Claims Adjusters and Their Role in Massachusetts Personal Injury Law
Whether you are handling your Massachusetts personal injury claim by yourself, or with the assistance of an attorney, it is important for you to understand the roles and duties of the insurance adjuster.
The universe of Massachusetts personal injury law largely revolves around the claims adjuster. Adjusters handle all types of both personal injury and property damage claims. Some only handle Massachusetts auto accidents, while others only handle auto accidents from different states. Some adjusters may have responsibilities such as handling slip and fall claims (general liability) and/or homeowners policy claims. Also, some adjusters have more settlement authority than others. It all depends on the adjuster and the insurance company he/she works for.
For a good description of the role and duties of insurance adjusters, I found the following from the U.S. Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Adjusters plan and schedule the work required to process a claim that would follow, for example, an automobile accident or damage to one’s home caused by a storm. They investigate claims by interviewing the claimant and witnesses, consulting police and hospital records, and inspecting property damage to determine the extent of the company’s liability. Adjusters may consult with other professionals, such as accountants, architects, construction workers, engineers, lawyers, and physicians, who can offer a more expert evaluation of a claim.
- The information gathered, including photographs and written or audio-taped or video-taped statements, is set down in a report that is then used to evaluate the associated claim. When the policyholder’s claim is legitimate, the claims adjuster negotiates with the claimant and settles the claim. When claims are contested, adjusters will work with attorneys and expert witnesses to defend the insurer’s position.
I invite you to contact me with any questions you may have about Massachusetts insurance adjusters and their role in Massachusetts personal injury law.