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The Role of Insurance Companies in California Personal Injury Cases

March 31, 2023 in Personal Injury Litigation

Most personal injury cases settle without going to trial. Reaching any settlement requires an agreement between yourself and the insurance company. Understanding the roles which such companies play during each step of a personal injury case can be important to ensure that you receive the highest possible amount of compensation.

Insurance Adjusters Will Often Contact You Shortly After an Accident

Adjusters for the defendant’s insurance company will often contact you shortly after an accident. This is true regardless of whether you have been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, or any other type of incident. These adjusters will typically attempt to schedule a meeting with you and tell you that it is in your interests not to retain an attorney. At this meeting they will likely attempt to reach a quick settlement with you or, if you are still treating your injuries, arrange another meeting for a future date. It is important to remember, however, that these adjusters work for the insurance company. It is their role to settle the case for as little money as possible. They are not interested in protecting your interests. By retaining an attorney and not dealing with the adjusters yourself, you ensure that someone is protecting your rights.

Your Attorney Will Deal With the Insurance Adjusters Directly and Will Submit a Settlement Demand

Once you have retained an attorney, then counsel will inform the insurance adjusters of the representation. The insurance adjusters will then deal with your attorney directly. Once your long-term chances of recovery are reasonably known, your attorney will submit a settlement demand to the insurer. This demand will state the amount of money you are requesting and the calculations used to reach that amount, and it will include documentation supporting your claims. The adjuster and your attorney will then engage in back-and-forth negotiations in an attempt to reach a settlement. If no settlement can be reached, your lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf, and the case will proceed to litigation.

Settlement Negotiations Will Continue After a Lawsuit Has Been Filed

Attorneys for the insurance company will handle the case on behalf of the defendant after a lawsuit has been filed. While the steps of litigation, such as discovery, will progress during this time, it is important to understand that your attorney will still be attempting to settle the case. These efforts will be directed through the insurance defense lawyers, but any settlement will still require the approval of the adjuster. The defense lawyers will be under an obligation to relay all settlement offers to the adjuster, meaning that it will be up to the adjuster as to whether the matter settles before the reaching of a jury verdict.

Contact a San Luis Obispo Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, it is important that you speak with a lawyer before dealing with an insurance adjuster. Our firm believes in protecting the rights of individuals over those of corporate insurance companies. Contact us online or at 805-546-8797 to speak with a San Luis Obispo personal injury attorney.

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Posted By: Marcelo Tamez

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