After the holder of an automobile insurance policy reports an accident to the insurance company, the insurer opens a file. Then the insurer assigns that file to one of the company’s adjusters. Consequently, that same insurance adjuster directs an investigation.
Adjuster’s actions before a claim has been made:
Get a statement from the person holding the insurance policy. That could be the person that reported the accident. You need to get any official records, such as a police report or an incident report.
Adjuster’s actions if someone files a personal injury claim, regarding the accident on file.
The adjuster requests the relevant documents: the claimant’s medical records, the claimant’s medical bills, the proof of any alleged loss of earnings, and the proof of any property damage. Check to see if the claimant has filed claims for other accidents. Look to see what the claimant/plaintiff has posted on any social media networks. Study any reports from investigators in the field, who have been following the claimant/plaintiff. Review the limits that were stated in the policy that was issued to the plaintiff.
Requests that the adjuster might make:
• Request that claimant/plaintiff sign a form, authorizing release of all of his or her medical records.
• Request a taped statement from the plaintiff/claimant.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Sherwood Park usually advise their clients not to honor such a request. The medical records or the statement might contain information or comments that could be used against the plaintiff/claimant.
Actions that might be made in response to communications from the plaintiff/claimant.
If the demand letter did not include any pictures of the damaged vehicle, the adjuster might send someone to photograph that same vehicle.
If the plaintiff’s response to a low ball offer has taken the form of a request for justification of such low figures, then the adjuster’s time might be spent reviewing the points of the law, those that might justify the adjuster’s low ball offer.
Adjusters spend a good deal of time on the phone, sharing the results of their investigations with the claimants that have received the adjusters’ offers. During such a conversation, the adjuster might make a bit higher offer.
How adjusters benefit from the present-day technology?
Before introduction of digital cameras on cell phones, adjusters had to devote time to taking pictures of each claimant’s damaged vehicle. Now many claimants snap pictures with their cell phones.
Before introduction of social media networks, adjusters had to rely solely on private investigators, in order to unearth performance by the plaintiff of actions that he or she had told a doctor were impossible, due to the accident-related injury. Now some adjusters spend the bulk of their time reviewing the pictures and other bits of information that various claimants have posted online.