Sometimes clients call me and wonder why their case has been apparently handled so many different adjusters. It might seem like there are many different people handling your case, especially at the very beginning. When you first place a call to the insurance company for the responsible party, or even your own insurance company, you're often greeted by an intake person. This person's job is simply to take the call, get the relevant information, and then turn the matter over to the appropriate department or the appropriate adjuster. These intake people are often very friendly and in some cases may give you false hope that everything is going to be simple and easy. Keep in mind, they have no reason to be unpleasant with you, and in most cases, they are so nice that you may have a false sense of security that everything in your case is going to turn out just fine. They assure you that they're going to take care of everything, that there's nothing to worry about, and so on. I'm not suggesting these folks are lying to you...I'm just suggesting their pleasant demeanor is not necessarily indicative of everyone you're going to encounter.
The next adjuster who might help you is usually the property damage adjuster. This person's job is to help you resolve your property damage claim. Whether or not it is your insurance company or not, this adjuster will often arrange for your vehicle to be inspected either by their own in-house inspectors, and/or the body shop. Sometimes, the property damage adjuster will send an inspector to take a look at your car wherever it might be. They will often give a preliminary assessment and in many cases write up an estimate. If your vehicle is a an obvious total loss, sometimes that's all it takes. In some cases, your vehicle will be taken to a shop where you will receive a more detailed estimate. The property damage adjuster may also arrange for you to get a rental car. Make sure that the rental car arrangement is strictly between the insurance company and the rental car company. All you need to do is pick up the car and return the car. If your vehicle is a total loss, you might hear from a "total loss" adjuster.
Another adjuster you might hear from is the bodily injury adjuster. If you are making an injury claim, your case will be assigned to a bodily injury adjuster whose job it is to review your medical records and bills and compensate you for your injuries. Keep in mind, this person does not have your interests at heart. They work for the insurance company, and their job is to take a very conservative stance when it comes to your medical bills. Don't believe it when they tell you they will "handle" all your bills and just to send it to them. If the bills get too high, the adjuster will argue your bills are too high and will not want to pay them. If you treat for too long, the adjuster might give you a hard time about that as well.
You need to know there are many different people at the insurance company that might handle your claim. Some insurance companies have even gone to a "team approach." Every time you call, you might get somebody different. The person taking your call might work for a particular team that handles your file. In some cases, this is very convenient because you don't have to speak with the same person every time. You don't have to play as much "phone tag." By the same token, the inverse is true, as it could also be very frustrating because you may have to rehash what you spoke about even though they try to keep copious notes at their end.
If you need help with your personal injury case, call our office at (661) 414-7100 to see if we can assist you. Thank you so much for visiting our website.
One of my clients got involved in a minor car accident. He called me and asked me if it was okay for him to accept the $750 check sent to him by the responsible party's insurance company.
I asked when the accident occurred, and he told me that it has occurred about three months ago. I asked him what kind of injuries he had. He told me that he had some minor back pain on the date of the accident but otherwise didn't have pain since the date of the act. He also told me his vehicle only had about $600 worth of property damage. He also told me that he only had about two days rental. He had already been paid for his vehicle and the rental.
I asked how much his medical bills were, and he told me they were relatively small - only about $150. He said he was feeling much better and hadn't had any pain that he related to the accident recently. I told him that in that case, he could go ahead and accept the $750 settlement from the other insurance company. Basically, their offer certainly seemed reasonable in light of the minor nature of the accident and injuries.
Even if he were to get a bit more with an attorney's assistance, he might get less in the long run since the attorney usually takes 33.3% of the settlement as a fee. In many cases, an attorney can bring value to a case. However, when it comes to very minor accidents, it makes sense to try to settle the case on your own. If it makes sense, go ahead an accept the offer made by the insurance company. However, it doesn't hurt to run things by an experienced personal injury lawyer.
If you are involved in a serious car accident and want guidance, call attorney Robert Mansour to discuss your matter. Robert serves all of Los Angeles County with special emphasis on the Santa Clarita Valley (Valencia, Castaic, Saugus, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, and Canyon Country). Call (661) 414-7100 for more information.
Clients often wonder how long their case will take. One of my clients recently emailed me and asked, "Have they made an offer on my case yet?" I explained, "Well, you haven't finished treating with your doctors yet, and we don't know the extent of your bills or injuries. Therefore, we haven't formally presented your case to the insurance company yet. As such, they haven't made an offer on your case."
Clients sometimes want to put the cart before the horse. They want to hurry things along. They think the insurance company is going to make them an offer quickly, at the outset of their case. I think this is because people still think certain body parts are worth a certain amount. I really don't know why this is, but I often have to explain to clients that the insurance company for the responsible party is not going to make an offer on the case prematurely. The case has to be "ripe" before an offer is made. True, sometimes an insurance company will make you a paltry offer at the beginning of your case, but that's only because they are hoping you will take their low-ball offer and go away.
Therefore, to answer the question "How long will my personal injury case take?" there are many factors to consider:
(1) Are you still treating for your injury and what is the extent of your injury? The more serious your injury, the longer things will take.
(2) How much money are you asking for? The more you ask for, the longer your case will take.
(3) Is the adjuster handling your case overworked? Some adjusters are handling 200 cases at a time. You are simply one of many and they will get to your case when they can.
(4) Is the adjuster competent? Some adjusters never answer their phone or return phone calls. This can also delay your case.
(5) Are you providing your lawyer with the information and documentation he/she requests in a timely manner? Some of my clients are very helpful and responsive and some think documents are going to magically appear on my desk. The more responsive my client is, the more quickly I can present their case.
Therefore, while most personal injury cases resolve within 4 to 5 months, that doesn't mean your particular case will resolve within the same time frame.
If you have been involved is a personal injury accident in Santa Clarita or its surrounding areas, call attorney Robert Mansour at (661) 414-7100 for a free consultation.
After a car accident, you will probably get a call from the responsible party's insurance company. They will assign an "adjuster" to investigate your claim. In some cases, they will call you the same day or within a few days of the accident. You are under no obligation to speak to them, and I usually advise against it. They are calling you for several reasons. First, it's their job. That's what insurance adjusters do all day. They call people and interview them about accidents.
Second, they evaluate claims and make decisions regarding liability. Some do so in a very fair manner. Others are looking for any reason to deny your claim. Some will threaten you by saying they will "close their file" if you don't return their call (Don't worry about that....they can close their file, and it has nothing to do with your rights to bring a claim or a lawsuit).
They might call you frequently at the beginning because they are busy "investigating" the case. In most cases, they will probably call you every 30 days. In most cases, adjusters need to check on each file every 30 days and eventually report to their supervisors regarding all cases assigned to them. They are often evaluated on how they "move the cases forward" so they may grow impatient with you if you don't return their call. If you hire a lawyer, they aren't supposed to call you anymore. They deal directly with the attorney's office. Therefore, the reason they call you all the time is because they have to do so. You don't have to talk to them. Be polite and civil to them at all times. Remember, at some point in the future, that very same adjuster might make you an offer on your case. You don't want to strain the relationship.
If you need help with your personal injury case or you want to discuss what's going on with the insurance adjuster, feel free to call us at (661) 414-7100.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,