Typically after an accident and the filing of the claim, the person who suffered an injury will receive a call from a claims adjuster. The adjuster is not working for the accident victim; they are being paid by the insurance company to investigate the claim and to settle for as little as possible.
The claims adjuster will talk to many people over the course of a day, but it may be the first time the accident victim has talked to a claims adjuster. Unlike an experienced injury attorney in Hawaii, most people aren’t sure just what they should say. Too often, they will end up receiving less than they deserved. Both parties would say they only want a fair settlement, but the adjuster’s definition of fair won’t be the same as the injured person’s.
The Adjuster’s Authority
The adjuster’s authority refers to how much they are allowed to offer to settle a claim. On a small claim, the adjuster may have an upper limit of $10,000. More experienced adjusters may be able to offer up to $20,000. Serious claims are handled by the most experienced adjusters or the insurance company’s attorneys.
Adjusters will not tell you the highest amount they are allowed to offer or what the claim is worth. This puts an accident victim at a serious disadvantage when trying to negotiate their own claim.
Be Very Careful About What You Say
Expect the adjuster to say they will be recording the conversation. Respond with a polite “no” to that request and reply that you’ll be happy to answer a few questions, but a recording sounds formal. If the adjuster insists on a recording, let them know you need to speak with your lawyer before continuing the conversation.
When a conversation is recorded, the adjuster will review it later looking for something that could be used as evidence that you didn’t remember the incident correctly, were exaggerating, or trying to mislead the adjuster. Many people don’t want to look weak and they downplay their pain or injuries. However, this makes it easier for the insurance company to pay less than the claim is actually worth.
Yoshida & Associates has over 30 years of experience as an injury attorney in Hawaii. They are completely focused on winning the compensation that their clients are entitled to. Don’t fight the insurance company alone. Contact Autoaccidentattorneyhonolulu.com to schedule a consultation today.
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