There is an interesting trend that I must discuss today. I got another call from a potential client. He is confused because the insurance adjuster for the responsible party wants to have “coffee” with him. The adjuster wants to “talk” things over with the client. This tactic is usually done a few days after the accident. Trust me…the insurance adjuster doesn’t just want to “talk” to you. They aren’t interested in exchanging recipes, talking about family, or any other chit chat. So why do they want to meet with you?
Unfortunately, some insurance companies are encouraging their adjusters to wrap up their personal injury cases as quickly as possible by meeting claimants in coffee shops or other locations in an effort to get them to settle their case. Generally, they will meet you and present you with a check of some small amount – usually much less than you deserve. They will ask you to sign a release (so they can close their file). Some people who don’t know better end up signing these releases, and they can’t come back if they later discover their injury was worse than they thought or the “settlement” doesn’t even cover their medical bills.
Some insurance adjusters dangle the check in front of you like a carrot. Please understand there is no “emergency” and you don’t have to settle your case right away! In California, as of the writing of this blog entry, you have two years to file suit after an incident has occurred. Therefore, you don’t have to settle anything right away, much less within a week of the accident! Consult an experienced attorney first. It’s in your best interest. Let them dangle the carrot. You certainly don’t need to take it unless you’ve explored your options with a lawyer.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.