By: Dan Baldyga

When dealing with the adjuster there are four crucial area’s you should keep in mind. They are as follows:

(1) YOUR FIRST MEETING: When you first meet you must avoid admitting or creating the impression that you’re fully recovered. If you’re naturally a happy, gregarious sort, forget it! Get rid of your smile and laugh. You’re conducting serious business. Never forget you’re bartering with a person who is paid to take financial advantage of you and he’ll be doing everything in his power to nibble away at the true value of your loss.

(2) DATE AND TIME FOR MEETINGS: Schedule them during the hours of normal work days, even if weekends or evenings would be more convenient for you or the adjuster. If the adjuster asks you what your rational for this is, advise him there are certain “consultants” you may want to phone or call upon during business hours for guidance during the negotiations. If he wonders out loud who these people could possibly be, tell him, “There are several, like the Insurance Commissioner, for example.” That will cause him to sit up and take notice!

(3) WHEN YOU MEET WITH THE ADJUSTER, ALWAYS HAVE A WITNESS PRESENT: An adult friend or relative should be with you. Choose someone – – preferably not a spouse – – who can attend each meeting, wherever it may be. Don’t ask the adjuster’s permission for this or even inform him of your plan in advance of the meeting. Just introduce that person as a friend (or relative) whom you want to sit in on your discussion. Having this witness present will keep the adjuster guessing and may come in handy later, especially if the adjuster has lied or misled you on any aspect of the terms of the settlement, or if he should be thinking about attempting to implement high-handed or unethical tactics. Is the adjuster capable of doing that? Absolutely! Question: How does Dan Baldyga know that? Answer: Because he was an adjuster, supervisor, manager and trial assistant for over 30 years and observed all such bad “stuff” come to pass a gazillion times!

(4) TAPE RECORD THE DISCUSSION OR AT THE VERY LEAST TAKE COPIOUS NOTES: You should have a tape recorder present, or, at the very least, a pen and notebook. Detailed notes or a tape recorder will send a strong message to the adjuster that you plan to double-check everything he tells you. If nothing else, it will go a long way in keeping him from spewing forth the negative verbal garbage that may have worked for him in the past. A tape recorder will stop him dead in his tracks! _______________________________________________________________

This article was authored by Daniel Baldyga. Copyright © 2003, by Daniel G. Baldyga. All Rights Reserved.

Reprinted with permission of the Daniel G. Baldyga.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for background information. Its purpose is to help people understand the motor vehicle accident claim process. Neither Dan Baldyga nor Free makes any guarantee of any kind whatsoever, NOR purports to engage in rendering any professional legal service, 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 IT.