There is a popular insurance carrier commerical involving a cute litte animated reptile and an insurance business man sitting behind a desk. The ad goes something like this: The business man says to the cute little animal "Lets play a game of trust" and then he falls backwards and the little animal doesn't catch him. My kids think the little animal is cute. I have to admit, he is kind of cute. But for me there is a huge disconnect between that cute little animal and the company it represents. Except for in this commercial - the cute little animal doesn't step up to the plate and do his job when its his turn! When the man trusts him enough to catch him, the little guy doesn't! It reminds me of how people pay their insurance premiums and trust the insurance carrier to pay when its their turn to pay - but guess what, more often than not, the insuance carrier acts like that cute little animal in the commercial.
So should you trust an insurance claims adjuster after an accident?
Check out This Book titled "From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves." There is also an article from around 1997 that appeared in Forbes or Fortune, but I can't seem to find it, but it explained how Allstate's new strategy was to make money, not by collecting premiums but by denying claims.
Watch The Rainmaker Movie again and pay special attention to when they get the fired claims adjuster on the stand and they ask her what her job was and she says something like "Delay, Delay, Delay and then Deny, Deny, Deny." That movie involved the health insurance industry, but comparisons can be made to the auto insurance industry.
My husband and law partner was an insurance claims adjuster back in the 1980s for a few years, he remembers that he was trained to get to the accident victims as soon as possible after the accident and before they hired attorneys because the insurance carrier would typically pay out 4 times less to an unrepresented accident victim than it would to an attorney represented accident victim.
So should you trust an insurance claims adjuster after an accident? My advice is to seek the advice of a good personal injury attorney - someone you know or who is recommended to you by a friend or family member. Talk to a personal injury attorney about what they know about how auto accident claims are handled and whether you should trust an insurance claims adjuster, most likely you'll hear some stories about what insurance companies do that will shock you. Ultimately the decision is yours, you can handle a personal injury claim on your own --- you can also perform your own denistry (like my father-in-law does) but I wouldn't recommend it. Get the advice of an attorney before giving any recorded statements or signing any documents, authorizations or releases with the insurance carrier.
If you have questions about auto accidents or how claims are handled, please feel free to call me at 1-800-INJURED (in the Greater Tampa Area - call 727-321-0099 outside of the Tampa Area) or email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.