After an auto accident, there are many reasons an insurance adjuster may not call you back. Here is a brief list of some common reasons insurance adjusters don't call people back:
1) They are a lousy insurance adjuster who doesn't want to do his/her job. Here at my office, there are a handful of insurance companies that are notorious for not returning calls, putting people on hold indefinitely, or they route every call to voice mail! You are not alone!
2) There are overworked. Most insurance adjusters are hard working folks who simply have too many files on their desk. At any given time, they might have about 200 files on their desk. Usually, this work load mandates they pay more attention to fires on their desk. Your file may simply not be a priority because they have too much work.
3) They did not get your message. Email and voice mail aren't fool proof. Email is usually a good way to communicate because you have a paper trail. Do both when you can.
4) There is no reason for them to call you. For example, if you don't have collision coverage on your car, your insurance company isn't going to fix your car (or rent you a car). Therefore, even though you contacted your insurance company to report an accident, there's really no reason for them to call you after that. If your policy doesn't provide any coverage for your injuries or to fix your car, then they're pretty much done. Don't expect them to call you if there is no real reason for them to do so.
5) You haven't asked them to actually do anything. Calling and reporting an accident doesn't necessarily mean anything. Sometimes clients tell me, "Yeah, I called the insurance company and told them about the accident. They haven't called me back yet." Then I ask, "Did you ask them to actually do anything?" The client replies, "No. I just thought they'd call me..." Well, here is the truth - in most cases, they will call you to inquire if you are making a claim etc. However, in some cases, unless you actually ask them to fix your car, or to help you with an injury claim etc., then some adjusters simply won't call you. In short, you haven't affirmatively asked them to do anything, and it certainly isn't in their best interests to move YOUR personal injury/property damage claim forward. That's your problem - not theirs. So if they don't call you back, ask yourself if you actually asked them to do anything.
Dealing with insurance is often a very frustrating ordeal. There's nothing fun about it. Clarity is key. If you want an insurance adjuster to do something, ask them to do it. If you have a question, ask your question - don't try to read the insurance adjuster's mind. Sometimes you may think the next step in your claim is painfully obvious, but it may not be quite obvious to the insurance adjuster. Truthfully, there are many excellent adjusters out there who can make things easier. If you end up with an excellent adjuster, be thankful!
Also, you need to ask questions and get clarity whenever there is any hint of ambiguity. For example, if they say, "Sure you can rent a car! Just send us the bill when you're done." You then need to ask the follow up questions: "How many days of rental will you pay for? How much per day? What kind of car can I rent?" Don't assume anything. Be clear and ask questions. Send an email follow up for confirmation. If they don't allow email, then fax them confirmation. Don't leave things to interpretation.
So if an insurance adjuster isn't calling you back, there are many reasons for that. Either they are incompetent, overworked, don't owe you a duty to act, or you simply haven't asked them to do anything. If you still can't get their cooperation, it would be a good idea to get their supervisor on the phone. Whatever you do, be civil and maintain your cool at all times. Civility and professionalism usually go a long way.
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.
Hello everybody. This is Robert Mansour, and thank you for watching this brief video. I'm a lawyer in the Los Angeles area, and one of my areas of practice is personal injury. I wanted to make this brief video for you today to implore you not to yell at your insurance adjuster.
Do not scream at the insurance adjuster. Do not fight with the insurance adjuster. Do not use profanity with the insurance adjuster. Don't hang up on the insurance adjuster. I know sometimes these things can be very frustrating, and sometimes insurance adjusters can be very frustrating over the phone. Maybe they're not trying to be frustrating, but you don't understand what they're talking about. You don't understand the rationale or they might be just downright rude.
However, keep in mind, this is potentially the hand that feeds you. So if you get the insurance adjuster all angry with you, do you think that helps or reduces your chances for a fair settlement in your case? You don't want to burn a bridge that you're going to need to cross later on. Here's what invariably happens. The clients will yell and scream at the insurance adjuster and then call me and say, "You need to help me with this," like I'm going to be able to make a miracle at that point. I can't rebuild a bridge sometimes that has been burned.
Sometimes the client has done irreparable harm. So before you lose your cool with the insurance adjuster, you know, pause, take a deep breath, talk to a lawyer, find out what your rights are. Bringing the lawyer in after you've yelled and screamed at the insurance adjuster is rarely going to help the situation. In fact, the insurance adjuster may dig in their heels even deeper than they did before simply to upset you even further.
Do not make it personal if you can avoid it. I know sometimes it's difficult and sometimes it's frustrating, but you may want to bring in a lawyer from the very beginning so that you don't have to handle it at all and just have the attorney handle everything for you. In any case, be very careful when you're dealing with the insurance adjusters, and don't do anything that you might regret later on.
Again, this is Robert Mansour. Thank you very much for watching this brief video. I hope you found it helpful. If you want to reach me, you can call me at the office. (661) 414-7100 or visit my website at valencialawyer.com. Thank you very much for watching.
