September 10, 2018

When you’re injured in a car accident, the insurance company will likely send an adjuster to speak with you at some point during the claims process. When another driver is at fault, their insurance company does its best to try to offer you a settlement out of court.

However, an insurance adjuster is likely to low-ball the amount of compensation you deserve, so it’s always best to speak to a San Bernardino car accident attorney before accepting a settlement offer. The personal injury attorneys at JML Law are experienced negotiators who can fight back against the insurance company to get you the compensation your case deserves.

What Is an Insurance Adjuster?

Insurance adjusters work for an insurance company investigating the facts of the accident and offering a settlement based on what they think the case is worth. Their main goal is to keep the settlement amount as low as possible for the insurance company to they remain profitable. Because of this, they are not looking out for your best interests.

How Do Insurance Adjusters Determine the Worth of a Claim?

Generally, an insurance adjuster will try to get you to take the lowest settlement possible. They have a maximum number in mind of how much they’re willing to pay and start by offering you 25-50 percent less than that figure so they have room to negotiate the payout.

An adjuster will look at the same factors that a jury would. These include medical bills and future medical expenses due to the injury, lost wages or income, emotional distress, or pain and suffering. While costs for medical expenses are pretty straightforward, intangible damages, such as pain and suffering, can be harder to determine.

Quantifying Pain and Suffering Damages

Determining the level of someone else’s pain and suffering is a subjective process, making it next to impossible to come up with a set amount of compensation. Insurance adjusters often use a specific formula to help them come up with what they consider a fair amount. They may pay a claimant per diem where they offer a set amount of money for each day the plaintiff suffers, or it could be calculated using a pain multiplier system where the insurance company pays out the cost of the plaintiff’s medical bills multiplied by a set number. However, the number is most often too low. To get fair compensation, you’ll need to speak with a San Bernardino car accident attorney.

Calculating Other Damages

When determining a settlement amount, insurance adjusters look at two additional factors. These include the strength of the victim’s case and their policy limits.

  • Strength of the case – Insurance adjusters are more likely to offer a substantial settlement if the claimant has a solid case. Insurance companies don’t want claims to go to court because they could lose significantly more money, so they’ll try to settle with you beforehand. However, if your case doesn’t have strong evidence to support it, your offer will be lower because the insurance company isn’t likely to lose as much money if the case goes to court.
  • Monetary policy limits – Keep in mind that insurance companies will never offer you more money than the maximum payout of the insurance policy the at-fault party purchased. For example, if they bought a $30,000 liability policy, then the most the insurance company will offer you for legal fees and compensation will be $30,000.

Once you’re aware of how insurance adjusters work, you’ll see why it’s so important to contact a San Bernardino car accident attorney. The lawyers at JML Law will assist you with your personal injury claim so the insurance company knows you’re serious about your rights and ready to take the case in front of a jury to obtain fair compensation. Call us today at 818-610-8800 for a free consultation.