Low Speed, Low Impact Car Wrecks – Ten Things the Adjuster Will Do After a Car Wreck


In low speed collisions with low impact, drivers and passengers in moving vehicles are frequently injured. A rear-end collision in slow moving traffic is the best example. Soft tissue injuries such as neck injuries can often be difficult to diagnose and require extensive treatment. Independent or company insurance adjusters have difficulty believing that you might have been injured in a low-speed, low-impact car accident.

They believe you are lying.

If you have been in a car accident that was low-speed or low-impact, the adjuster will be skeptical at best and committed at worst to proving you weren’t hurt.

Low speed accidents are easy to understand. However, if you are traveling at 45 mph but hit by a car going 55 mph, the difference in speed between them is only 10 mph.

In October 2004, I was involved in a rear-end collision. I was struck from behind by the driver in front of me because he wasn’t paying attention when we were slowing down before a red light. The impact resulted in my front bumper being pushed into the car in front. The driver in front of me was ticketed. My collision damage was $3,474.13 and my soft tissue neck injuries were settled for $2640.00. That’s a total of $6.114.00.

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The story goes beyond the fact that I received a settlement. My insurance company offered $1,640.00 less than I was actually entitled to. These are strategies that you can use.

Let’s return to the accident. The other driver who caused you to be rear-ended is responsible in some way. You might submit a first-party claim if he is not insured or his insurance company refuses to accept liability. Your Collision coverage will protect your vehicle if you make a first-party claim. It’s quite simple. Your health insurance will cover your injuries, but not your car insurance. Your insurance company will “subrogate”, or ask the other driver’s insurer to pay you for your claim.

The adjuster for another driver will conduct an investigation that includes:

1. To document the damage and to check if any pre-existing damage was done, take photos of each side of your vehicle.

2. Damages to vehicles – Vehicle appraisal

3. Recorded statement by you. You will be asked questions by the other adjuster to try to get your opinion on a claim that might not be denied. You don’t have to make a recorded statement to the adjuster for the other driver. Only give a recorded statement if you are accompanied by an attorney. You should also include the bill of your attorney in your insurance claim.

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4. Witness statements and interviews.

5. Background information. To determine if you have ever filed insurance claims, the adjuster will run your name through several databases including ISO Claimsearch or National Insurance Crimes Bureau. The adjuster will not need your Social Security number. This will make it easier for the adjuster to get your background information.

6. Collect your medical records and medical bills. Most likely, the adjuster will present you with a Medical Authorization Form to sign. READ THIS FORM CAREFULLY! Most of the time, the form is so vaguely written that they can collect your medical information throughout your life.

Only authorize them to see your medical records and bills for this one incident. Not your entire life history. Before you sign the form, have your attorney review it.

7. Have experts evaluate your damages. Insurers hire experts to help them deny or reduce claims. They don’t need to prove your case.

8. Avoid delay and wait. Insurance companies have the best tools at their disposal, and delay is the best. Even though they may be able, they can afford to wait. Avoidance leads to compromise, and compromise often results in lower settlements.

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9. Your attorney or you can negotiate your settlement. Personal injury lawyers are not intimidating to adjusters. Because they don’t have to deal anymore with you, adjusters prefer to work with them. This also causes more delays in the claims process which can put you under financial pressure.

10. Settlement. Settlement. A personal injury lawyer shouldn’t litigate a case that is so small because it could cost them $5000-$10,000. Your attorney will most likely accept an offer from the adjuster of $15,000 for a $25,000 case. This saves the insurer a lot of money and allows the adjuster to close another case and impress his boss.

This claims process is all about money, my friends. It’s not about truth or justice, fair claims practices, or justice.

It’s all about the money.