Beware of Lowered Damages
Insurance adjusters use many techniques to lower the value of claims, and a Jacksonville injury lawyer wants you to know about this danger. Here are some tactics that clients need to recognize.
Lawyers Weigh In
Some personal injury lawyers write opinion letters for insurers saying that a claim has little value. The insurer will show the letter to the claimant in an effort to influence or lower a settlement figure. But if the claims representative has not shown the lawyer all of the facts and details, then the opinion is not well-informed.
“Home Court” Advantage
If you live in a different state from where the accident or injury took place, the insurance representative knows that the distance presents a huge incentive to settle. Otherwise you, the claimant, must travel to take your claim to court. This would incur costs, including lost work time, travel, hotel, etc. If the injuries are painful, this makes travel extremely undesirable. So if you are in a different state as the jurisdiction of the trail court for your case, you can expect the defense to leverage their local advantage.
Stigmatizing the Claimant
If the claimant’s station in life or personal lifestyle can be called into question, the insurance team may do so. The claims representatives know that jurors may view a plaintiff negatively, and they play this card to achieve their goal of reducing a claim’s value, leading to a favorable settlement for the insurer.
The insurer has contacts with a battery of experts, who are paid to testify about factors that would support denying, mitigating, or reducing a claim. From doctors to lawyers to engineers and investigators, adjusters rely on a wealth of professional expertise to validate an underestimated claim. This can prove to be a biased effort when the insurer controls the information and scope of an investigation. If the insurer disapproves of the expert report, that report will never see the light of day. If it does, the research may be slanted or incomplete.
The bottom line is that legal experts in your area stay on top of these and dozens of questionable approaches used by insurance representatives. Don’t fall victim to these practices. Be sure to call Jacksonville injury lawyer John Fagan today at 904-278-1000.