Attorneys are all too familiar with insurance adjusters. However, before I became a lawyer I had little understanding of what an adjuster was, or how they got their name. Therefore, I wrote this article to help car accident victims in Columbia, Orangeburg, and other cities across South Carolina understand the role an adjuster plays in a case so that you can make informed decisions before talking with them or signing any forms.
What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?
An insurance adjuster is the person who decides how much money to offer you. Because insurance companies maximize profit by paying out minimum amounts on claims, the adjuster’s job – from the start – is to make sure you get compensated as little as possible. If you have ever spoken to an adjuster, they may have used a kind tone. They might have said they were going to help you. They may have even told you not to get a lawyer because the attorney would only take your money. In my experience, all of those statements are not true. The insurance adjuster is not your advocate. Furthermore, the main reason they do not want you to hire a lawyer is because represented people generally receive considerably more money than unrepresented people. In fact, in a survey from Nolo.com, respondents who hired a lawyer walked away with an average of $77,600 in compensation, compared to an average of $17,600 for those who handled their own claim.
If you want a glimpse into the mind of an adjuster, consider the following story:
A bad wreck spun a car off the highway and down an embankment, where it crashed into a tree. The driver side door was crushed, and the injured driver went from earning a steady income and paying for his son’s college tuition to borrowing money from family in order to buy groceries.
When I told the insurance adjuster that the man’s well-documented back pain was so severe that he could no longer sit on his furniture, but instead had to use a folding chair to watch TV and eat meals, the adjuster’s response was, “What do you want me to do, buy the guy a new folding chair?”
These people rarely understand you. They often look at you as nothing more than a claim number, and I doubt they will ever appreciate the lost quality of life you experience because of a car accident. In sum, they are your adversary.
Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Insurance adjusters are well-trained, well-funded, and have a near endless supply of defense attorneys to choose from in their quest to beat you. While not every auto accident case needs a lawyer, if you have suffered real injuries due to another party’s negligence, I strongly encourage you to at least consult a car accident lawyer prior to signing any forms, giving any statements, or taking on this adversary alone. To find out how I can help, call today at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC), or start a live chat 24/7 with a real, live person to arrange a free and confidential consultation.