No matter how nice the personal injury claims adjuster may seem, he or she is not your friend.
His job is to minimize the payout in an accident case. Some adjusters are very sweet. They are people with whom I could easily become friends. After handling hundreds of cases, I see many of the same adjusters over and over again. I do my best to remember any particular interests that they have. One Geico adjuster, with whom I settled two (2) Florida car accident cases for $125,000 and $100,000, spends a lot of time with her mother.
When I speak with her, I am sure to ask about her mother. As the saying goes, you get more flies with honey. It can literally pay to be nice. That being said, I do everything possible in an attempt to maximize my client’s recovery. In certain accident cases, I have filed a consumer complaint against the Florida insurer because they are not being reasonable, even though the adjuster is sweet.
Some adjusters have spouses, kids and are spiritual. They are people like you and I who work hard to feed their families. Some adjusters, usually the more seasoned ones, may be looser with the insurance company’s money. They do not take things as personally and will not try to nickel and dime you. They just want to get the job done. Others, often young bucks, may fight you over every dollar.
I know some defense attorneys who may pay a little bit more money to claimant attorneys who they like. It is human nature. Every case, other than one which the insurance company values at zero, has an amount reserved the case. As long as the adjuster settles the claim below the reserve, he or she has done a good job. From the insurance company’s point of view, a good claim is a closed claim.
If the case has merit, insurance companies want to settle the case and move on to the next one. Many younger adjusters, and even seasoned ones, are under trained. They may misquote the law, sometimes unintentionally. I have had adjusters yell at me, and tell me that my understanding of Florida injury law is wrong. Yet days later I have received a settlement check which was sent overnight.
I take what the adjuster says with a grain of salt. I had one adjuster tell me that he reserved the case at $100,000. My client did not have any significant medical treatment following the adjuster’s comment yet several months later the case settled for $445,000.
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