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Dealing with a claims adjuster can become extremely frustrating. You need the claims adjuster to get in touch with you to let you know what has happened with your claim, what the next steps look like, and how much compensation you can expect for your injuries. If you had a car accident, you may need the claims adjuster to let you know when you can take care of vital vehicle repairs or what steps you need to take to get an estimate for those repairs so that you can get your vehicle back sooner.
When the claims adjuster will not call back, you may find yourself wondering what comes next. How can you continue to protect yourself? What steps do you need to take to help ensure that you do not miss out on the compensation you deserve?
Claims adjusters may stop returning your calls for a variety of reasons, some of them directly related to your claim, and some of them related specifically to how the insurance company works. Actually, claims adjusters may stop calling more frequently than the average person thinks when dealing with a personal injury claim; sometimes because they stay too busy to address every phone call, and sometimes as a tactic that may help push you to accept a low settlement.
Legally, the insurance company knows that, once it agrees with you, it has a limited time to pay out the funds you deserve for your injuries. Slowing the claim can offer several advantages to the insurance company.
You have medical bills coming in and other expenses that you need to take care of. You may have to rely on the compensation from your personal injury claim to cover many of those costs. As a result, you may grow increasingly impatient as you wait for the insurance adjuster to call you back. You may find yourself more willing to accept a settlement offer that does not reflect your needs as time goes on. The insurance company knows that waiting may increase your overall impatience and make you more likely to accept their offer. As a result, the insurance adjuster may try to wait on purpose.
Insurance companies exist to make money. When the insurance company pays out a settlement to you, it will no longer have the funds from that settlement. By dragging out the claim process, the insurance company can increase its overall profits for the year.
To make you a settlement offer, or to respond to your attempts at negotiation, the insurance company will need to investigate the accident. That investigation can take considerable time. The insurance company may need to look at all potential causes of the accident, what factors contributed to the accident, and whether you may bear any liability for the accident and your injuries. The insurance company may also want time to look over your medical records or even to investigate you and your activities after the accident, especially if you claim substantial disability.
Sometimes, an overworked insurance adjuster may choose not to call you back because they have nothing new to report. No new information has come out, and the company still needs time to investigate the accident. In the meantime, the insurance adjuster may not have a reason to choose to communicate with you.
The insurance company may choose to communicate with you on its timeline. For example, the insurance adjuster might think that you have lied about the extent of your injuries or how they affect you, which means that the insurance company might wait until you feel pressured and become more likely to trip yourself up.
Dealing with delays in insurance processing can make it very difficult to move forward, especially as your bills start to pile up. You may need to take care of your medical expenses quickly. You might feel increasingly frustrated by the losses you have dealt with after the accident. Unfortunately, the insurance company will typically serve its best interests over yours.
Frequently, insurance companies have too few adjusters working to manage too many claims, especially in the case of sudden jumps in claims or accidents in general. Overworked adjusters may not have time to respond to all the claims on their desks or to deal with all the questions that come their way. Sometimes, they may have to prioritize. Other times, some claims may fall through the cracks. Most adjusters do not mean it as a personal slight, and you should not take it as one. However, you can acknowledge that you need to receive communications more frequently.
Some time has passed since the claims adjuster’s last call. You have made calls of your own but still have not received a call back. What should you do next? You may have issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible. What can you do?
If you suffered injuries in an accident, you should work with a lawyer to help manage your claim as effectively as possible anyway. A lawyer can help give you a better understanding of how much compensation you deserve, what the claims process should look like, and when you should expect compensation for your injuries.
A lawyer can also help move the claim process through more smoothly. Sometimes, a lawyer can help put pressure on the insurance company, which may give you a better chance of getting the attention you need. Other times, just showing that you have a lawyer and intend to pursue the full compensation you deserve can increase the odds that the insurance company will move your claim forward more efficiently.
Working with a lawyer can also help give you a better idea of your options and your rights after a car accident, which may make it easier for you to make decisions about your claim. A lawyer can help review the insurance policy that covers the liable party, discuss your options with you, and give you a better idea of what can make your life easier as you manage your injuries and your claim.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, and you need to take care of repairs to your vehicle sooner, you may have the option to use your own auto insurance. Some people balk at the idea of filing through their own insurance companies when the other driver clearly caused the accident. However, if you need to take care of repairs faster, you may find that using your personal insurance company can offer a more effective strategy.
If you carry collision coverage on your vehicle, it will provide compensation that will allow you to cover the cost of repairs regardless of who caused an accident, minus the cost of your deductible. Your insurance company will usually approve repairs to your vehicle within a matter of days. If you have to wait on the other driver’s insurance company, on the other hand, you may find yourself waiting for weeks, or perhaps even longer, to get the go-ahead to begin repairs. Your insurance company may also argue less about the provider you choose to manage your vehicle repairs.
If you do use your collision coverage to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle, your insurance company will then pursue compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. Once your insurance company receives that check, you will typically receive your deductible back, as well. In the meantime, you will have the use of your vehicle.
California drivers have the option to add MedPay insurance coverage to their auto insurance. MedPay insurance offers coverage or compensation for medical bills you sustain as a result of a car accident. You can use your MedPay coverage regardless of who caused the accident, allowing you to take care of your medical bills, avoid collections, and get the treatment you need for your injuries.
If you carry personal medical insurance, it can serve as a vital defense against potentially high medical bills, from the cost of emergency transport immediately after the accident, to the cost of surgical care, physical therapy, and your ongoing medical expenses. Medical insurance can help limit out-of-pocket payments and ensure that you do not have to take care of all of those medical costs on your own.
Your doctor may have created a care plan that includes a highly specific set of instructions that help increase your odds of making a full recovery. That may mean going through certain treatments, doing exercises that will help you regain strength and mobility, or avoiding certain activities that could worsen your injuries or slow down your recovery.
While you wait to hear back from the claims adjuster, continue to follow the instructions your care provider has laid out. If you ignore those instructions, not only could it slow down your recovery, it could prevent you from receiving the full compensation you might deserve for your injuries.
The insurance company might try to show that your steps worsened your injuries and that, as a result, you may not deserve the compensation you asked for.
If you can show that you followed your care plan, on the other hand, it can make it easier to establish the compensation you may deserve for those injuries.
Social media posts, all too often, make difficulties for the victims of serious accidents. Sometimes, you might want to talk about your accident online and share information about what your recovery has looked like. You might want to share your triumphs with all your friends and loved ones or ask for their prayers and support during your recovery.
Those social media posts, however, can allow the insurance company to judge your progress on its own. Social media often reflects a distorted view of what your recovery looks like often by portraying you as further down the road to recovery than you have traveled, since you may want your followers to celebrate with you insurance adjusters may use that information to minimize the compensation they offer.
You may also need to watch the information you post about your other activities during your recovery. Sometimes, you may want to post about the activities you have enjoyed with friends and loved ones after the accident. You may want to continue to share those memories for future you to look back on, or you might want to post some positive moments in the chaos surrounding your accident.
However, sometimes, those posts may prevent you from seeking the compensation you may deserve. The insurance company may, for example, use those posts to help prove that your injuries do not limit you as much as you claimed. If you can engage in those activities, the insurance company might argue, you can certainly work. The insurance company may not account for the pain you faced because of those activities or the other sacrifices you made to enjoy that single activity.
When managing a personal injury claim, especially when the insurance adjuster will not call you back, stay patient. Personal injury claims can take time, often more than you initially anticipated. If you have questions about your claim, including how to deal with an insurance adjuster, contact an attorney to learn more or to receive help managing your claim.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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