Dave: In a way you're almost, and I'm going to play devil's advocate here with you a little bit ...
Dave: ... you're almost painting a picture that the insurance companies are the devil. That they are evil and they are to be fought and stayed away from. That can't truly be the case.
Robert: No. Because I used to work for an insurance company for 13 years, before I opened my own law firm. And I was on the other side. My job was to poke holes in these cases. My job, when I got the file, the first thing I would look at, was there a police report? Were they taken away by ambulance? What can we use against this person? And it was all about preserving the interest of the insurance company. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just that, realize that the insurance adjustor is not your advocate. They're the advocate for their employer.
Robert: And they're going to have supervisors to answer to and they're going to be like, "Well why did you pay this much? And why did you pay this claim?" There's always certain insurance adjustors who are much more flexible than others, and of course, for purposes of this segment, we're just being cautiously aware of some of the tricks and the strategies, I should say, that are being employed by insurance companies.
Tami: I want to wrap up our segment with you being able to tell our audience all of the law that you practiced, because obviously you're personal injury. You're a brilliant brilliant estate planner.
Robert: Please. Please. Keep it coming.
Tami: So let our audience know what they can contact you for, what your specialties are.
Robert: Sure. Sure. I appreciate that. I do two areas of law. Having worked for the insurance company as a defense attorney, I now represent victims of serious accidents. And I feel that I can bring a unique twist on that because of my background. But 50 percent of my practice, what we talked about before, wills, living trusts, powers of attorneys, probate, what we call estate planning.
Tami: Very important stuff.
Robert: Thank you.
Tami: Very very important stuff.
Robert: Yeah. Sure.
Tami: And as you can see, he's a great guy to work with. Who wouldn't want to work with Robert Mansour.
Robert: Thank you very much.
Dave: Rob, thanks again.
Robert: You're going to make me blush. Thank you, Dave. Thank you very much.
Dave: It's always great to see you. This is great information. And thank you for being able to talk about it.
Robert: Thank you so much for the opportunity.
Dave: Yeah. When we come back the guys in the crew are going to be happy. Rob's going to be happy. We're all going to be happy. Food is on it's way. Marie Callenders is here. Of course, we always talk about Marie Callenders as the holidays come in so please stay tuned.
When you submit a bill to an insurance company for payment, don't expect the insurance adjuster to simply accept whatever you send them. Whether it's a property damage claim or an injury claim, most adjusters will not accept the bills you send them. They will look for every conceivable reason to reduce the bill you sent them.
Many insurance adjusters will do everything they can to minimize payment on your claim. Some look for reasons not to pay your claim. Insurance companies do not make money by giving you money, they make money by holding onto their money. That means they will look for reasons not to pay or to pay you less than what you expect. Sometimes, you just get unlucky and get assigned an insurance adjuster who thinks everyone who makes a claim is trying to "game the system." Others are working for insurance companies that have company wide policies/culture and software programs designed to reduce claims and payouts. Here are some common arguments:
1) The property damage estimate is too high.
2) The property damage estimate includes items not involved in the accident. (Most adjusters don't actually go to the body shop - they send "estimators" who are arguably beholden to the insurance companies)
3) You treated with the doctor too long (most insurance adjusters don't have medical degrees last time I checked).
4) The charges from the doctor are too high. (This is usually based on software programs arguably designed to favor the insurance companies).
5) The frequency of your treatment was too frequent.
6) The frequency of your treatment was not frequent enough.
7) You waited too long to seek treatment.
8) You sought treatment too soon. You should have waited.
9) You did not have any diagnostic testing like an MRI or CT scan.
10) You should NOT have had diagnostic testing because it was "unnecessary." (and too expensive).
11) Some of the medical records don't specifically mention the accident, so the treatment was obviously unrelated (these are adjusters who can't see the forest from the trees).
12) Your injuries are pre-existing.
If you think about it, the insurance adjuster's job is to "adjust" your claim. That means they have to legitimize their existence by "adjusting" the claim you present to them. If they don't adjust your claim, then it is reasonable to question why they are even employed by the insurance company. Therefore, in an effort to legitimize their position, they MUST adjust the numbers you send them. This is true whether it is a property damage claim or a medical claim. So if the adjuster's job is to "adjust" the numbers, which direction do you think they will adjust? To "increase" the claim or to "decrease" the claim?
While there are rare exceptions, they will typically adjust the numbers downward. It is rare that I see an insurance adjuster simply accept the numbers as given to them. They also rarely "adjust" the number upward. For example, I've never had an adjuster say, "I know you sent me the bill for $5000, but I think the bill should be $10,000!" Can you imagine if an insurance adjuster did that? Therefore, by design, an insurance adjuster will "adjust" your figures downward. I have never seen it the other way around. Be prepared to be disappointed. It's just the way the game is played.
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.
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,