If you Googled the title of this article and came here, there’s a reason. You’ve had an injury from a crash and have spoken with the infamous “insurance adjuster” person. The other insurance company may be telling you “We haven’t established liability yet.” or “We need to talk to our insured.” You are probably thinking: “Well, that’s not my problem. She rear-ended me” or “He RAN the light.” and “There’s NO question who caused the accident.”By now, the insurance adjuster has not answered all your questions, has sent you a stack of forms, kind of “explained” a lot terms of its policy, but has yet to tell you when it’s going to PAY anything. Your car damaged but it won’t agree to pay for a rental. Also, you have been encouraged to go to the insurance company’s auto body shop – “you’ll get a guarantee” (even though all shops give a guarantee). If you’re losing wages because you can’t work, you’ve been told your insurance company will cover your lost wages, but 60% of them (“Where’s my other 40%?”). Welcome to world of insurance claims.
Let’s Answer Your Question Though.
To choose the lawyer to protect your case, look at what insurance companies want to do after your injury, then choose the lawyer who can solve those problems. First we have to understand what the insurance companies do and why they do theses things.
What Insurance Companies “Do”.
First, the insurance adjuster does not want to pay your claim. It wants to delay paying. Why? The “Insurance company” you are dealing with is just the ONE of the heads of the Hydra known as a “financial services” company. These bigger companies make money off the investments of your premium money. The insurance “arm” of the “financial services” company extracts premiums (money) out of you and everybody else and invests it in buildings, land, stocks, bonds, commodities (like pork bellies, corn, soy beans) or other investments. That’s how these big companies make money off your insurance premium. It is unbelievable to understand this, but in a “financial services” group, if the insurance company branch loses spends $1.05 for every $1.00 it takes in, it is a raging success. Whaaaa? Really? REALLY How? BECAUSE the insurance company parent company can make way more than $1.05 on every dollar it gets from your insurance company. That is trillions of dollars from investments. How do you think they afford to buy all the buildings in the downtowns of major cities? It’s not leprechauns making them money, it’s the premiums we pay to these blood suckers. We also know this because in the Wall Street Crash of 2008, a lot of insurance companies asking to be bailed out because so many of them lost a whole lot of money on their investments.
So, to make sure they don’t have to sell their investments to pay you when you make a claim, the insurance company will do anything to not to pay you. Like, delay, delay, delay before paying. It also will nickel and dime you for every item in your claim. It also always try to make you feel awful for asking to be paid back for what its insured took from you in the crash. (“We only pay real claims; You were hurt before and you’re making it look like it was this ‘accident.'”- They always call it an accident. ) It’s cruel and cynical numbers game by the insurance company’s adjusters. Few have any scruples about this because they all do it. ONE insurance company that uses a lizard to advertise was paying bonuses to adjuster who denied claims.
Another common characteristic of insurance companies is: Every One of them hates any risk. The insurance company has accepted the risk of its insured injuring somebody when it issues the policy. So, all of them are gambling their policy holders won’t injury someone. Once the injury has happened, they don’t want any more risk- risks like a big verdict against them from an experienced trial lawyer.
So Now You Know What You are Up Against with an Insurance Company – Find the Right Lawyer
1. You want a lawyer that doesn’t have thousands and thousands of clients. You have to put pressure on the insurance company to get moving on your claim. The problem with hiring somebody you see on a billboard or TV is that 50,000 other people saw that person’s face too today and they called his office before you. That’s a problem for you. First, you start out just as another number. So, you will never speak to the person whose face you saw on the billboard or television. He’s a BTSL (Billboard/Television Settlement Lawyer) and has a “claims mill” of phone receptionists, operators, secretaries, claims managers and associates for your case. Your case will be handled by just one of the many folks working for the BTSL. That person simply doesn’t have the motivation to stop the insurance company from delaying your claim. He or she has 200 or 300 other cases already and more coming with each television ad or billboard sign. Secondly, unless you have catastrophic injuries, you may never see a lawyer from the BTSL’s office. Thirdly, he or she is a salesman with a law license, never goes to court, spends all the time planning advertising, shooting commercials, working with advertising people. In short- the “25 or 30 years of experience” he brags on the billboard about is years of marketing experience only not trial experience. The insurance company knows this very well too. The insurance company which is supposed pressured to pay your claim quickly knows it has plenty of time with that BTSL lawyer. It will not be under pressure by a claims manager, legal assistant or associate of the BTSL who has 200 to 300 cases already.
