The Language of Insurance Claim Adjustment as Paralegal Communication : Accident Reports Acting as Legal Depositions. Insurance adjusters in the United States are hired as independent accident claims investigators by insurance companies to produce investigative accident reports which prove crucial in helping the insurance company determine liabilitycompensation. A written corpus of 400 adjuster-written accident reports, totalling 795,674 tokens, was examined using corpus-assisted and critical genre analyses approaches to question whether the language used in these reports might reveal features of paralegal communicative practice. The reports were seen to perform two potentially conflicting functions: first, by assembling facts and impartially narrating the events of the accident, and secondly, by interpreting and grading reliability of witness testimony. The adjuster’s choice of attributors in the reports proved crucial, when both narrating and evaluating, as carrying potential bias and indirectly assigning blame. The reports mirrored elements of conventional and standardized moves found in Bhatia’s four move legal case analysis (Bhatia: 1993), and relied heavily on lexico-grammatical and generic borrowings from investigative practices found in the disciplinary cultures and discursive procedures characteristic of legal practice and law enforcement. While the communicative purposes may appear straightforward to all parties as producing an accurate and unbiased account of events in fulfillment of a business- to -client relationship, the reports' interdiscursive and intertextual features place it within professional and organizational discourse practices which are also aimed at defending, accusing or convicting, and therefore should be more accurately viewed as constituting investigative paralegal discourse.

The Language of Insurance Adjustments as Paralegal communication: Accident Reports Acting as Legal Depositions / Alessi, Glen Michael. - STAMPA. - (2016), pp. 209-227.

The Language of Insurance Adjustments as Paralegal communication: Accident Reports Acting as Legal Depositions

ALESSI, Glen Michael
2016

Abstract

The Language of Insurance Claim Adjustment as Paralegal Communication : Accident Reports Acting as Legal Depositions. Insurance adjusters in the United States are hired as independent accident claims investigators by insurance companies to produce investigative accident reports which prove crucial in helping the insurance company determine liabilitycompensation. A written corpus of 400 adjuster-written accident reports, totalling 795,674 tokens, was examined using corpus-assisted and critical genre analyses approaches to question whether the language used in these reports might reveal features of paralegal communicative practice. The reports were seen to perform two potentially conflicting functions: first, by assembling facts and impartially narrating the events of the accident, and secondly, by interpreting and grading reliability of witness testimony. The adjuster’s choice of attributors in the reports proved crucial, when both narrating and evaluating, as carrying potential bias and indirectly assigning blame. The reports mirrored elements of conventional and standardized moves found in Bhatia’s four move legal case analysis (Bhatia: 1993), and relied heavily on lexico-grammatical and generic borrowings from investigative practices found in the disciplinary cultures and discursive procedures characteristic of legal practice and law enforcement. While the communicative purposes may appear straightforward to all parties as producing an accurate and unbiased account of events in fulfillment of a business- to -client relationship, the reports' interdiscursive and intertextual features place it within professional and organizational discourse practices which are also aimed at defending, accusing or convicting, and therefore should be more accurately viewed as constituting investigative paralegal discourse.
Constructing Legal Discourses and Social Practices
Tessuto,Girolamo;Bhatia, Vijay K.;Garzone,Giuliana; Salvi,Rita; Williams,Christopher.
1-4438-8907-5
978-1-4438-8907-0
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
REGNO UNITO DI GRAN BRETAGNA
The Language of Insurance Adjustments as Paralegal communication: Accident Reports Acting as Legal Depositions / Alessi, Glen Michael. - STAMPA. - (2016), pp. 209-227.
Alessi, Glen Michael
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11380/1104568
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