If you have been in a car accident in California, you will have to file an insurance claim to receive compensation for your damages. This compensation will cover expenses such as property damage, medical expenses, and other accident-related losses. However, to determine the value of these losses, the insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to evaluate your case.
An insurance claims adjuster is the person assigned by your insurance company to conduct an investigation into your accident and assess your damages. While insurance adjusters are available for multiple types of incidents, you will most likely encounter one when you are seeking damages after a car accident. They must undergo training and apply for a license for the state of California to recognize them as an insurance adjuster.
The main role of the insurance adjuster is to launch a detailed investigation into your claim by inspecting your damage, reviewing applicable police reports, interviewing witnesses, and talking to other people involved in your accident. After the investigation, the adjuster will inform the company of the damage and calculate your financial losses.
It is important to note that the insurance adjuster does not work for you – he or she works for the insurance company. Since the company is ultimately responsible for paying for your losses, it is not in their best interest to offer you the highest settlement possible. A personal injury attorney in San Jose can help evaluate your offer and negotiate for a higher payout based on your damages.
One of the first steps your insurance claims adjuster will engage in is to conduct a visual inspection of your vehicle. Depending on your car accident circumstances, you may need to submit pictures yourself or the insurance company will send an adjuster to you. The insurance adjuster will take photos of your vehicle, ask you questions about your accident, and send the information to the insurance company. Depending on your situation, the insurance adjuster may refer you to a repair shop.
Since your car suffered damages, your insurance company will likely send you to a repair shop. In some cases, the insurance adjuster will require you to send your car to a repair shop approved by the insurance company. The repair shop will give you an estimate for your repairs and send the information to your insurance company.
In other cases, your insurance adjuster may require you to visit several repair shops to receive the best repair estimate. The company is looking for the most affordable shop to repair your vehicle to lower costs on their end. You can choose whichever repair shop you want to receive repairs at, but the insurance company will likely only cover your costs up to the estimate from the approved repair shop. You may have to cover the difference. Make sure to ask your insurance adjuster to explain your options clearly and carefully.
Another step your insurance adjuster will take during the claims evaluation process is to request police and medical records related to your case. He or she will review the police report to determine if you were at-fault for the accident in any way. If the company finds that you are at-fault, they may not pay for your repairs or offer you a reduced settlement.
Your insurance adjuster will also review your medical reports and contact your health care providers about any bills you received. The purpose of this portion of the investigation is to determine the medical costs the insurance company may need to pay for. However, the insurance company may attempt to lower the settlement they offer you based on some details of your medical records.
Dealing with insurance adjusters can be a challenge, since the company will try to lower your settlement for their benefit. If you have not done so already, obtain the services of a car accident attorney in San Jose to represent you during the claims process and evaluate your settlement offer.