When you want compensation for injuries in a car accident, you will probably need to deal with an insurance adjuster. For instance, if the other driver is at fault and injures you, your car accident lawyer Portland Oregon will attempt to secure a good settlement from the insurance company. Or, she will file a personal injury lawsuit and take the case to court. Whichever is the case, it’s good to know how the adjuster will view your case.
Insurance Adjuster Motivations: When an insurance company covers a car accident and you file a claim, an adjuster will review the claim to determine its value. Its good to remember that the adjuster is paid by the insurance company and represents its interests, not yours. This is especially the case when you are dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Their goal: to send you as little money as possible to keep the company happy.
That said, most insurance companies also want to avoid lawsuits because of the expenses involved. Also, juries are unpredictable, so they might give you a much higher payment than was offered during settlement negotiations. Insurance companies usually are motivated to avoid lawsuits. This is even more true when you have a skilled car accident lawyer Portland Oregon working for you.
So, the insurance adjuster wants to get you to accept the lowest number possible, but without a lawsuit going forward.
The adjuster will make an offer based on these factors, as they see it:
- Your actual medical costs to date, and that which will be incurred down the road
- Lost wages, including past and present
- Pain and suffering
- Other negative aspects that the injuries have on your life, including mental anguish and loss of consortium.
Policy Limits: Another vital factor to understand in your settlement negotiations with the adjuster is the policy limits. The company will never pay more than the maximum amount of the policy. If the at-fault driver carried only $25,000 of liability coverage and your injuries are $50,000, you only get $25,000 from the insurance company. You would need to file a lawsuit against the driver for any additional funds, if they have it.
Strength of Your Case: You are more likely to get more money from the insurance company if you present a strong case. With the help of your lawyer, you need to prove the other driver was at fault. Next, you must show that your injuries are from the car accident, and you have damages. The plaintiff who has the most documented proof of these three items will get the best settlement.
You and your lawyer will need to provide documents showing your medical bills, diagnosis, prognosis, and any proof of fault in the accident, such as witness statements and the police report. Now that you understand more how insurance adjusters view your case, you will be better prepared to negotiate a good settlement.