If you have suffered injuries and damage to your car from an accident, there will be three important conversations. These conversations will be with:

  1. the first responders at the scene
  2. your doctor if you need medical attention; and
  3. a prospective personal injury lawyer to evaluate your claim.

Somewhere between the second and the third conversation may be a conversation with an insurance adjuster.

The purpose of this blog is to advise of the role of an insurance adjuster and to prepare you for this conversation should you decide to have it without the representation of a personal injury lawyer.

The Role of the Adjuster

The role of an insurance adjuster is two-fold. The adjuster evaluates the claims made by policyholders, and then assesses the damages for which the insurance company will pay.

The adjuster will review the police report and photos, or videos, taken after the accident, and interview the policyholder, the other driver and witnesses. To determine the cost of the repairs to the car, the adjuster will either personally inspect the car or rely upon the estimate prepared by a certified mechanic. The adjuster and the mechanic will be able to ascertain any damage to the car prior to the accident. Any prior damage will not be a part of the claim.

The Initial Conversation

Most personal injury lawyers advise their clients not to speak with an insurance adjuster. This advice refers to the adjuster working for your insurance company and extends to the adjuster working for the insurance company of the other driver.

If, however, you find having this initial conversation with an adjuster prior to securing legal representation, then please follow this advice so as not to jeopardize your position.

Please avoid sharing too many details about the accident, and never admit any fault. It is not advised to agree to a recorded conversation. The adjusters are trained to keep you talking in the hopes of your saying too much.

For this initial conversation, keep your answers short and to the point that you do not know how or why the accident happened. At this stage, let the evidence and the reports speak to the occurrence and the fault of the accident.

If you do not feel comfortable with speaking to an adjuster, then it is perfectly acceptable to ask that the conversation be rescheduled for when your lawyer can participate. Make sure you obtain the contact information or the adjuster and the date and time of the rescheduled call.

The Focus of the Adjuster

The adjuster makes sure the damages to the car are properly identified, assessed and valued. The adjusters work for insurnce companies, and insurance companies are in the business of issuing policies, collecting premiums and paying out the least amount in claims. This is the business model.

The insurance companies position the first settlement offer for negotiation; meaning, the first offer will be low.

A Settlement Offer

Any settlement offer by an adjuster will not be during the first conversation. The initial conversation is a part of the investigation to gather evidence for evaluation. Usually, the settlement offer will be made after the evaluation.

Should the settlement be a part of the initial conversation, then either the call should be rescheduled right then or know to not agree to anything. Never verbally agree to accept an offer and certainly do not sign anything without the representation of a personal injury lawyer.

It is the role of an insurance adjuster to get a policyholder to agree to a settlement offer prior to the time a personal injury lawyer can be secured. You need to understand that neither the adjuster nor the insurance company represents your interests. This is true with the insurance company to whom you pay the premiums.

The only party that will represent your interests and effectively present your position is the personal injury lawyer you retain.

West Virginia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, then you will not be awarded any compensation for your loss. This is the reason why so much importance is emphasized in initial conversations. The insurance company knows this, and it hopes its policyholders do not.

It is the advice of this firm for those involved in a car accident to seek the representation of a personal injury lawyer before any conversation with an insurance adjuster.

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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