Who Is the Real Client?

We all are required by law to buy car insurance.  If we cause a car wreck, the insurance is supposed to cover the damage and defend us.  However, some insurance defense attorneys don’t really represent you.  They represent the people the pay the bills- the insurance company.  This can become really important if the insurance company decides to play games.  For example, I just tried a case in which State Farm insured the defendant for minimum limits of $30,000.  State Farm knew that was all they would have to pay.  So, instead of settling, they decided to gamble.  The plaintiff’s medical bills alone totaled over $100,000, and State Farm offered to pay only $1,500.  The Winston-Salem, Forsyth County jury came back with a $300,000 verdict.

Who was the real client for the insurance defense attorney?  State Farm was the real client.  The defendant is a young man that had to drive up from Smithfield for three days and spend all day in court.  Now, there was some UIM coverage, but the defendant may still end up responsible for around $90,000 because State Farm is currently refusing to pay the balance.  The real client was State Farm, because the person who pays the piper calls the tune.  The lesson to be learned is to make sure that your insurance attorney is not gambling your future.  Stay involved in your case, and ask if any offers to settle have been made.  Ask them what evidence they have for refusing to make settlement offers.  Such communications can help avoid large insurance companies and their lawyers risking our time and financial well-being.  You paid for these lawyers to defend you, make them do it.