What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster, also commonly called a claims adjuster, claims analyst, claims specialist, or claims representative, is an individual who investigates insurance claims to determine whether the insurer should compensate a party for injuries or property damage.
For example, when a person gets into a car wreck and files an insurance claim for vehicle damage, the insurance company assigns an insurance adjuster to the matter to determine the filer’s eligibility for compensation. In addition to providing financial compensation, insurance adjusters often work with parties to arrange vehicle inspections and repair services.
However, as discussed below, insurance adjusters don’t always have accident victims’ best interests in mind. Therefore, following an accident, it is always wise to seek legal assistance before filing a claim with an insurance company.
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What Is the Role of an Insurance Adjuster?
After an injured person files an insurance claim, the process of negotiating a settlement amount is usually handled by an insurance adjuster for the responsible party’s insurance company.
However, an insurance claim may be referred to an independent insurance adjuster rather than the insurance company’s own adjuster. This is a common occurrence when an insurance company doesn’t have a local claims office in the area where the accident occurred.
In addition, public entities like cities and governments sometimes have their own claims adjustment departments.
Examples of the types of claims handled by insurance adjusters include:
- Car accidents
- Property damage
- Animal attacks
- Injuries caused by defective products
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice claims
- Construction injuries
Most kinds of claims that are filed with an insurance company are assigned to an insurance adjuster for the purpose of investigation.
During an insurance claim investigation, the insurance adjuster attempts to do the following:
- Determine whether the company should pay the claim because the insured party was at fault for causing the property damage or injury
- Determine how much the insurance company should pay the injured party to settle the insurance claim
Adjusters are known to undervalue claims to limit their liability, which is why having an attorney helping you is essential.
Insurance Adjusters Do Not Work for Injury Victims
Injury victims must understand that insurance adjusters do not work for them. Rather, insurance adjusters work for insurance companies. Therefore, the role of an insurance adjuster is ultimately to protect the best interests, i.e., the finances, of the insurance company.
This applies even if it means that the insurance adjuster must take actions that are not in the best interests of the injured party. In furtherance of this, insurance companies train their insurance adjusters to use strategies and tactics designed to convince injury victims to accept unfair settlements.
Fortunately, by contacting a personal injury attorney immediately after an accident, injury victims can protect themselves from the unscrupulous tactics of insurance adjusters.
Insurance Adjusters and the Settlement Process
Most insurance adjusters are tasked with handling between 50 and 100 claims every month, and their employers expect them to move through these claims quickly. In other words, they don’t usually take the time to become overly familiar with each claim they handle.
An insurance adjuster’s job performance is judged primarily by two things: (1) how quickly they can settle claims; and (2) how little they can pay out to injury victims.
An adjuster’s performance is also judged by the number of claims they can settle without having to involve a supervisor or insurance company attorney. Insurance adjusters are usually permitted to settle claims that fall within a certain monetary range. So, if an insurance adjuster can’t deny a claim outright, they attempt to settle it for the lowest possible amount.
An NYC Personal Injury Lawyer Will Level the Playing Field
Insurance adjusters attempt to pay out as little as possible to injury victims. To achieve this goal, they employ various tactics and strategies. However, when an injured party obtains the services of an experienced personal injury attorney, it signals to the insurance adjuster and insurance company that they mean business.
Injured parties who obtain legal representation arm themselves with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain the financial compensation they deserve.
Contact a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Dealing With an Insurance Adjuster
If you’ve been involved in an accident in New York, you should contact an experienced New York personal injury lawyer from Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., at (212) 514-5007 for a free consultation. They’ll help you communicate and negotiate with insurance adjusters to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case.