Brad Pistotnik Law
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How Do You Dispute an Insurance Adjuster?

How Do You Dispute an Insurance Adjuster?

How do you dispute an insurance adjuster? What rights do policyholders have to receive a fair payment for property damage and loss following a motor vehicle accident? While determining fault is one role insurance adjusters perform following a motor vehicle accident in Kansas, they also determine how much property damage was inflicted in the collision. When an insurance adjuster puts a low-ball figure in front of a client, the client is not obligated to accept it. In fact, policyholders have the right to pursue a dispute, and if necessary, file a lawsuit against the insurance provider. The following are the steps policyholders should go through when disputing an insurance adjuster.

Bump It Up the Ladder

One of the first things policyholders should do is to push the claim up the ladder to a senior adjuster. The initial adjuster is not the only person responsible for determining fault or determining the payout. Policyholders have the right to have a senior adjuster review the adjuster's documentation and determine whether the payout should be adjusted. When requesting a senior adjuster, you will want to have evidence that supports your argument. This can include estimates from repair shops, photographs, etc., that establish the legitimacy of the payout you are requesting.

File a Complaint

Insurance policyholders in Kansas have the right to file a complaint with the Kansas Insurance Commissioner's Assistance Division. They will investigate the veracity of your claim and determine whether the insurance company has complied with all legal and regulatory requirements.

Get Ready for Mediation or Arbitration

Most insurance policies have clear and well-defined clauses requiring disputes go through mediation or arbitration. During mediation or arbitration, you can be represented by legal counsel. This is an opportunity to resolve the dispute and again request the insurance company to provide the payout you desire. Mediation and arbitration are other words for negotiation. As such, you may receive some additional compensation for your property damage, but you are unlikely to receive everything you desire.

Often, insurance policies also contain an appraisal clause. If the parties can't reach an agreement, this clause kicks in. It involves bringing in two appraisers (one paid for and representing the insurance provider, and one representing and paid for by the policyholder). The umpire will then review both appraisals and determine the damage sustained in the collision. The umpire's role is not determining fault; it is determining fairness based on the hard figures provided by the insurance appraisers.

Be Prepared To Sue

You do not forfeit your right to sue if mediation or arbitration fail. If both parties fail to reach an agreement during mediation or arbitration, policyholders in Kansas have the right to pursue litigation against the insurance provider. When pursuing litigation, your documentation and evidence must support your version of events and the payout you are entitled to recover. As with any lawsuit, the stronger your evidence, the more likely you will recover the payout you desire.

Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Brad Pistotnik can help you determine fault if you've been injured in an accident and need to dispute an insurance adjuster in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas. It is our pleasure to schedule a free consultation with you. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.