Do you think that you are in “Good Hands with Allstate”, “Nationwide is on your side” or “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”? If you have UIM motor vehicle coverage, you may be in for a huge surprise. If you are in a car wreck that is someone else’s fault, the insurance companies will hire a lawyer. However, that lawyer will work against you. The insurance lawyer will not represent you, but will represent the defendant instead. Your own money that you pay in premiums will now be hard at work against you. These insurance lawyers will work with the defendant’s insurance lawyer and gang up against you. Whenever you go to trial, it will be you and the personal injury lawyer that you have to hire against the two insurance lawyers. Seems somewhat unfair to pay for a double-team against you, huh?
The insurance lawyers will get your prior medical history, they will cross examine your doctors, maybe hire insurance doctors of their own that they have used hundreds of times, and then cross-examine you at trial. I have seen these insurance lawyers conspire with the defendant’s insurance lawyer to persuade them to not pay the defendant’s insurance limits. If the defendant’s insurance pays its limits, you may then be able to avoid trial and go to arbitration instead. These insurance lawyers know this. So, they will often make deals behind the scenes to keep the case in front of the jury. With a jury, they can then try and appeal to tort reform type biases and ideas to keep the verdict down.
Recently, there was a large uproar regarding one of Progressive Insurance’s claims. In the claim, the Progressive insured was killed in a car wreck. Instead of coming to help the family of the deceased, Progressive hired a defense attorney to fight the family. The brother of the deceased wrote an article entitled,“My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court”. Everyone should read this article. It shows that we can’t sue the insurance companies directly. We can only sue the defendants, and the insurance companies are able to stay hidden behind the scenes. The defendants have no control over the case. The insurance companies call of the the shots, and YOU are the one paying for this with your premiums. In North Carolina, we can’t even mention the word insurance in a court of law. The insurance lawyers will object and get a mistrial. Instead, they make it appear that you are suing this poor defendant personally.
Just be aware that if you buy undersinsured motor vehicle coverage, the insurance lawyer will not work for you. They will fight you instead. While you should purchase UIM coverage to protect yourself from underinsured drivers, you will also need to be in for a big battle with your own insurance company as well. After a tremendous backlash and negative publicity, Progressive paid on the claim. Read the settlement article here. However, this is nothing new, and nothing will change. Your own insurance is not “on your side”, and you are not “in good hands”. They will fight you instead. If you need some more information on how to handle insurance claims, read my 10 Tips to Handling Car Wreck cases.