12 Things to Consider When Seuing Your Own Insurance Company

1. Even if their slogan says they are on your side, they truly are not when you are asking for a settlement.

2. Insurance companies are financially able to hire the best of the best legal counsel, but this should not intimidate the honest people who are truly deserving of a fair settlement offer.

3. Suing on your own is probably not the best idea if you want to be taken seriously.

4. Going up against a large corporation may take a lot of time to get a settlement. The longer they keep their funds, the better off they are with their financial investments.

5. Your insurance premiums may go up even though they are not supposed to.

6. You might need to look for different insurance coverage due to them having the right to drop you as a customer.

7. They may have you go to an independent medical representative to consider if your injuries are real or not.

8. If you do not have an official police report saying the fault was an uninsured motorist they may attempt to find you at fault.

9. Be assured they will attempt to limit your medical coverage at all cost. However, you do have the right to see whichever doctor you prefer even if this includes a chiropractor.

10. It is always a good idea to make sure you see an MD as part of your initial treatment as they are viewed as more reputable by the insurance companies.

11. They may even refuse to pay certain bills without you knowing, which results in damaging your credit due to being turned over to a bill collector.

12. Insurance companies are professionals when it comes to dealing with being sued and they do not easily admit fault. They will use whatever bad fair tactic to get what they want including low balling, intimidation not to pay bills, false threats, delay of communication, etc.

To Sue or Not To Sue?

If you are the person who is struggling with whether of not to sue an insurance company there are a few things you can consider.

First, you have to get over any negative feelings you might have towards lawsuits. Unfortunately, the way the system is set up, at times there are no other options, but to bring suit in order to be compensated at all.

If the insurance company is not willing to work with you and are not even willing to cover your medical expenses, they leave you with no choice. You should consider suing if you feel like you have tried all attempts to get the insurance company to work with you and they are not.

If you feel you have just cause with proof you are the victim you should considering suing. If you are suing because you are greedy, you should be ashamed and this will more than likely bit you in the butt. You should never sue because of greed. The system is thankfully set up to weed out this type of scam artist.

Will I Get a Larger Settlement If I Go To Court?

The answer to this is of course unknown.  There are so many variables and unknowns to consider. If you have a trial by your peers, the case is worth whatever they say it is worth and if you have a crummy lawyer whom does not present properly your case you could go backwards in your settlement amount. Yet, you do get the satisfaction of your day in court.

Regardless, for us, personally being faced with no other option, we did receive more by going to court.  But what your lawyer is not going to specifically point out is that when you go to court whatever medical bills the insurance company has paid this amount will come out of your final settlement and this is not before he/she gets there percentage.

So basically it will look like:

Court awards $30,000

Minus – Lawyer fee of $10,000
Minus – Medical covered by insurance of $5,000
Minus – Court fees and expenses of $5,000

AND YOUR TOTAL = $10,000

So consider if you are willing to take a chance with the court system.  Do you have a winnable case?  Do you have a good lawyer?  Is the insurance company leaving you with no choice?

What is An Eggshell Defense?

The concept of the eggshell defense is where the victim has a preexisting medical condition which is aggravated by minor trauma, which would not otherwise injure a heathy individual, but the causation is still present.

If you have no history of previous trauma in anyway – you are the victor.  There is no need to hide or be scared of the insurance company and they know that.  If you were perfectly healthy before a said accident then you deserve justice because this trauma is something you will have to live with for the rest of your life.  You loss of life is greater the younger you are.  Do not let a big name agency attempt to scare you with tactics – stand you ground and the honest person will prevail.

HOWEVER, if you are NOT honest and are trying to hide a preexisting medical condition the insurance companies lawyers will find this in the discovery part of the trial proceedings.

What is a Loss of Consortium and Services Claim?

Well, did you know that if you are suing for a personal injury loss then your spouse can also file a claim due to their loss because of your loss. This is what a Loss of Consortium and Services Claim is. So lets say your husband is in a wreck and he is not able to mow the yard or repair the car for you, then you are able to say that I have a loss of life because now you have to mow the yard and repair the car. Or basically you have to pick up all the slack.

You can even make a claim for the intimate loss in your relationship as well if you are willing to go into details which can be very uncomfortable when you are deposed or on the witness stand.

What You CAN’T Say On The Witness Stand

The following is direct legal advise:

Just to emphasize: At trial you can’t talk about any settlement offers, or the mediation, or your frustrations with the insurance company. I do not want to give the defense anything that could be a basis for appeal or mistrial.

The trial will actually be simply about the damages and what it is worth: the injury which did not exist before the wreck and all the problems associated with the injuries / the pain and suffering / how the injuries have affected your lives, the medical treatment and bills.

9 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Court

1. Get a good night sleep. Your mind needs to be as sharp as possible to outthink the opposing counsel.

2. Where comfortable cloths, preferably in layers. If you get to cold and start shaking this will be viewed as fear and if you get to hot and start sweating this will be viewed as hostility.

3. Review medical bills, depositions, doctors’ reports as much as possible. You do not want to have any gap in your story or be a shady witness who appears to be lying

4. Rehearse responses to possible questions that the opposing counsel will maybe use. It never hurts to be overly prepared, but being under prepared could cost you greatly but emotionally, physically and financial.

5. Meet with your lawyer before hand and make sure that he/she is prepared.

Ask questions like:
I. What questions will you ask me?
II. What do you think I will be asked by opposing counsel?
III. What evidence will be presented?
IV. Will I be involved in the jury selection?
V. What does our closing look like?

6. If you will take part in the jury selection, have your lawyer explain the process so you will be prepared. This may happen very quickly in which you will be expected to give a quick reason why you want or do no want a particular person on the jury.

7. Remember that honesty is your best tool. You do not have to remember a script; just tell your life story of the pain, loss and trails you have already experienced.

8. Be aware that you are only allowed to answer the question which is being asked, but there is always a creative way of getting the truth in. How you word your response may be what determines if something is admissible in court. This is why practicing your responses may help you when you get on the stand and nerves try to overtake you.

9. Make sure you know the exact location of the court house, the appointed room and the time you are expected to be there. If this is your lawyers first time at the courthouse you may want to double check if they know where they are going as well. However, do this discreetly as you do not want your lawyer to get mad before trial.

4 Forbidden Things to Say On The Witness Stand?

I was so shocked to learn that there are certain things you cannot say on the witness stand. It was a great irony to me due to that you would think the courthouse is one of justice and truth. However, before going on the stand, my lawyer advised me of all of the facts I could not reveal in order for our case not to be considered as a mistrial. This included:

1. You were not allowed to mention how your insurance unfairly treated you even if this was the reason you did not initially seek treatment for your injuries.

2. You were not allowed to say that the insurance adjuster was unfair in dealing with your case and was not even offering a settlement that would cover only your medical bills and not to mention any pain an suffering or loss of wages.

3. Unless presented to the court prior to a certain date, you are not allowed to say the exact total of your recently incurred medical expenses. You were only allowed to claim what had been presented to the court by your lawyer and if they are not advising you correctly this is the reason for a lower settlement amount. The jury can only reward you money for the recovered damages that they are aware of. In my personal experienced over $20,000 worth of medical expenses were not properly presented before trail.

4. You are not allowed to account for what any doctors told you. The opposing counsel will object stating that you are not an expert witness. To get around this, just re-word your testimony by instead of saying “the doctor said” to “after the wreck I had …”.

So the truth is that there is not much you can say on the witness stand. So, how is justice to be served if you cannot attest to your loss of life, your pain and suffering, your complete medical bills and to the fact of your future medical expenses of surgery.