Confessions of a Former Insurance Defense Attorney – Part I

Confessions of a former insurance defense attorney - artYou can read about it more here, but Attorney Matt Vook has experience working on all sides of the insurance law industry. One notable position was his time working for an insurance company doing insurance defense work. For several years, Matt spent his time in that arena, learning the ins and outs of insurance companies’ and their processes.

Here are a few insider tips you’ll want to be aware of.

It Pays to Have Legal Representation, Literally

People who settle a case without a lawyer will almost certainly get significantly less than if they hire an attorney. Insurance companies are comfortable playing the odds and trying to settle cases quickly without the claimant getting representation. It’s common for adjusters to approach the claimant/plaintiff with what seems like a large sum of money (and it is comparatively), hoping the injured party will accept without much thought. An experienced attorney can help to ensure that the payout offered is truly reflective of the injury and damages.

 Your Case Deserves a Second Look

Insurance companies may rethink or reconsider a denial when a claimant/plaintiff hires an attorney. This does not apply to every insurance company, nor does it apply to all adjusters in every situation, but it does, in fact, happen.  If nothing else, hiring an attorney may trigger a supervisor review of the file, which may make the adjuster rethink their position.

The Right Evidence Makes a Big Difference

A case must be built with evidence (the right evidence) to hold any value to the insurance company. Insurance companies will often take a “prove it to me” approach to pay out settlements.  While you may have suffered a major injury, if you don’t have the right evidence to back up your contentions, the insurance company will not value your case as high as it should.  For example, a concert pianist who loses a pinky finger will have their life impacted differently (and in a lot of ways more significantly) than a laborer.  Without the right evidence, the insurance company may treat that pianist the same as a laborer in valuing the claim.

Who You Hire as Representation Makes a Difference

The RIGHT attorney REALLY makes a difference in what an injured worker/plaintiff receives.  Some firms will take as many cases as they can, do little to build the case (as discussed above), and eventually settle.  The claimant/plaintiff ends up receiving significantly less than they might have had they hired somebody else.  The right attorney is one who prioritizes quality over quantity, thereby having time to build the case with the right evidence, allowing for the maximum payout to their client.