Having been involved in a vehicle accident, one of the things you may need to do is to contact the insurance company of the negligent driver. Under the West Virginia personal injury laws, the individual or entity responsible for the accident is held liable to pay for any injuries and damages resulting from it.
If you are the victim and you initiate a claim using the insurance of the at-fault party, the insurer usually assigns an insurance adjuster to your case. The adjuster is the sole contact that you rely on to move the claims process forward. Problems manifest themselves when the insurance adjuster stops taking or returning your calls.
The Insurance Adjuster Not Returning Calls Is a Common Issue
The insurance company adjusters going silent is a common complaint. Injured victims of accidents already going through a stressful time do not want the additional hassle of dealing with the intricacies of an insurance claim.
All they are looking for is to be updated about their claim, and the assurance of their claim being handled in a professional and fair manner. However, the situation rarely pans out that way. The insurance company adjusters, besides being up to their necks with claims, are a part of the system that is inherently designed to cut the insurer’s losses by slowing down the entire process and reducing the number of claims. This is especially true with truck accidents that typically involve a much higher dollar amount.
The Reasons Why Your Adjuster Might Not Return Your Calls after an Accident
Insurance Company Profit is the Prime Mover
Insurance companies are businesses that are out there to generate profits for their owners and stakeholders. And while there might be nothing wrong with that, the real problem arises out of the simple premise that the lesser claims they pay out, the more profitable they are.
While slowing down or rejecting claims creates more profit for the insurance company, it also incentivizes the insurance adjusters to deny or devalue your claim because the lesser the payout, the more they get to keep.
Your Desperation Helps Drive Down the Claim Value
The most common way an adjuster does this is by stretching out the claims process. They deal with injured victims of accidents day in and day out. And they are fully aware of the desperate situation you are in, with your medical bills piling up, car damages to be paid, and financial constraints due to loss of earnings, while you are trying to recover from your injuries.
The adjuster is fully aware that the longer they drag your case, the more pressure will build on you, and the more desperate you become, the more likely you are to accept any settlement offer that finally comes your way. Even if it might be much lower than you deserve for your injuries, damages, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
The Insurance Company Is Not Liable Until Forced
You need to be aware of the fact that the insurance company adjuster is not calling you or returning your calls simply because they do not have to. They usually get away with their delaying tactics because they are not legally bound by a fixed timeline, and they are not technically breaking any law by delaying or even rejecting your claim.
The onus is on you to either accept their settlement offer, however meager or unfair it might be, or take them to trial where a jury could force them to shell out full and fair compensation for your injuries.
It is vital that you consult with a seasoned car accident attorney who can skillfully negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf or take them to trial if the need arises.
What Should I Do When the Insurance Company Adjuster Does Not Call Back?
If you sustained injuries and damages in an accident because of someone else’s fault, you will have many pressing problems that need to be handled promptly, such as medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair, and arranging alternative transportation. While waiting for the adjuster to return your calls, you could utilize the following options:
If You Have Full Coverage Insurance for Your Vehicle
If you decide to cover the damage using your own insurance, the deductible that you are likely to have, will be refunded by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Also, your insurance company may waive the deductible on your request, which is a fairly common practice. Since you are using your own insurance carrier to cover the property damages, you can expect a better service without having to wait for the other insurance company to call you back.
If You Do Not Have Full Coverage Insurance for Your Vehicle
In this scenario, you will have no choice but to work with the other insurance company to take care of your property damage and alternative transportation. The choices you are left with are either to call frequently in an effort to force the adjuster to give you a priority, or request intervention by a supervisor to help force your claim through.
Experienced Vehicle Accident Attorneys in Charleston, WV
For the victim of an accident, the best outcome is that the at-fault party’s insurance company offers a full and fair settlement. Unfortunately, that is not how it usually works. We at Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. handle insurance adjusters as part of our job, to take away your frustration and stress arising out of handling an insurance claim on your own.
We would also not hesitate to take your accident case to trial and allow a judge and jury to decide, if the settlement negotiations do not make a headway. Contact us today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 or fill up our online contact form to request your free consultation.