accident include:
- Meeting with everyone involved in the accident – often with the goal of obtaining signed statements
- Inspecting the property damage of the cars involved in the accident
- Getting the injured persons to sign medical authorizations to permit the insurance adjuster unlimited access to all medical records (however old) and treatment provider notes
- Doing background investigations into the injured persons (often through surveillance and/or social media research)
- Obtaining a signed release from any person injured in the car accident
The insurance adjuster works for an insurance company whose goal is to save money by paying the least compensation possible:
The insurance adjuster responsible for paying compensation to injured people after a car accident works for an insurance company. It should go without saying that the main goal of the insurance company is to save money by paying injured people the least amount of compensation possible in exchange for a signed release.
Even though almost every insurance adjuster is friendly and nice, it is important to remember who they are ultimately working for. It isn’t you. The insurance company attempts to make you believe that the adjuster that they send to deal with your claim is your friend and on your side. However, this is far from the truth. The adjuster is not on your side.
Most injured people dealing with insurance adjusters ultimately come to realize this, but often when it’s too late. They are lulled into a sense of security to avoid them from seeking the help of a lawyer. But then when it comes time to negotiate a settlement, injured people are often met with statements of “unproven damages” or “disputed liability”. These may be said in “legalize” to give the adjuster’s position an air of legitimacy. Common responses from insurance adjusters include:
- “After investigating, we are blaming you for your injuries” (they may contort that statement they asked you to sign to make it appear as though you are admitting liability for the accident or that you may not be wholly honest)
- “You are owed less compensation because you didn’t go to the right medical treatment”
- “Your medical records show that you had massage therapy treatment 10 years ago, therefore your back pain must be linked to that old injury”
- “You haven’t sufficiently proven to us that you were injured/disabled”
There are many ways to dispute these common tactics used by insurance adjusters. This brings us to our last point…
Every car accident victim should speak with an experienced injury lawyer:
Insurance adjusters know the law and are trained negotiators. But they aren’t on your side. Because of this fact, it’s important to have someone in your corner with experience negotiating injury claims. Otherwise the insurance company holds all the cards. And how can you negotiate for fair compensation under that kind of situation? An experienced car accident lawyer gives you leverage needed to ensure your injuries are fairly compensated.
Many insurance adjusters will use their experience to try to get you to sabotage your own claim without realizing that you have done so. You only get one kick at the can with a car accident claim, so you need to speak with an experienced injury lawyer to ensure that you do not fall into any of the traps that insurance adjusters set up for you.
Our injury lawyers have helped hundreds of clients negotiate fair settlements with insurance adjusters following a car accident. If you have a question about a car accident claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.