Everyday, we are bombarded with commercials produced by the insurance industry. The commercials promise the insurance company will be like a “good neighbor” and that you will be in “good hands.” These insurance commercials really do a good job in creating the illusion that when you are hurt in a wreck, that you will be treated fairly. In reality, the insurance company only has one goal-to make more money. This is because money is like crack cocaine to the insurance company.
When you are involved in a wreck, the first thing the insurance company will do is have a well trained, seemingly nice and gentle person call you to get your side of the story. This person is called an adjuster or claims handler. The adjuster has been taught on how to ask questions that are designed to manipulate you or your story. The adjuster’s job is to find a way to defeat or destroy your claim.
The insurance company almost never agrees to pay for your property damage, medical bills, lost wages and compensation for your pain and suffering. The insurance company hopes to frustrate you to the point of giving up. If you give up, the insurance company keeps the money that you should have been paid and the adjuster probably gets a bonus.
If you hire an actual Trial Lawyer, someone who will fight for you, and you file a lawsuit, the insurance company will hire some of the best lawyers money can buy. The insurance company will pay “top dollar” to have an insurance defense lawyer do his best to discredit you and have your case dismissed. Commonsense suggests the insurance company should pay the claim and not spend a bunch of money on insurance defense lawyers. Commonsense is not the strong suit of the insurance industry. This is the reason: at the end of the year, the insurance company reports the money paid to the insurance defense lawyer as wages or contract labor. This is a deduction that reduces the taxes paid by the insurance company.
The insurance defense lawyer normally works for a big law firm where there are many associates, law clerks, paralegals, secretaries, investigators and other support staff, all of whom work very hard to defeat your claim. This small army of insurance lawyers will start digging in your past, combing through your social media, reading all of your medical records, talking to all of your former employers, reviewing your credit history and doing everything possible to find a way to shame you for suing the insurance company. As you may have guessed, the insurance company and its lawyer are not working to determine why your claim should be paid, along with your property damage and medical bills.
The insurance defense lawyer and his small army will start filing motions with a judge in an effort to avoid responsibility. These motions often ask the judge to make a lot of decisions about your case or what evidence can be presented at trial. The insurance defense lawyer and his small army will try to overwork or overwhelm your lawyer with motion after motion. He also hopes to frustrate the judge to the point of exhaustion. Too often this tactic works and your claim will suffer.
If these tactics fail and you make it to a trial, the insurance industry has another trick up its sleeve-propaganda! Before you even had a claim, the insurance industry started a propaganda campaign to manipulate possible jurors. For example, the insurance industry blames “greedy trial lawyers” for the increase in insurance rates. The truth is the insurance industry makes billions of dollars. However, if anyone is responsibly for lost revenues, it is the insurance company’s poor choice in making risky investments in the stock market.
Also, the insurance industry claims “runaway juries” hand out “jackpot justice” to undeserving people. The real problem for the insurance company is that it cannot control and manipulate the people on a jury. But, this does not stop it from trying by making up stories about “lawsuit abuse” to make potential jurors biased against plaintiffs.
The insurance industry is counting on its propaganda and the people who believe it to defeat your claim. This is morally and legally wrong on so many levels. If your lawyer were to visit potential jurors to influence them about your case, he would be guilty of jury tampering. If your lawyer would get to the jurors and make them believe they have a financial interest in the outcome of your case (e.g., like the insurance industry claiming insurance rates increase if there is a verdict for a plaintiff), he would be committing a crime. Most importantly, he would be corrupting the jurors by making them believe they have a financial interest in the outcome of the case. But, the insurance industry is not bothered by this dilemma, mainly because it is not a person, who can be held responsible for his actions. So, the insurance industry does this over and over again. Unfortunately, this tactic works and some people show up for jury duty with their minds made up.
Admittedly, all of this sounds a little like a conspiracy. As ugly as it sounds, it is true. The insurance company spends money on marketing and branding. This media campaign creates the illusion that the insurance company is a hero or a good guy. For the people who have not filed a claim with an insurance company, these commercials create a false sense of security. However, for those who have filed a claim with an insurance company, they know that those commercials are just another creation by the writers and producers in Hollywood.
This article is a cautionary one. If you have a claim, you need to be extra-careful when dealing with the insurance company. Try to do all communication in writing or by email. It never hurts to speak with an experienced attorney about your case. When your claim goes into litigation, do not be surprised about your case taking a long time or about the insurance company trying to “dig up dirt” about you. If your case survives all the motions filed by the insurance defense lawyer and you make it to a jury trial, you face another battle, one that began with propaganda. Don’t be surprised that some jurors may look at you as “one of those people,” who is looking for “jackpot justice.”