It happened again today. I met with a potential new client who told me the adjuster kept calling and offering her a settlement of $500. The adjuster explained that in his experience, her kind of injury will probably fade over time and a couple of visits to the doctor "should do it." Really? This adjuster who probably has no medical degree has diagnosed my client over the phone and told her she will be getting better soon. Then he offers her $500 to cover a "couple of visits to the doctor" and a little bit for "your pain and suffering." He asks her to sign a general release in exchange for the money. He promises her this outcome is fair and routine in his experience. Not knowing much better, victims of accidents are often taken to the cleaners by overzealous claims adjusters who have forgotten their purported mission is to help others...not save nickels for an insurance company.
The sad thing is that many insurance adjusters handling first party claims (i.e., claims for their own clients/insureds) are treating their own insureds just as poorly - with disdain and suspicion. Claims are denied or marginalized simply because they can be. The playing field is hardly level, and the insurance companies are keenly aware of that simple fact.
The focus is on saving money for the insurance company and "closing" their file. Unfortunately, and I can say this after years in the business working both sides of the fence, too many adjusters have lost sight of the forest. Many are so jaded after years of dealing with crooks and others trying to game the system. They have forgotten that every so often, a legitimate claims comes through.
If you are offered $500 as a quick settlement a few days after an accident, you should likely run the offer by an experienced personal injury attorney who won't simply tell you what you want to hear. If you need help with your Santa Clarita, CA accident case, call attorney Robert Mansour at (661) 414-7100 for a free consultation.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.