Liability Investigations: Special Handling Required

Liability claims, in both commercial and residential contexts, can be complicated but are fascinating in scope and the variety of causes and damages. Slip-and-falls, vehicle accidents, product and construction liability, unlike weather-related claims, are typically caused by human errors, negligence, and wrongdoing.  After a tornado rips through your insured’s commercial building, the damage may be extensive but at least the cause is clear unless underlying construction or engineering defects contribute to the loss. In liability claims, though, the insured may be partly or even wholly the cause of the accident. The insured may not be the injured party (this would be your potential third-party defendant, more on this later), and due to this, liability claims, like construction defect claims, are more likely to become adversarial.

Investigative and Interpersonal Skills Required

So along with the adjuster’s usual toolkit of loss assessment and policy knowledge, additional interpersonal and analytical skills are absolutely necessary.  The liability claims adjuster who is respectful and relatable is better at getting information and detailed statements from the myriad of involved parties, including possible witnesses and experts.  An in-house adjuster who has an excess of claims to keep moving, or who just isn’t that good at establishing rapport and getting folks talking, isn’t as likely to get a true picture of the events leading to the claim.  Speed in addressing new claims is imperative, but the liability claim investigation must get all the facts from the parties and witnesses in order to correctly determine not just loss, but also cause and fault.

Some of these parties, notably an injured third-party claimant, will lawyer up right away, and these situations require an especially careful, persistent and expert approach.  Experienced independent adjusters understand the role and limits of attorneys who represent injured parties in the adjusting process. Vector Risk Solutions independent claims adjusters are experts at listening and analyzing all parties’ statements with the goal of settling these claims quickly and inexpensively, or making them go away entirely if possible.

Preserving the Record

Adjusting liability claims also require meticulous record-keeping, including making and preserving audio/visual recordings from all parties and witnesses.  When human actions are involved, a good photographic record can only go so far to explain the events which lead to the claim. Claimants, the insured and witnesses sometimes die or become disabled prior to settlement, so while a video recording of a witness statement, for example, isn’t a sworn deposition, it may be crucial later after memories fade and witnesses are lost if the settlement can’t or doesn’t occur quickly.

Vector Risk Solutions is confident that our independent claims adjusters have the broad-based expertise and knowledge required to accurately analyze and adjust liability claims as well as other commercial, residential, daily, catastrophic and agribusiness claims.  We stake our reputation on our adjusters, and we’re ready to prove to you why our reputation is deservedly the best in our industry.

Contact Vector Risk Solutions today to get started, by calling us at 1-800-451-0798 orsending us a message on our contact page