I know. You are probably asking why a lawyer would reject a good case. But, many settlement mill lawyers do reject good cases. Why? These settlement mill lawyers are NOT willing to go to court. Sometimes, good cases require you to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, good cases require a little work.
We believe in case preparation. And, we believe in going to court when needed for our clients. We believe hard work builds the best results for our injured clients.
In recent weeks, I’ve written several posts discussing ways billboard settlement mill lawyers harm their injured clients. During the over two decades I’ve practiced personal injury law, I’ve received countless phone calls from people who have been victimized by a settlement mill lawyer. We have many excellent lawyers in our community. They have also seen and heard many horror stories of the harm caused by the few settlement mill lawyers smiling from billboards and televisions.
Today, I will discuss how settlement mill lawyers often reject good car accident injury claims. This can create a huge problem.
Here is the scenario. A car accident victim calls a lawyer smiling from a billboard. The injured person probably meets with an investigator or case manager. He signs a client agreement. The settlement mill lawyer quickly gathers some medical bills, writes the insurance company and seeks to negotiate a settlement. But, the insurance company responds by denying the claim.
Trust me, insurance companies deny good claims on a daily basis. At this point, the settlement mill lawyer may let the case sit for a few weeks and months before trying again to negotiate an easy settlement. Insurance companies know they can deny good claims and the billboard lawyer will eventually take pennies on the dollar to settle. In the end, if the settlement mill lawyer cannot negotiate a settlement, he will simply turn down the case. He won’t file a lawsuit.
When an insurance company denies a good claim, your lawyer should fight for you. Good lawyers file cases and go to court when needed. But, this is not true for the billboard guys who just want quick settlements. Because of this, I’ve written several articles advising accident and injury victims to research their attorney options carefully before choosing a lawyer. In Huntsville, Decatur, and across northern Alabama, you have many good attorney choices.
What are a few excuses used by the insurance company to deny valid car accident claims? Here are four common situations where car insurance companies deny good claims:
- The at-fault driver lies to his own insurance company and denies fault. This is common. Maybe the at-fault driver ran a red light in front of 20 witnesses before crashing into your car. But, he then lies to his insurance company and swears he had the green light. You might have a great case. The adjuster may know you have a great case. But, the insurance company may still deny your claim simply because its own insured refused fault. You might have to fight for compensation. A good lawyer will fight for you.
- The driver of your vehicle caused your injuries. In other words, you were a passenger in a car. Your own driver was at-fault. Alabama has a law called the Guest Passenger Statute which bars many negligence claims in this situation. I’ve written about the Alabama Guest Passenger Statute on several occasions. Insurance companies often cite this law and simply deny every single claim. But, that law does not bar all claims. Many claims are NOT barred by the statute. The problem — You first need a lawyer who studies the law and knows the exceptions. And, you will likely need to file your case. Your settlement mill lawyer is not willing to do so. That requires work and, perhaps, a court appearance.
- The insurance company claims the at-fault driver used a vehicle without permission. Think of it this way — If you give someone permission to use your car, your liability insurance covers them for accidents where they are at-fault. If someone just takes your car without permission, they are not covered by your insurer. And, your insurer can deny an injury claim. But, many cases are not cut-and-dry. Sometimes after a wreck, people will lie and claim they denied permission. Maybe you can prove the case. But, again, this requires investigation and work the settlement mill lawyer is not willing to provide.
- The other driver’s insurance company blames you for the accident. Maybe you did nothing wrong. Yet, the other driver’s insurance company blames you for the crash. Alabama follows a doctrine called contributory negligence. That means if you are even partially at-fault, you cannot recover. You might have a great case. But, your settlement mill lawyer is probably not willing to fight for you.
I could provide many, many more insurance company excuses. All of them require you to fight for compensation. That’s the problem — Settlement mill lawyers only want cases that can be settled quickly without a fight.
When a claim requires real lawyering, settlement mill lawyers simply turn down the case. They don’t tell the victim he or she may have a good claim. Quite often, they tell the personal injury victim the opposite by simply repeating the insurance company excuse as if it is correct. How many car accident victims accept the turn down and never consult a real trial lawyer?
It’s not just the turn down. Settlement mill lawyers often turn down these cases at the 11th hour. In other words, they hold the case until the statute of limitations is close. Then, they turn down the claim. It might be too late for a second opinion.
Settlement mill lawyers are NOT looking out for you. If you suffered a serious accident and injury, do your research. Find a lawyer who will talk with you, who will work on your case, and who will go to court when needed.
At the Blackwell Law Firm, we help people across Alabama following serious accidents and injuries. We regularly publish Alabama car accident and personal injury articles so consumers can get the answers they need. If you have questions, let us know. We are happy to provide answers and advise. Our consultations are always free and confidential.