2. Find a lawyer who has a reputation the insurance companies know. To avoid risk, all insurance companies evaluate your lawyer. A real trial lawyer is a bad risk of a big verdict against the insurance company. That lawyer does not have to put constant advertising on television, billboards and radio. The newspapers know him or her. The judges know him or her. The insurance company can look up in it’s records to see has sued its insureds. It knows who’s a risk of a lawsuit, any lawsuit. Why does it want to avoid a lawsuit? Because in a courtroom, a trial lawyer is makes you equal to the powerful, rich insurance company. It a courtroom, a jury can award what’s really owed and not what the insurance company just wants to offer. Well, at a trial, the jury (your lawyer helped pick) will award you what shows the jury “will fairly and adequately compensate” you. (Florida Standard Jury Instruction 501.1.) The judge reads these words to the jury before it decides its verdict). The trained, practiced, experienced trial lawyer can get more money than the adjuster (and his manager) offered. Insurance companies hate that. That’s a risk the insurance company doesn’t want. Worse yet still, the trial lawyer may get more than the insurance company has in coverage limits. That happens all the time.
3. The Lawyer Should Specialize in Personal Injury Only. Not sinkholes, not hurricane claims, Not BP spill claims, not class action cases, not worker’s compensations, not criminal law, not divorce law, not estate law, not real estate law, not sinkholes, not hurricane law, not housing claims, and certainly not BP spill law only personal injury, Why? Personal injury law involves many different areas of expertise in one body. It involves medical terminology, knowing doctors, knowing hospitals, crash reconstruction, human factors analysis, statistical analysis, knowledge of codes, ordinances, regulations, safety manuals and so many more things that are involved with the injury of the human body. The trial part of a personal injury lawyer’s involves knowing the law, how to pick a jury, how to take a doctors deposition, how to cross-examine the hired guns insurance companies use, knowing the judges and putting on the production known as a trial. It’s simply too complex it’s too wide it’s too broad for lawyers who also do a laundry list of types of law like hurricane claims, BP oil spill claim, home insurance claim, social security, disability, labor claims, workers compensation or other types of cases.
2. Your lawyer must be able know how “to find the courthouse.” You might not want to go to trial. However, you must hire the lawyer who knows how “to try a case.” The lawyers that go to trial are the ones insurance companies want to keep out of court. Insurance companies pay fair value to the clients of aggressive, talented trial lawyers. The insurance companies know who and who doesn’t regularly go to court. They are actually afraid of such lawyers because they are a risk of a big verdict against the insurance company. So, instead of billboards, Harvard degrees or board certification, find out how many cases the lawyer has going to trial right now compared to how many cases he has in his office. A state-wide large law firm may have a lots of cases in trial, but it usually has thousands of clients. Even if you don’t want to go to trial, when the insurance company knows your lawyer can take it to court, it pays better on your claim.
3. Your lawyer needs to be experienced. If he’s been doing personal injury cases for 5 years along with criminal defense or divorces, you will not get the level experience and knowledge a lawyer with 30 years of only personal injury. Lack of experience will not get the insurance company to pay full value. Hire someone who knows the judges in the area. If you hire from across the state, you may not get a lawyer who knows the courts, the judges, the bailiffs, and the insurance defense lawyers. The insurance defense lawyers also don’t know the reputation of the lawyer you pick. If it’s a BTSL, the problem is the defense lawyer does know that law firm’s reputation – and that’s the problem. As noted above, his “experience” he brags about on the billboard is years of marketing experience not courtroom experience. You know how hard it is for people to admit they have made a mistake? Some people have made the mistake of hiring a BTSL and when they do, they won’t admit their mistake. Good trial lawyers get calls from the clients routinely: “I wish I had hired you for my case.”
4. Hire a lawyer who’s connected with other trial lawyers. He should know what’s going on with other lawyers in their cases through email lists, important seminars and who networks with other lawyers to learn what tricks the insurance companies are up to. He must be a member of the American Association of Justice, The Florida Justice Association and get more than the required continuing legal education the Florida Bar requires.
5. Hire a lawyer who does good in the community. In order to feel good about the person you hire, your lawyer must be somebody gives back to the community you are in. He should be involved with making the roads safer for all the folks. He should lobby in Tallahassee to improve the laws for Florida citizens and their families to be kept safe.
If he is just out to make money instead of assure fairness and justice and making sure what happened to you doesn’t happen to anyone else, you may be unhappy with your case results.
However, if he is a lawyer is involved in the community, who contributes to making the community safer and who lobbies the legislature to keep people safe, who is interviewed with the media about safety you will be proud of the lawyer you hire. As an additional benefit: a jury might hear of his reputation and think favorably of him and you. Otherwise, you may feel your case is just about money and not about justice or making life better for the members of your community.
Stop clicking now if you are injured and searching for an attorney. I am a full-service personalized, personal injury lawyer with a statewide practice in all 67 counties. I have 31 years of experience to put to work for you. Call me so I can answer your questions: 1-800 – 535 – 3002. Email: JSteele@JSteelelaw.com Skype: ScienceCan Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JSteeleLaw/ Twitter: @JSteeleOlmstead or @FlaBicyleLawyr Whatsapp: J. Steele Olmstead Instagram: jsteeleolmstead. © 2018 J. Steele Olmstead, P. A., All rights Reserved