Articles Tagged with adjuster

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Huntsville, AlabamaEarlier this week, I saw a strange lawyer video. It was published by a settlement mill lawyer outside Alabama. In the video, this personal injury lawyer suggested injured people should hire her because she would “pester” the insurance adjuster with repeated calls for a settlement. This lawyer repeated over-and-over that she would pepper the adjuster with repeated phone calls to pester them into negotiating a settlement. I guess it was easy to make a quick TikTok video. But, what a terrible idea. If you want to get the most compensation possible for your clients, being a needy or desperate pest is a terrible idea.

I understand the frustration of hurt people after dealing with an insurance adjuster. Your calls are often ignored. I hear from people hurt in car accidents who are ghosted by an adjuster. I hear from people hurt in work-related accidents who cannot get the adjuster to respond and approve medical care. I’ve written multiple times on the topic. I’ve offered advice in some of my prior posts.

But, a lawyer pestering the adjuster is not the answer! Yet, it’s a practice of many settlement mill lawyers. Why? Their goal is a quick settlement. Their goal is not to get you the best settlement. It’s to get you the quickest settlement so they can move to the next claim. Settlement mill lawyers put quantity of settlements over quality of settlements. If you suffered a serious personal injury, you want the opposite. You want quality.

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Building-personal-injury-cases-for-maximum-compensation-300x300Earlier this week, I took the deposition of a local orthopedic surgeon in a client’s car accident case. I take several medical depositions each month. So, it’s not unusual to be in a deposition. It’s part of our process to help clients by building their cases. The case involved a car accident. The crash actually happened pretty close to my office in Huntsville. An uninsured driver crashed into my client at a busy intersection along University Drive. Because an uninsured driver caused the Huntsville accident, we made a claim against my client’s own auto insurer for uninsured coverage. The carrier — Allstate! Yes, I have a pretty negative opinion about how that company treats its own insureds. Are you really in good hands? Any Alabama lawyer who regularly handles car accident and injury cases likely agrees with me.

As is so often the case, Allstate offered practically nothing to my client after her wreck. But, then we took the ortho’s deposition. We obtained his testimony for use at trial. After his testimony, the adjuster suddenly started calling and wanting to pay. Developing the medical evidence increases case value significantly! That’s an obvious no-brainer. Yet, so many lawyers simply refuse to prepare their cases! I know lawyers who claim to handle car accident cases but have never taken key testimony from medical providers. It’s shocking to think how little value they add to cases.

How Settlement Mill Law Firms Fail Clients By Failing To Build Case Value!

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Huntsville Workers Compensation LawyersI talk to injured workers in Alabama every day. If you are hurt on the job, you are likely entitled to work comp benefits. Those benefits should provide needed medical care and compensation. Too often, they do not. Alabama law is very unfair. Injured workers face many problems.

I could write a book discussing the many ways our work comp laws are unfair to injured workers. I have discussed many of those issues in prior articles on this blog. Today, I want to focus on five early mistakes injured workers make that can harm their claims.

The Worker Does NOT Report The Accident (IN WRITING) In A Timely Manner

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Alabama Accident & Injury AttorneysAnother driver crashed into you. You are hurt and need help. Maybe you tried to deal with the adjuster yourself but have become frustrated! Maybe the adjuster made promises but now won’t return your phone calls. Should you consult a car accident attorney? I’ve written about that issue previously. If your injuries are minor (nothing beyond the ER) and the other driver is clearly at-fault, you can often settle those claims without a lawyer and save yourself money. The billboard and television lawyers begging for you to call will never tell you that. But, then again, those lawyers leave many clients with nothing in the end. If your injuries are significant (more than just a visit to the emergency room) or liability is disputed, a good lawyer can often make a big difference.

I’ve written several articles on this blog providing tips to help you in choosing the right Alabama personal injury attorney for your case. I won’t rehash all of them in this post. If you want some tips, search my archives.

If you suffered serious injuries, a good car accident attorney may be able to significantly increase the value of your case. If you required treatment beyond the emergency room, missed time at work or suffered a lingering injury, you should definitely talk with a skilled attorney. By skilled, I mean a lawyer who regularly prepares these cases for trial — Not the attorneys you see on billboards or the attorneys who handle everything.

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Through the years, I’ve written numerous articles discussing ways insurance adjusters work to decrease or diminish the value of your claim. If you are looking for a specific topic, I encourage you to search the blog archives. We’ve addressed many accident and injury topics. If you cannot locate an answer to your questions, let us know. We are happy to discuss your issues.

Below, I’ve attached a recent slideshow detailing three simple tricks insurance adjusters use. The slideshow focuses on Alabama car accident injury claims. However, adjusters use many of the same tricks in workers’ compensation claims.

