How To Get An Insurance Adjuster To Call You Back
Did you file a claim with an auto insurance company and the insurance
adjuster won’t respond to your calls? Check out this short blog to learn how to get an insurance adjuster to return your calls after a car accident.
Accident victims often call my office and tell me that they’re having a difficult time not being able to get a return call from claims adjusters.
First of all, this is not a shock because delaying or denying your insurance claim is one of the ways that an insurance company can manipulate the system. They get people frustrated and they give up.
The Insurance Adjuster is Likely Very Busy
There may be a simple explanation – insurance adjusters generally are handling hundreds of cases at a time. Just take a look at the file that you’re dealing with for your case. It’s got medical records, the police report, pictures, receipts and more. Multiply that by 200 or 300 and you can see what insurance adjuster is dealing with. So sometimes they’re not just delaying your case. The adjuster at the insurance company can just be super busy.
However, this blog is not to make excuses for an insurance adjuster. Instead, let’s find a few ways to get around the system and work it in your favor.
Manage Your Expectations for Dealing with Insurance Companies
Level set your expectations about what your experience dealing with the insurance company is going to be like. As I just mentioned, insurance adjusters are very busy.
So, don’t expect a call back right away from the insurance company. I’ve had some people call me and say they called their insurance adjuster yesterday and they haven’t gotten back to them. It’s going to take the adjuster 24 hours to get back to you. Your inquiry just goes on a long list of other inquiries that they already have.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Deal with the Insurance Adjuster
If it’s been more than 24 hours, then you need to take action. What’s the first thing you can do when dealing with an insurance adjuster. Well, this is very self-serving and I apologize, but you can hire a Chicago auto accident lawyer.
Insurance companies respond quickly and deal more fairly with a personal injury personal injury attorney than they do with somebody who’s never worked within the insurance system.
I always tell a client and I will stay consistent on this. You want to maximize your recovery and have the process goes as smoothly as possible with insurance companies. Hire a car accident attorney to represent you.
One more reason to hire an attorney is there are things that an attorney can do to get an insurance company to respond that you may not know about.
I’m talking about setting the table for what’s called a ‘bad faith’ claim. I’m not going to go into depth about this because the chances of actually prevailing on a bad faith claim are fairly slim. However, it’s one of the pieces of leverage that an attorney uses to get an insurance company to respond.
Call Your Insurance Adjuster’s Manager
The second thing you can do is go above your adjuster’s head. I’ve done this many times and it’s very effective when trying to work with insurance companies. If your claims adjuster is not responding to you, call the insurance company operator/customer service phone number and for the name and number of your insurance adjuster’s manager.
Call the manager and advise what’s been going on. I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly moving forward that insurance adjuster responds to you.
Document All Contacts Regarding your Insurance Claim with the Adjuster
Another thing you should be doing is documenting all your correspondence with the insurance company. Leaving voicemails is fine, but they’re not very impactful. However, if after you leave a voicemail, you send an email or a fax to the insurance company that says: “I just left you a voicemail, this is the third voicemail I’ve left you, my property damage issue still hasn’t been resolved, please contact me” etc. That will have much more impact on the insurance adjuster than just leaving a voicemail.
Report the Insurance Company to your State Department of Insurance
If you’re having a really hard time with the insurance adjuster, some people will contact their state department of insurance and file a complaint. I have found that that’s not particularly effective. I’ve tried it a couple of times on cases that I’ve been involved in and it gets you very little.
So, I don’t really recommend this course of action. I think documenting with the insurance company is a much more effective tactic. However, some people believe that filing a complaint with the department of insurance sets an insurance company up for potential claims later on. And if you want to do that, there’s certainly no harm in doing it just don’t expect a lot to come out of it.
File a Lawsuit to get the Insurance Company to Respond
The bottom line is that an insurance company is not under a lot of pressure to respond to you absent the filing of a motor vehicle accident lawsuit.
Sure, there are rules and regulations about how long an insurance company has to respond to a claim etc. I’ve found that those don’t have a tremendous impact.
However, filing a lawsuit will get an insurance company to respond and contact you. What they’ll do is they’ll assign counsel and the attorney that they assign will have to file an answer to the complaint within a set amount of time.
So, if you’re really having a hard time with an insurance company, the one piece of leverage you really have is to file a lawsuit.
File a Lawsuit on Your Own in Small Claims Court
If you only have property damage, meaning that there no bodily injury involved in the accident and the insurance company is stonewalling you, well, that’s a tricky situation because you’re not going to be able to find a personal injury lawyer to represent you on that kind of property damage case.
So, what do you do in that situation? Well, I tell people all the time, go ahead and file a lawsuit on your own behalf in small claims court. This is what small claims court is for. It’s super easy in Illinois. It is for cases that are $10,000 and under and you can represent yourself.
You may be able to do it online. You have to pay for filing the lawsuit and you have to pay for the sheriff to serve the lawsuit on the defendant. You may also be able to serve the lawsuit on the defendant via certified mail.
If you have serious injuries, again, I think you’ll be much better served by hiring a Chicago auto accident attorney to represent you as a client. If you’d like to speak with us about your motor vehicle accident case feel free to contact us at 1-847-305-4105.
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