Man taking picture of damage done to car

What You Need to Know About Insurance Adjusters for Car Accident Claims in New Jersey

By Greg Kohn

When you are injured in a car accident that is not your fault, your first step in recovering compensation for your injuries and losses is typically to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance provider. The insurance company usually assigns an insurance adjuster to your case. The insurance adjuster investigates the claim on behalf of the insurance company and usually has the authority to settle the claim within certain limitations. Our New Jersey car accident attorneys discuss two very important things that you need to understand when dealing with insurance adjusters regarding car accident claim.

Insurance Adjusters Do Not Work for You

The insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. Therefore, the adjuster has the insurance company’s best interest as his top priority. Even if the insurance company handling the car accident claim is your insurance provider, the claims adjuster still does not work for you. When deciding the outcome of your insurance claim, the insurance adjuster will always place the best interest of the insurance company first.

What is the best interest of the insurance company? The insurance company seeks to pay as little as possible to resolve your car accident claim. Therefore, the adjuster assigned to your claim will search for ways to deny your claim or lower the value of your claim. The adjuster may not be completely honest with you about why he wants a recorded or written statement or why he is requesting a signed medical authorization. Always assume that the adjuster is asking for information that he can use to protect the insurance company. It is usually best to consult with a car accident lawyer before providing statements or signing documents for an insurance claims adjuster.

Insurance Adjusters Try to Settle Claims Before You Know Your Damages

If the claims adjuster knows that the insured is at fault for the accident and your damages may be substantial, the adjuster will do everything possible to settle the claim quickly. By settling the claim quickly, the adjuster hopes to pay less for the claim because you are not aware of the full extent of your injuries and losses. The insurance adjuster may offer a quick settlement that is far below the actual value of your claim.

It is never a good idea to settle a car accident claim before you complete medical treatment. Once you settle your claim, you cannot sue the driver for additional damages. Even if you discover that you have additional injuries or sustained a permanent disability because of a car accident, you are barred from seeking additional compensation if you have signed a settlement and release. Therefore, be wary of quick settlement offers from insurance adjusters, especially if you have not completed medical treatment or consulted with a car accident attorney.

Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Car Accident Claim

You have the right to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney regarding your car accident claim. Do not permit an insurance claims adjuster to convince you that you do not need a lawyer. Exercise your right to legal counsel by contacting an attorney after a car accident. The insurance company has a team of legal and other professionals protecting its best interests. You deserve the same. Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey personal injury lawyers today.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.