San Diego personal injury and car accident lawyer discusses obtaining a fair offer from the insurance adjuster
I probably don’t even have to tell you that getting a reasonable offer from the insurance companies on your own is tough. The insurance companies aren’t in the business of paying out as much as they can.
On the contrary, they’re out to pay as little as they can. If they can get you to accept $1,000 when you might win $10,000 or more from a jury, that’s a huge win for them. They have endless amounts of data from many trials and settlements. They have a good idea what you would win in a jury trial (although there are always surprises). They also know that if they can get you to accept a lower amount in settlement, they’ll have great numbers to tell their supervisors and managers.
So if you’re in a car accident what can you do? You can be extra cautious when dealing with any insurance adjusters. That includes your own adjusters. They also have a job to do. And that job may include opposing you, if you end up filing an uninsured motorist claim! So they will look to add “arrows to their quiver.” This means if they come across any information that can be used against you, they will file it away and pull it out if necessary.
So be extra careful when any insurance adjuster contacts you. Don’t agree to give out a statement to the other driver. You may have to give your own insurance company a statement, depending on the terms of your policy. But you don’t have to give it right away. You can ask if a written statement or questions can be submitted instead. Finally, yes you’re on law firm website, so you are doing the right thing by seeking legal information and/or advice.
When can I handle this without a car accident lawyer?
On smaller cases, where total case value is $5,000-6,000, hiring a lawyer might not add value to the case. We are talking about cases where the property damage isn’t substantial, and there was minimal care, such as chiropractic and/or physical therapy only.
In that situation maybe you don’t need to hire a lawyer. If the adjuster offers you enough to satisfy you, then you don’t have to pay the lawyer a significant portion of your settlement.
But that situation is rare, and more often than not, they’re trying to reduce the settlement they’ll have to pay out.
Do I answer then the adjuster calls about my car accident?
Slow down. Don’t tell them much. Speak to a lawyer about your case. Most lawyers offer a free consultation so it doesn’t hurt to give one a call.