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Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance Claim Insights

Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance Claim Insights

  By Dan Baldyga
About Dan Baldyga
  Dan Baldyga has a lifetime of experience in the field of motor vehicle accidents, personal injury and compensation.
More about Dan  

I worked my way though college as an independent private investigator specializing in automobile accident insurance claims. After college, I spent three years as a Special Investigator Assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division of the U.S. Navy, where the majority of the cases I worked on where monumental motor vehicle disasters in the mid-west.

When I returned to civilian life, I became an insurance claims adjuster, was promoted to supervisor and then manager. The last five years of my claims career I assisted company attorneys at trial. I am now retired, but when it comes to the business of investigating and then settling motor vehicle accidents, I've seen it all. So, consider this a warning. The adjuster may be nice guy, but never forget he's paid to save his company as much money as he possibly can.

DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING: If the insurance company calls and suggests they take your statement over the telephone, tell them you would prefer to meet with an adjuster. Don't agree to dictate a verbal statement into a tape recorder, over the telephone and certainly not when you meet the adjuster face to face. Whatever the circumstances may be, advise whomever you are dealing with that you will be more than willing to provide a statement, but only after your claim has been paid!

BEWARE OF THE ADJUSTERS SUPERVISOR AND/OR MANAGER'S NEGATIVITY: I've observed too many adjusters, who have been at it for so long that they become apathetic and crusty about their work, and the people they deal with. Unfortunately, this style of person is often promoted to a supervisor or even a managerial capacity. His indifference can filter down to negatively influence every adjuster who reports to him. I have seen this attitude infect a whole claims operation, so be cautious. In far too many instances the adjuster and his boss are brainstorming the best plan they can devise to hold onto every dollar that's owed to you.

CULTIVATE THE ADJUSTER'S GOOD OPINION: Be pleasant, but firm. No matter how his insured acted at the scene of the accident, and no matter what they may have verbalized to or at you, don't take it out on the adjuster. It's not the adjuster's fault if his insured is an idiot.

Never underestimate the importance of the adjuster's impressions and conclusions about you. If he likes you, that opinion will go into your file. It's money in the bank because, without your ever being aware of it, this information follows you right down to the last dollar of your settlement.

Supervisor to Adjuster: "What kind of a guy is this claimant anyways?"

Adjuster: "He's an okay guy. He's not a hot head nor is he difficult to deal with."

Supervisor: "How much more will it cost to settle this one and get it out of the way?"

Adjuster: "Five or six hundred bucks, more or less".

Supervisor: "I'm buried alive with new claims comin' in. I gotta make some moves before I get buried alive. Pay him what it takes and get rid of it."

CONSIDER THE ADJUSTER'S CLAIM LOAD: One of the most important criteria used to judge the job performance of an adjuster, by his superiors, is how fast they settle claims assigned to them. They need to bring your claim to a conclusion as quickly as possible because most adjusters get between 50 and 100 new claims a month. They must close 50 or more claims each month, just to stay even. The point is that they are under pressure to settle your claim, to get rid of it and move on. The claims adjuster will never tell you, but the weight of their caseload comes down on your side of the scale. It's an advantage you have that most people are never aware of.

KNOW THE BOTTOM LINE: Be businesslike in your relationship with the adjuster. Never forget that his assignment is to save money for the company that signs his paycheck. But, if you have a legitimate claim, stay cool and understand what you're up against. Don't be impossible to deal with but remain steady. Remember, the adjuster wants to look good to his company. He does not want your claim to end up in court, plus he wants to reduce his caseload. Be patient. At the end of the day, after the dust settles, he'll usually be forced to treat your loss fairly.

EXAMINATION BY THE COMPANY DOCTOR IS NOT LEGALLY REQUIRED: Doctors assigned by the insurance company are notorious for finding nothing wrong with the claimant or for finding "no objective basis for their complaints". You don't have to agree to be examined by the insurance company doctor. You're entitled to see only the doctor of your choice. The insurance company has no right to insist that you submit to their doctor unless your claim actually becomes a formal court case.

Hold your ground until your attending physician has released you. Then it's okay to submit to an examination because by then so much time will have passed it will be impossible for him to minimize the pain, discomfort, and suffering your injury has caused you.


DISCLAIMER: The only purpose of this claim tip is to help people understand the motor vehicle accident claim process. Neither Dan Baldyga or Vince Ciulla make any guarantee of any kind whatsoever; NOR do they purport to engage in rendering any professional or legal service; NOR to substitute for a lawyer, an insurance adjuster, or claims consultant, or the like. Where such professional help is desired it is the INDIVIDUAL'S RESPONSIBILITY to obtain said services.

Copyright (c) 2005 by Daniel G. Baldyga All Rights Reserved

Dan Baldyga's fourth and latest book Auto Accident Personal Injury Insuraece Claim: (How To Evaluate And Settle Your Loss) can be found on the Internet at This book reveals "How To" successfully handle your motor vehicle accident claim, so you won't be taken advantage of. It also goes into detail regarding the revolutionary BASE (The Baldyga Auto Accident Settlement Evaluation Formula). BASE explains how to determine the value of the "Pain and Suffering" you endured because of your personal injury.

Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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