If you are injured because of the negligence or carelessness of another person, you are entitled to recover damages under California’s personal injury laws. In most cases, the other party’s insurance company assigns an adjuster to work with you to settle your claim. This person represents the insurance company. An adjuster does not work for you nor the party that caused your injury.
The adjuster’s job is to protect the interests of the insurance company by paying the least amount of money for your claim. To perform their job effectively, there are three things that an insurance adjuster hopes you do not know about personal injury claims.
You are not required to provide a statement.
An insurance adjuster may try to convince you that you need to provide a written or recorded statement to process your claim. It is not in your best interest to consent to a written or recorded statement because anything you say in your statement could be used later in your case. It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney before providing a statement.
Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may want you to wait until a trial to provide a statement because he does not want anything in evidence that you previously told the adjuster to contradict your testimony. If you do consent to a statement, you want an attorney to review the statement or counsel you before you provide any recorded statement.
You do not need to sign a medical release.
Much like a statement, the insurance adjuster wants to use a medical release to obtain as much information as possible in hopes of finding something that the company can use to deny or lower the value of your claim. Before your claim is settled, you will need to provide the insurance company with medical records related to the insurance from the accident.
However, you do not want to provide a general medical release that allows the insurance company to comb through your entire medical history searching to pre-existing conditions that it can use to argue your current injuries did not result from the accident. An attorney will review your medical records and provide the insurance company the records it needs to settle your claim and nothing else.
A quick settlement is usually a lower amount than your claim is worth.
If the adjuster knows that your claim might be worth a substantial amount of money, he may offer you a smaller amount very quickly to settle the claim before you can speak to an attorney. The insurance company would rather settle a large claim quickly before you realize the extent of your injuries.
Before accepting a settlement, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer. The adjuster knows that attorneys offer free consultations; therefore, it does not cost you anything to obtain legal advice before you accept a settlement that may not cover all your damages. We strongly suggest you take advantage of our free consultation before you accept a settlement or sign anything for the insurance company. You may be entitled to more money than you are being offered.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Fresno And Central California Valley