Here is our slideshow:

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Does-The-Insurance-adjuster-ignore-you-300x300You suffered a sudden accident at work. You are hurting. You need treatment. Questions, worries and fears race through your mind. Will I heal? Can I keep my job? When can I see the doctor? How can I pay my bills? How does work comp work? I’ve heard all the questions. I’ve heard all the frustrations. I counsel injured workers almost every single day.

Today, I want to discuss one of the most common frustrations — The insurance adjuster will not respond or return your calls. Nothing is more frustrating! If you are hurt and frustrated by an adjuster who will not respond, you are not alone. In both Alabama car accident cases and workers’ compensation claims, this is a very common problem. Adjusters bombard you when they need something or when they are pushing you to settle for a small amount. When you need something, they disappear.

Why do insurance adjusters ignore your calls? Let’s look at four primary stages in a work comp claim when adjusters disappear. What are these four primary stages of a work comp claim? Why are you being ignored? How can you respond?

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Blackwell Law Firm -- Alabama Accident & Injury AttorneysYou suffered a car accident caused by another driver. You are injured. Suddenly, you face many questions. How can I get needed medical care? Will I heal quickly? What happens if I lose my job because I’m hurt? How will I pay my medical bills? How will I deal with the insurance company?

Then, you speak with the insurance adjuster. The adjuster may promise to help you quickly. The adjuster may even promise to pay your medical bills. It happens all the time — The adjuster acts like they are ready to pay your bills and take care of you. Most of the time, it’s not true. Most of the time, the adjuster wants to buy time to protect the insurance company.

The adjuster wants you to provide a recorded statement OR to sign an authorization so the insurance company can dig through your medical records OR simply to string you along. The adjuster tells you information is needed to get you paid. Maybe it is. More likely, it’s an effort to investigate your claim and look for potential reasons to deny it.

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Alabama Accident & Injury AttorneysI recently wrote a post titled How Settlement Mill Lawyers Harm Car Accident Victims:  You Hired A LAWYER But Did NOT Receive One. In that article I discussed a real problem with settlement mill law firms. At settlement mill law firms, all the work and attention is performed by staff members instead of lawyers. Injury victims think they are getting a lawyer but they are not.

After writing that article, I read a Florida case where this issue almost cost a client tremendously. What happened? A car accident victim hired a law firm. The firm gathered his medical records. The firm then sent a quick demand letter to the insurance company, State Farm. Because the injured client’s bills were substantial, the firm intended to demand the full policy limits of $100,000. Oops! Instead, the firm’s letter demanded only $10,000 to settle the case. Apparently, the lawyer never read the demand letter. In settlement mill law firms, a “legal assistant” or “case manager” often writes and communicates with the insurance company. Where is the lawyer? That’s a good question. Some settlement mill firms function like assembly lines handling a volume of cases. The work product is bad. If you are hurt, you deserve to have a lawyer working your case. When State Farm received the letter offering to accept $10,000 instead of $100,000, it quickly responded by accepting in writing.

What a potential disaster! What happened next? The parties had to litigate the issue through Florida’s courts. In the end, an appellate court in Florida saved the client by holding that no settlement contract existed because of the mistake. The injured person dodged a terrible result and salvaged his case. The law firm dodged a terrible result and a potential malpractice issue.

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Huntsville Car Accident LawyersI 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.

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Alabama Car Accident AttorneysIf you’ve read my prior articles, you know my opinion — Billboard lawyers often harm their personal injury clients. As lawyers, our job is to help our clients. We should put first our clients’ interests. Yet, many billboard lawyers help themselves at their clients’ expense.

How do settlement mill lawyers smiling from billboards harm their personal injury clients? Over the coming weeks, I’m going to write posts discussing several ways these advertising lawyers often harm their injured clients. Today, I’ll talk about the sweetheart arrangements many of these settlement mill lawyers have with a specific chiropractor to profit from your injuries.

Here’s how the sweetheart deal between the billboard lawyer and a specific chiropractor works. You suffer a car accident injury and call the billboard lawyer. You probably don’t meet with the actual billboard lawyer. That’s a different issue we’ll discuss in a later post. You probably meet with an “investigator,” “runner” or other staff member. Once you sign the contract, the billboard lawyer wants you to see a specific chiropractor. His chiropractor. That chiropractor will then run-up the charges for your visits. The billboard lawyer will use these exorbitant charges to try and negotiate a deal with the insurance company to settle your claim. It’s an assembly line process designed so the billboard lawyer spends as little time as possible working on your file. That billboard lawyer simply wants to make a few phone calls. And, in many volume law firms, a staff member is actually making the calls. You get zero service from the lawyer.

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