Personal Injury & the Insurance Adjuster
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One of the realities you have to face quickly after you are involved in an accident is that the insurance company often won’t agree with you on the correct valuation of your damages. As much as insureds might hope to the contrary, insurance adjusters are normally not focused on making you happy. Generally speaking, adjusters want to pay you the least they can so that they can maximize their company’s profits.
That’s worth reiterating: Insurance companies must turn a profit in order to continue operating. The larger their profit, the more people they can employ, the larger the salaries they can pay their employees, the nicer the offices they can build, and the more they can spend on advertising to draw in more business. As altruistic as they want to seem, their profits are essential to their continued business presence. Insurance adjusters, therefore, are not trained in the art of giving money away, but in keeping as much of it as they can.
Among insurance adjusters, there are different philosophies when dealing with claims, all with the goal of company profit maximization. Some – a clear minority, we believe – will unfairly deny legitimate claims, forcing injured parties into legal action to get any compensation at all. Others will offer a fraction of what the claim is worth, hoping the injured party will decide to be happy with what they have and stop fighting early on. These two types are easy to spot and to counteract, as injured parties are more likely to become personal injury plaintiffs if they cannot cover their bills.
Harder to counteract is the insurance adjuster who is friendly, compassionate, and helpful. This type makes you want to believe that he or she truly has your best interests at heart. To be fair, the pleasant adjuster may, indeed, have a kind heart and truly want to see you get what you need to recover… but you should still remember who pays this adjuster’s salary.
Whenever you get an offer from an insurance adjuster following an accident, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before accepting it. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation and can tell you what a claim like yours is normally worth – and whether the offer you received from the adjuster is a fair one. What’s better is to consult with an attorney as soon as possible following your accident, even before you receive the adjuster’s offer.