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How do you deal with an insurance adjuster to get a fair settlment?
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How do you deal with an insurance adjuster to get a fair settlment?

I got into an accident. the man driving behind me hit me going about 30 mph. He has admitted fault to me and to his insurance. I have a pre-existing injury and it has made it so much worse.I would like a fair settlement and I'm nervous I won't be treated fairly. I have been given legal advice and was told they are sheisters. I have decided to see what the insurance company offers before getting a lawyer. How do I proceed without being taken advantage of?


By being honest about your prior injury (the adjuster will see it in the medical records anyway) and keeping the lines of communication open.

If you have a question - ask the adjuster.
If you have a concern - tell the adjuster. We can't address the concern if you don't tell us you have it.

You may not always like the answer the adjuster gives - or what the adjuster tells you....but by keeping the lines of communication open - the claim can be resolved.

Ultimately, you and the adjuster have the same goal -- to get the claim resolved. Contrary to popular belief -- adjusters like to pay claims. (But that does not mean we give away the farm). Don't expect this accident to handle all your financial problems. Don't go running up a bunch of medical treatment you don't need thinking you are going to get a big pay dat at the end. Don't get greedy.

But by paying claims - that's how I get them off my desk so I can move on to the next one. For every claim I pay and close -- I have two more demanding my attention. Not paying claims....dragging them out....and all that other garbage we get accused of does not happen. All that does is create more work for me (and no extra money or pay). Believe me -- I have way too much work to do any way. The last thing I need to do is to create more!

** not legal advice - Just my personal experience **

Queen B
well if he is insured with a reputable company they will offer you what is fair. understand its hard to determine since you already have a pre existing injury. you may end up feeling its not fair, although it may be. be nice to the adjuster and be honest with him about your pre existing injury. if you lose your temper with him, its not going to help. he has guidelines he has to go by and only has authority for so much "wiggle room".

Luna & Lawnboy
You were given some very bad information. Not all claims adjusters are "sheisters", just like not all attorneys are bottom feeders.

Anyway, the adjuster will be fair. The insurance industry cannot act in bad faith. There are regulations against such practices. So the person who gave you 'legal advice" is obviously looking to take your business and a good 1/3 of your settlement money.

You need to provide the adjuster with all of our supporting documentation. Usually the adjuster will want you to sign a HIPPA medical release so they can secure the medical reports, including your prior records. Trying to hide the information will not get you anywhere either. You can get all of this info on your own if you choose to. If you do not have PIP coverage, then all of your related medicals and lost wages will be included. The case will not be evaluated until you reach a base line or have been given a permanency rating.

Also, just because you were injured does not mean you are entitled to any compensation. The threshold requirements vary from state to state. Some are verbal, some are monetary and others your injury has to be serious. The definition of serious also varies. In some states, even a herniated disc is not considered serious if there is no impingement. However, most of these still settle to avoid costly litigation.

If you feel the settlement offer is not fair, continue to negotiate, but you need to prove why your claim is worth more. Remember, the adjuster evaluates claims for a living. You don't. They know what the case value is. There is a range for settlement, so the first offer does not mean that is the only offer.

Northern Lights
I would let my lawyer deal with it. Why waste energies outside your field of expertise.
Do the same.

Being it was the other persons fault, if you have a good adjuster he will do everything possible to get as much money from the other company as possible. Good Luck!

Well my experience with adjusters has been awful.
I've been in an accident (100% not my fault) the guy was "probably" driving 30 (kind cop didn't ask) -

And the adjuster offered me almost nothing - I'm going to hurt forever, I too, had a previous injury that this accident has made worse - I've spent thousands trying to make sure I am OK - and came to the conclusion I will hurt like this forever.

I've been laughed at by people in the insurance field - I was told (by an agent with my life insurance company) the offer I recieved was them asking me to sue them.
Then when asked the name of this company - I told - and my life insurance agent said "Yes that company has a history of getting sued a lot"

So around June 18th of 08 we agreed upon a price for my car - and I await - contact or paperwork or payment or SOMETHING -

That has been my experience -

I honestly suggest finding an attorney you trust - I would have LOST IT if not for mine (but mine is family so I do trust him)

I can not keep my experience 100% factual - It's been so awful. I'm scared to death - I didn't do anything wrong & all I can think about is I can loose my house over this!

I handle claims for a large transportation company. call his insurance comp. and they will try to get you a rental car but they will also try hard to either fix your car or settle with money so you do not sue. you should have already told your insurance. are you okay get checked by doctor, it's all on them. the other driver he hit you.

Once you have determined what is 'fair' to you, stay focused and determined, and don't let an adjuster intimidate and/or frustrate you. The are trained to do so. Good luck!

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