Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler July 29, 2015

Persons injured in car wrecks or other traffic accidents often must deal with insurance adjusters when making a claim to pay for their injury costs. When doing so, you must recognize that the adjuster works for a profit-driven insurance company, not for you.

For their employer’s benefit, insurance adjusters exercise powers against claimants, such as denying, delaying or underpaying a claim. Injured persons are advised to engage an experienced injury attorney or car accident lawyer to handle their side of the claim.

Adjusters Control Checkbooks

One power of an insurance adjuster during settlement negotiations is control of the checkbook by which claimants are paid. Experienced adjusters will attempt to take advantage of this.

A means of doing so is patience. An experienced adjuster deals with the process daily, while you may be making a claim for the first and only time. The adjuster may try to delay or stall the process in order to determine if you will seriously pursue your claim.

From the adjuster’s viewpoint, why rush? The insurance company wants to keep its money, and adjusters are willing to wait months or years to resolve a claim in order to pay out less.

For the claimant who has bills to pay, the clock is running. For the adjuster and the fat-cat insurance companies, time is not an overriding factor.

Adjusters Seek Leverage

In other ways, adjusters seek leverage over claimants. After all, their employer is more apt to reward them for delaying or underpaying claims than for promptly paying full value.

One approach is to offer a quick settlement of a claim at a “low-ball” amount. This way, the claimant may accept less money than he or she deserves simply in order to get some level of payment quickly.

Adjusters also may offer to pay a part of a claim but not other parts. Again, this tactic is used for leverage or bargaining power in the negotiating process.

When claims aren’t settled by fast low-ball tactics but instead are drawn out, that can serve the adjuster, too. Claimants likely may face increasing pressure to resolve a claim in order to pay bills, while the adjuster can afford to wait and haggle.

Even so, adjusters are judged in part by how quickly they can settle claims and get them off the books. So they sometimes want to move faster than they may indicate to you.

Who Are Insurance Adjusters?

Insurance adjusters are known as claims representatives, claims specialists or independent claims analysts.

But all these fancy names boil down to the same thing: They are the people who try to negotiate a claim settlement which benefits their employer — the insurance company – more than the claimant.

Though paid by insurers, some adjusters are not employed by insurance companies but instead are independent contractors. These adjusters may be engaged by insurance companies which lack a claims office in a certain area. This will not help your case, since such adjusters have a lower “ceiling” to make a financial offer than the home office, which has the most authority to make the highest offer.

Indeed, independent adjusters operate the same as in-house adjusters with that one exception: They have less authority in settling a claim, which means your settlement amount might have to be approved at the insurer’s home office.

Adjusters may not be required to have special training or expertise beyond a general knowledge of the claims business. Beyond big cases, insurance adjusters may have no special medical or legal training and are unlikely to grasp nuances of your claim as well as you do.

But some adjusters are attorneys who may be more apt to play “hard ball” with claimants. Injured persons then may gain a better chance of being paid what they deserve if they engage their own injury lawyer to negotiate on their behalf.

An experienced injury lawyer is likely to know the range your claim is worth and can assert that knowledge in negotiations. An injury attorney also relieves you of the stress of dealing with the insurance adjuster.

An Injury Lawsuit Is Your Option

Whatever their name or origin, adjusters do not have all the power in negotiations. Your claim may have a clear legal basis with clear liability.

You also have the option of engaging your own attorney to handle negotiations with an adjuster. This can show the adjuster that you mean business and are willing to file an injury lawsuit if negotiations are unsuccessful. The adjuster has no motivation to want a lawsuit, which poses the risk of a high jury verdict and could cost the insurance company even more in legal fees.

To avoid a lawsuit in a stalled negotiation, adjusters may try to get the lowest settlement possible by offering 25% to 50% less than the maximum amount they are willing or are authorized to pay. This gives them “wiggle room” to adjust the payment without reaching the maximum during negotiations.

An experienced injury lawyer can counter such strategies and try to get you the maximum amount you are owed.

How Payments Are Computed

In terms of how payments are computed, adjusters will review the same things juries would consider in reaching an amount for paying damages. These include actual costs such as medical bills and projected medical bills; actual costs in terms of lost income or salary; and damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress, which are harder to calculate.

Other factors in computing payments include the strength of the plaintiff’s case, as well as insurance policy limits. An adjuster never will offer more than the maximum amount provided by a liability policy.

Whose Insurance Gets the Claim?

As for whose insurance company gets the claim, the adjuster works for the insurance company of the person responsible for your injury. Texas drivers are required by law to purchase auto liability insurance, and when they hurt others, claims are made against that policy.

The only time you’d be likely to seek payments from your own insurer for another driver’s mistakes is after a hit-and-run collision in which the driver isn’t known, or if the driver lacked auto liability insurance. But even then, you’d have to have purchased uninsured motorist coverage to be able to make a claim from your own insurance company.

Establishing Your Payment

Establishing the amount of your payment involves the many factors listed here, including evidence in your case. An injury lawyer can help you to amass and assert such evidence to emphasize the other driver’s negligence and your own injuries.

Contact Jim Adler & Associates for a free review of your case. To receive a fair settlement, you may want to engage a knowledgeable injury lawyer to handle your negotiations with an insurance adjuster.

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I went to the office and everyone was so considerate and professional , so my first impression was good, I felt like I was in good hands. Then I received a call from Vanessa Garcia, she was on top of EVERYTHING! I never had to call her, she always called me. She even called to see how I was doing , and if I needed help with anything. That is why I have absolutely no worries.read more
13:42 01 Jun 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!read more
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.read more
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
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Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
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Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
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