Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers 601 W Swann Ave Tampa, FL 33606 personal injury and car accident lawyer in Tampa

Insurance Adjuster 

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Insurance Adjuster 

After an accident or injury, you may file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s liability insurance company. Liability insurance coverage compensates victims for injuries and accidents covered by the insurance policy. Generally, when you file an insurance claim, the company assigns an insurance adjuster to investigate the claim. 

An insurance adjuster has several tasks. They investigate the claim to determine whether the insurance company is liable for your damages. In other words, does the insurance policy cover the person and incident that resulted in your injuries

The insurance adjuster also determines the extent of your injuries, financial losses, and emotional harm. They assign a value to your claim based on their analysis of your damages. 

Florida law requires insurance adjusters to have a license, including independent adjusters and adjusters employed by insurance companies. However, that does not mean the settlement offer you received from the insurance adjuster is fair. Before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company, you need to remember:

The Insurance Adjuster Does Not Work for You

The Insurance Adjuster Does Not Work for You

The insurance adjuster might try to come across as your friend. They may act as if they were just someone hired to push papers. However, claims adjusters are highly trained and skilled professionals with one task – to protect the insurance company from liability.

Therefore, an insurance adjuster is not your best source of information for an insurance or personal injury claim. The adjuster’s job is to deny claims if possible. If they cannot deny the claim, they try to pay as little as possible.

What You Say to the Insurance Adjuster Could Hurt You Claim

Insurance adjusters are trained to ask leading questions and obtain information they could use against you.

For example, asking about your day is not intended to be nice. Instead, the adjuster hopes you say something about your day they can use to allege you are not as injured as you claim. 

Further, an adjuster may try to trick you into saying something that implies fault. For instance, the adjuster might ask you what you did the day of the accident, especially in the hours leading up to the accident. If you say you were tired because you went to bed late or left late to get to work, the adjuster might claim you caused the crash because of distracted driving or drowsy driving. 

Do not agree to speak with an adjuster on a recorded line. Always ask if your conversation is being recorded each time you speak with an adjuster. It is better to allow your attorney to deal with the insurance company for you and avoid these conversations altogether. 

Insurance Adjusters Undervalue Damages 

Your damages represent the harm and loss you experienced because of an accident or injury. In Florida, you can recover economic damages for monetary losses, such as out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, property damage, and medical bills.

You may also receive non-economic damages. These damages include, but are not limited to, emotional distress, physical pain, and diminished quality of life

The insurance adjuster will try to minimize your damages to lower the value of your claim, especially pain and suffering damages. It is not the insurance adjuster’s duty to tell you what damages you are entitled to receive for a personal injury claim. 

Shifting the Blame to a Victim Is a Common Tactic 

Florida’s modified comparative negligence law can bar you from receiving any money for your claim if you are more than 50% to blame for causing the accident. Even if you are partially to blame, the law reduces your compensation by your level of fault. 

For example, if you are 45% to blame for causing a car accident, you are only entitled to 65% of your damages. Therefore, insurance adjusters often try to shift some of the blame for the accident to the victim to lower the value of the claim. If the insurance company suggests you could be partially at fault, stop talking with them and call an attorney immediately. 

Note that this doctrine applies only to claims against the other driver, not your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. You can receive PIP benefits regardless of fault.

Offer Quick Settlements To End the Claim 

An insurance adjuster may offer a quick settlement, especially if they know you need the money. The adjuster may try to get you to settle before you complete medical treatment. If you settle before you complete medical treatment, you may receive much less than your case is worth

You must remember that accepting a settlement offer ends your car accident case. When you sign the settlement agreement, you waive your right to pursue legal action to recover damages, even if you realize your claim was worth more money.

Don’t let the insurance adjuster in your case talk you into settling without seeking legal advice or tricking you into saying something that could hurt your case. However, be mindful of intentional delays in your case. If the statute of limitations expires, the court could dismiss any lawsuit you file for missing the filing deadline for a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact Winters & Yonker for a Free Consultation With Our Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers

Schedule a free consultation with our Tampa personal injury attorneys at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (813) 223-6200 or filling out our online form to receive an honest assessment of the value of your personal injury claim. Let us handle the insurance company for you while you focus on recovering after an accident or personal injury.

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