“I’m from the insurance company and I’m here to help you.”
A lot of people think insurance companies want to be fair.
At the risk of paraphrasing Mitt Romney, insurance companies are people. This does not mean that those people want to jump out of their socks to give the company’s money away. Insurance company adjusters and managers get fired if they pay too much on claims.
The companies have controls – claims committees, limits of authority, quotas, computer programs setting claim values – which keep them from paying too much. I have always thought that if they underpay, they get promotions or raises.
Maybe the company is conscientious about making fair offers, in order to resolve claims without their having to hire a lawyer – or maybe they are afraid of bad faith lawsuits. So I cannot say that an insurance company will not make a fair offer. It’s just that they don’t Have much incentive to be fair, and they have every incentive not to.
How can I prove this? Virtually every time I take over a lawsuit from an accident victim who has been dealing directly with an insurance company, the offer goes up – substantially. It goes up not because they want to be fair, but because they think that a lawsuit will result in attorney fees and a large damages award.
So – even when a claim is well within the adjuster’s authority – he or she is going to have a bias in favor of offering less, and paying less. Like the time the adjuster offered my client $1500 plus their medical bills (which were $4000 net) before the client came to me. After I sent in all of the medical bills and records, and explained in detail how the accident affected my client, the insurance company paid $18,000 total after I got involved.
But if you’re reading this, you obviously are interested in what you see. So why don’t you give me, a Cincinnati injury lawyer, a call.
I’d love to talk with you about this. Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.