Tips, tricks and advice on how to handle your insurance company to receive fair compensation after an auto accident
If you’re involved in a car accident in Georgia, then sooner or later you’ll probably have to talk to an insurance adjuster. An adjuster’s job is to review the details of the accident and work to offer a settlement or discuss how your insurance policy will pay your claim or a claim made by the other party (if you were at fault for the wreck).
When dealing with insurance adjusters, it’s important to remember that they are not on your side—no matter how friendly and helpful they may be. Ultimately, they work for the insurance company and are seeking to minimize how much their employer pays out on your claim.
With that in mind, here are 6 tips and tricks for dealing with insurance adjusters successfully.
Tip #1: Don’t give recorded statements
Avoid giving a recorded statement unless you have your attorney with you. This is a tactic that insurance adjusters commonly use to try to put your words against you at a later time by claiming that you aren’t as seriously injured as you say.
Tip #2: Send billing from your doctor to the insurance company
A car accident insurance claim often involves filing your medical bills. Your doctor could send you a bill that you give to the insurance adjuster or your attorney. However, this is a waste of time that slows the process.
One way to improve the efficiency with which your claim is processed is to have your doctor bill directly to the insurance company. Sometimes, your doctor might not want to do this for fear of not getting paid. However, if your claim goes to court, then your doctor will likely get more money than what is billed for instead of sending you the statement and letting you handle everything on your own.
Keep in mind that any difference in the amount that you receive in the settlement and the bill amount should go to you instead of the doctor if you choose to not send bills directly to the insurance.
Tip #3: Understand your policy and coverage limits
If you have collision coverage on your auto insurance policy, then you should consider filing a claim with your own insurance company to get your car fixed and then deal with everything else at a later point. Your insurance company will likely gather information about the accident and refer you to a mechanic. If you’re not at fault for the accident after you pay for the deductible, then you’ll usually get the deductible back.
In the event that you choose to wait for the other party’s insurance company to make a decision, then you might have to wait a month or longer to get your car fixed or to receive any kind of reimbursement for fixing your car. Keep in mind you might not even have a car to drive during that time if the insurance company doesn’t offer coverage for a rental car.
Tip #4: Don’t settle immediately
The insurance adjuster wants you to settle quickly and for the lowest amount possible. When an adjuster calls you, it’s usually to make an offer that’s at the bottom rung of the ladder.
You can come back with a much higher offer. The adjuster might not even entertain the offer and decide to take the case to court. However, the adjuster might throw out another offer that’s a bit higher than the first.
You could continue negotiating in this manner, but you shouldn’t settle for the first offer that’s given. Talk to your attorney about what your claim is actually worth.
Tip #5: Provide evidence to the insurance agent
Take pictures of the accident scene if you’re able. In addition, witnesses or police officers will likely take pictures that can be used by the adjusters to determine who could have been at fault in the accident. These pictures will help determine how much your claim is worth when you begin talking about the settlement amount.
Pictures should be taken of your car, any injuries, property damage and any damage to the other car involved. These pictures can sometimes offer proof about what happened if the other party tries to make a statement that is false and goes against the evidence that’s presented. This could then result in your claim being granted and you being awarded the settlement amount that you want.
Tip #6: Speak with an attorney
If you plan on speaking with the other party’s insurance adjuster, then consider having your attorney with you. Our experienced Georgia car accident lawyers can answer any questions you have about filing a claim against the other party involved in the accident. Your attorney can also offer advice about the questions you should answer now and the questions to remain quiet on until you go to court.