Should I Talk to the Other Party's Adjuster?

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Latest post 02-06-2009 10:48 PM by adjuster jack. 5 replies.
  • 02-06-2009 10:14 AM

    Question [=?] Should I Talk to the Other Party's Adjuster?

    Hi all,

    I was involved in pretty severe auto accident yesterday. My car is probably going to be totaled but we both walked away from the accident, albeit very sore. The other driver was at fault and readily admitted this at the scene but according to my insurance company her insurance company has not yet accepted liability.

    Anyway, much to my surprise I received a call from her insurance company less than four hours after the accident. I then called my insurance company and they told me they could talk to them for me but I am wondering if I should speak with them or get an attorney involved.

    Also, are there steps I should take to protect myself just in case the other driver starts to deny fault? I did speak with an attorney but I am not sure if I really need to involve one at this point.

    Thanks!!
  • 02-06-2009 11:14 AM In reply to

    re: Should I Talk to the Other Party's Adjuster?

    I think you'll get a lot of responses telling you not to talk to the other driver's adjuster and to do your talking through a lawyer. That MIGHT be the appropriate thing to do, but maybe not. What I've found helpful when I've been in accidents is to write out what happened. I then review it to see where there might be things missing and to see if there are any inconsistencies in my story. If you do that, you can use it to help you when you talk with the other driver's adjuster.
  • 02-06-2009 3:20 PM In reply to

    re: Should I Talk to the Other Party's Adjuster?

    I don't see any harm in talking to the other driver's adjuster.

    Probably wants to get your side of the story, which is their right, and not something that your insurance person is either obligated or qualified to do.

    You can treat the injury separately from the auto damage by saying something like I have aches and pains and I'll let you know when they go away and then ask Are you going to take care of my car.

    You'll know pretty quick if it's going your way or not.

    Meantime, if you want to describe the details of the accident, one of us might give you some suggestions as to how such a statement might be given to the other insurance company.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 02-06-2009 4:08 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Should I Talk to the Other Party's Adjuster?

    Thanks the responses thus far.

    Actually I don't believe I am legally obligated to personally talk to the other party's adjuster. I do understand that they don't have my interest at heart and would like to pay as little as possible if anything at all. I also don't think having a discussion with an adjuster less than three hours after an accident like this is the best idea.

    I am not really clear on who pays what. My understanding is that my insurance company will pay me the value of my car minus the deductible which the other party's insurance company will pay if they admit liability. Is that correct?

    Just to give you a brief description of the accident. The other driver attempted to make a left turn in front of me, without seeing me, because another driver waived her through. There was no light or stop sign and I clearly had the right of way. I was going about 30, which was the posted limit, and I had no chance to stop. She apologized immediately after the accident but as everyone knows people can start changing their tone once they have some time to reflect and talk to other people. Physically speaking I am generally sore all over with one part of my body feeling severly bruised.

  • 02-06-2009 4:32 PM In reply to

    Question [=?] re: Should I Talk to the Other Party's Adjuster?

    One other comment or question I have is just generally what should I expect from an insurance company to just make this whole thing go away?
    In other words do they usually try to offer a little higher than the deductible or do they just try to low-ball right away? I guess I just want to be made whole and I truly feel that I shouldn't have to take a loss here even if it's only a few thousand dollars.
  • 02-06-2009 10:48 PM In reply to

    re: Should I Talk to the Other Party's Adjuster?

    "Actually I don't believe I am legally obligated to personally talk to the other party's adjuster."

    Well, no, not "legally" obligated.

    But if you want money from the other party's adjuster, you're going to have to. Ditto if your insurance company pays for your vehicle and looks to the other insurance company for reimbursement, a process for which you are contractually obligated to cooperate with and is likely to require your statement.

    "I do understand that they don't have my interest at heart and would like to pay as little as possible if anything at all."

    Why would you think that. LOL.

    Seriously, if the liability of the other driver is clear, his company has a contractual obligation to him to take care of you properly so that you don't sue him.

    "I also don't think having a discussion with an adjuster less than three hours after an accident like this is the best idea."

    Well, if you don't have your wits about you that soon after the accident, then I certainly wouldn't be having that discussion that soon.

    But, as another response suggested, write down all the details while they are still fresh and then you can just read them to the adjuster.

    "I am not really clear on who pays what. My understanding is that my insurance company will pay me the value of my car minus the deductible which the other party's insurance company will pay if they admit liability. Is that correct?"

    Sort of, but not exactly.

    If you make the claim under your own collision coverage, your company will pay you the Actual Cash Value of the car less your deductible and then subrogate against the other driver for the full amount of the claim including the deductible and IF your company is reimbursed, it will refund your deductible.

    Actual Cash Value is pretty much the used value of the car.

    I suggest you visit the websites of Kelley Blue Book, NADA, and Edmunds and print out price evaluations based on your car and its features. Also check out Craigslist and the Auto Trader to see what the car is selling for with the same features, condition, mileage. All that information will prepare you for the discussion with your adjuster when he comes back and says we're giving you X dollars for your car.

    "Just to give you a brief description of the accident. The other driver attempted to make a left turn in front of me, without seeing me, because another driver waived her through. There was no light or stop sign and I clearly had the right of way. I was going about 30, which was the posted limit, and I had no chance to stop. She apologized immediately after the accident but as everyone knows people can start changing their tone once they have some time to reflect and talk to other people."

    Generally, people who make left turns and hit somebody (or get hit) are presumed to have failed to yield and are responsible for the accident.

    I suspect once the other driver's insurance adjuster confirms that there shouldn't be any problem with them paying the claim.

    It's always better to make the claim against the responsible party's insurance rather than against your own, but only if the other insurance responds quickly and properly. But you won't know that till you talk to their adjuster. Then, you still have the option of using your own coverage if you want to.

    "Physically speaking I am generally sore all over with one part of my body feeling severly bruised."

    Then I suggest that you see your doctor and get the once over. Get some pain killers and muscle relaxers. If you still have aches and pains in a couple of weeks, have him refer you to physical therapy for a while till it clears up.

    "One other comment or question I have is just generally what should I expect from an insurance company to just make this whole thing go away?"

    There's is no such thing as just making the whole thing go away. There's bound to be inconvenience no matter which insurance company you deal with.

    "In other words do they usually try to offer a little higher than the deductible or do they just try to low-ball right away? I guess I just want to be made whole and I truly feel that I shouldn't have to take a loss here even if it's only a few thousand dollars."

    Theoretically, other than your deductible, you should be put back in the same financial position that you were in before the accident.

    The reality is, however, that nobody every comes out 100% but I don't see why you should think you'll lose a few thousand dollars.

    Try not to expect trouble where there might not be any.

    But if there is some, feel free to come back with any questions you might have as things unfold.
    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
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