After a car accident, you will have multiple conversations with a representative from your insurance company. Most of the conversations will involve an insurance adjuster. However, many people are unaware of the function of an insurance adjuster, and still more are unsure regarding what to say to the adjuster. Before speaking with your insurance company, consult this quick guide to insurance adjusters.

What Do Insurance Adjusters Do?

Insurance claims adjusters are in charge of evaluating the various insurance claims made by customers. Car insurance adjusters must interview the claimant, the other driver or drivers and any witnesses in order to determine the circumstances of an accident. Further, adjusters consult police reports, accident reports, photos and other documents to make a determination regarding fault.

In addition, car insurance adjusters assess the damages to your vehicle in order to determine how much the insurance company should pay for the losses you incurred. Adjusters may visually inspect your car themselves or request estimates from a certified repair shop. After the estimate is complete, the adjuster communicates the insurance company’s settlement offer to you and guides you through the process of accepting or denying the offer.

What Should You Tell the Adjuster?

During the initial call, avoid admitting fault or giving too many details about the accident. Since West Virginia is a modified comparative negligence state, if you bear more than 50% of the fault in the accident, you will not receive compensation in a personal injury case. Thus, you should avoid accepting fault while speaking with an insurance adjuster.

In fact, many attorneys advise against speaking with an adjuster at all. Similarly, many attorneys do not recommend providing a recorded statement. Instead, prepare a truthful, concise, written statement and relay only the barest facts about the accident. Alternatively, seek the help of a West Virginia car accident attorney before preparing your statement.

During the final stage in the process, the point at which the adjuster offers you a settlement, refrain from verbally accepting any settlement. Instead, request the offer in writing and compare it to any third party estimates or discuss with an attorney in West Virginia before accepting.

What Do Car Insurance Adjusters Look for?

Car insurance adjusters receive training to identify fraud, such as customers attempting to claim prior damage on a current claim, or passing off collision damages from a fender bender as damages covered under comprehensive weather or animal damages. Since insurance fraud by others can raise your insurance premiums, fraud training is a good thing. However, when you are making your claim, be sure the adjuster includes all your current damages in the inspection report.

Insurance companies do not want to pay for damages that already existed on your vehicle, and will only pay for damages received in the accident for which you made your claim. Car insurance adjusters look for evidence of previous damage and repairs related to past incidents. In addition, adjusters look for rust, which is a sign damages existed prior to the current accident.

The goal of your insurance company is to provide coverage and repair damages while giving you the least amount of compensation possible. Minimizing settlement costs while continuing to receive insurance premiums is the primary way insurance companies make money. As a result, adjusters may inaccurately dismiss some of your vehicle’s damages as pre-existing or unrelated to the accident.

Settlement Offers from a Car Insurance Adjuster

When car insurance adjusters contact you with the initial settlement offer, keep in mind that the insurance company anticipates negotiations. The initial offer the adjuster gives is likely low, to allow for negotiations that fit the insurance company’s budget. It is important to be cautious while considering the initial offer. An experienced car accident attorney can assist you in analyzing the offer before you decide whether to accept.

Insurance companies, along with insurance adjusters, provide a necessary service for those involved in motor vehicle accidents. However, remember that your insurance company is a business, whose primary goal is to make money. Your adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you, and has the company’s best interests at heart. As a result, you must be vigilant regarding your claim in order to ensure your settlement meets your needs.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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