Don’t give answers that will lower your claim reserve.
After you file a claim with an insurance company, in the process of setting up that claim, the company will “set a reserve.” This is an estimate of the potential value of your claim, and it’s a required accounting procedure for the insurance company. This is the amount they expect to pay for your claim. Obviously, it works in your favor for the reserve to be high, and in their favor if it’s low. Once the reserve is set, it may be difficult to have it raised. It’s important to avoid giving your adjuster information that might lead to a lower reserve.
How does an adjuster determine the reserve amount? Several factors come into play. They’ll request documentation of property damage, medical treatment, and police reports. They will also be persistent in speaking with you. During an interview, they’ll ask seemingly innocent questions regarding the type of injuries you received and how those have impacted your life. You may get calls like this from your own insurance company or the other driver’s. Regardless, if you have already hired an attorney, you can tell adjusters to contact your attorney instead of answering those questions yourself. It’s important to be honest and cooperative, but you also should know that making simple statements like, “I didn’t break any bones,” or “I’m feeling better today” can lower the value of your case and result in a lower reserve.
We strongly recommend finding legal representation to handle the insurance company’s questions and negotiations. They’ll have a lawyer on their side; shouldn’t you have someone on your side, too?
Give your attorney frequent updates on medical visits and bills.
It’s not uncommon to have injuries develp or worsen several days after the accident. Some serious internal issues may not be diagnosed for weeks. If your injuries develop or worsen, your medical bills may increase and, thus, your claim value would go up. Adjusters are very suspicious of after-the-fact injury claims, and we don’t blame them. That’s why it’s so important to document every medical visit and give this information to your attorney, so that he or she can pass it on to the insurance company. Consistent commuication is key to reaching a reasonable settlement.
Here at Taylor King Law, we understand that adjusters have a job to do, and their power to increase reserves may only go so far. But if you trust us to do our job, we can advocate for your rights and help you get compensation that’s appropriate for your claim and fair to everyone.