People who have been injured will often come to us after they have tried to deal with the insurance companies themselves.
They may be frustrated with the lack of timely response from insurance adjusters. Some tell us the insurance company will not offer them enough to cover their medical expenses and other damages. Sometimes people are simply overwhelmed by the amount of phone calls, paperwork, follow-up, and excessive bureaucracy just to try to get the insurance company to cover damages. We know how they feel. We have dozens of people here who play paper chase with the insurance companies all day every day.
Here are some statements we often hear from people who call us for help. These are people who have never dealt with insurance adjusters and claims-filing entities. We work with these types every day. (Some of us used to work on the other side!) Here is what you need to know about your “friendly” insurance adjuster. And your “good neighbor” insurance company.
1. The insurance adjuster handling my case seems very nice and is even willing to settle as soon as possible. But the settlement amount is so low.
The adjuster is not your friend and neither is the insurance company. Most insurance companies are in business to make money. The less money the adjuster offers you to pay your damages, the more money insurance companies keep for themselves. Fact is, it is part of an insurance adjuster’s job description to offer you as little as possible. Adjusters may seem pleasant and sympathetic to your circumstances. Perhaps they are. But the bottom line is you are not signing their paychecks. Adjusters go through intensive training programs to learn the art of negotiation. They can get very detailed, even covering the psychological aspects of negotiating in many instances. Insurance companies have auditing systems that show how much their adjusters paid out to claimants, based on the medical reports and what they can mitigate in their claimants’ files. Sometimes the adjuster’s pay can be tied to whether or not they meet the criteria the company has devised as “best practices” for payouts.
2. My adjuster said a lawyer won’t do anything more for me other than drag my case on and on.
Insurance companies do not want you to hire a lawyer. If you hire a lawyer, they know they may potentially have to pay you more money. They know we know what you need to know. They will call us ambulance chasers, sharks, greedy, and all kinds of names to try to prevent you from getting legal advice. And they certainly don’t want to go to court to try your case in front of a jury. The one thing insurance companies do not like is uncertainty. And juries are by their very nature an uncertainty. We will go to court in a heartbeat if we think it will help you get the compensation you may deserve. That is something the insurance companies don’t want to hear.
3. My pre-existing shoulder condition prohibits them from paying me the full extent of my shoulder, neck, and back injuries.
Ah! The pre-existing condition. That’s an oldie goldie. We know better than to fall for that one. Some of our employees used to be insurance adjusters. Here’s what one of them had to say about this tactic: “As a former insurance adjuster, our job was to gather the evidence and point out all the potential negatives to try to reduce the payout. If a claimant had a prior neck problem, and the wreck caused an injury to their neck, we would argue that they may have caused aggravation to the neck so we would not offer 100%. Same with degenerative issues. We would focus on that to reduce payout.” The reality is many times pre-existing conditions are not an issue.
4. My adjuster told me that after I pay an attorney’s fee, I would probably get less than their offer.
An insurance adjuster might try to get you to buy into all kinds of assumptions. They are highly trained professional negotiators. They might challenge you to take them to court. “You just wait and see,” they might say, pretending like they welcome the chance. They might play the “take it or leave it” or “that’s my final offer” card. They might try to confuse you with all kinds of data and analyses and algorithms their statisticians have determined are “reasonable and fair” based on your medical bills and circumstances. They are banking on the fact that you won’t understand any of this. The list of deny and delay tactics is long. Yet it is effective in many instances! Not with us. We don’t scare. (And we understand their algorithms.) If it’s in your best interest, we don’t back down.
5. The insurance company said to go ahead and take them to court. Facts are facts, and in my case, the facts are against me.
Court is expensive. That is among the main reasons insurance companies typically want to settle your case quickly. Yet they may not let on that they would rather settle than go to court in most cases. Even so, they may still discount the amount they potentially owe you for damages. They are assuming that you probably have no idea what you are potentially owed. They may try to make you believe they can only compensate you for medical expenses. Not other damages like mileage to and from your medical appointments, lost time from work, prescriptions, and loss of the use of your vehicle. And sometimes pain and suffering. You won’t hear those options voluntarily from the adjuster. But you will from us. And then some.
Insurance Companies Keep Millions by Limiting Payouts
The bottom line is this. Many insurance companies are all about their bottom line. They hold millions, and in some cases billions of dollars in reserves and earn interest and dividends on these assets. Many also have shareholders to answer to – large major shareholders like investment banks and mutual fund firms. Shareholders like to keep investing in profitable companies.
Sadly, it boils down to this. The insurance company is taking care of the shareholder and investor. The adjuster is taking care of the insurance company who gives them a consistent paycheck. Who is taking care of you?
You need to take care of you. We can help. Make sure you take care of your interests by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to deal with these issues.
Why Choose James Scott Farrin for NC Personal Injury, Workers’ Comp or Social Security Disability Claims?
It starts with great people. We have nearly 40 accomplished attorneys, many of whom have won awards for their service and advocacy inside and outside the courtroom, including Best Lawyers “Best Lawyers in America” 20173 and “Lawyer of the Year” 20174 “Super Lawyer” 20165 by North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine, and Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite 2015.”6
They’ve authored books, spoken at seminars for other attorneys, and some are sought by the media for their legal expertise. One is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. All are advocates dedicated to fighting tooth and nail for each and every client.
We’ve gone to great lengths to help make sure we know how the “other side” operates by hiring attorneys who’ve represented insurance companies and large major corporations.
We also think it’s important that we have attorneys who are bilingual (as are many of our paralegals and staff).
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3, 4 For more information about rules for inclusion visit www.bestlawyers.com
5 For more information about rules for inclusion visit www.superlawyers.com
6 For more information about rules for inclusion visit www.businessnc.com