Lesson One: The Insurance Adjuster Is Not Your Lawyer
Don’t ask the insurance adjuster (who works for your insurance company) for legal advice. Just don’t. Their interests are not aligned with your interests. For their company to make money they have to pay you less than you deserve.
THE ONE REPRESENTING THEMSELVES HAS A FOOL FOR A CLIENT
Again this week I get asked to fix, that which is no longer capable of being fixed.
A nice lady calls me to ask about how to deal with a demand by her health insurer to be repaid for the medical bills they paid following a car accident.
I know.. you're scratching your head wondering why you have to pay back your own insurance company after paying a big premium every month.
IT IS CALLED SUBROGATION
It has been well over two years, and more than a year since she settled her own case.
That was then and this is now. And sometime before now they sent her a letter demanding she repay them out of the money she was paid by the two auto insurance companies.
And today she is one eye blink away from crying because they want thousands of dollars that she doesn’t have and never really got to keep.
JUST THE FACTS MA’AM
In the accident she suffered serious injuries and was taken from the accident scene by ambulance to the local hospital. And this is about when her troubles began.
She answered the insurance question giving the hospital folks her insurance information. She had health insurance and car insurance. That should work. Right?
The medical bills piled up and she thought her insurance company could be trusted to take care of her.
IT DID NOT WORK AS PLANNED
They paid, she settled and then another insurance company came calling.
She did not really have to tell me that she had no experience with this sort of thing.
And yet then, she thought nothing of making this a DIY lawsuit.
Practicing law is not like doing crafts.
ODD THAT YOU WOULD ASK SOMEONE WITH A CONFLICT FOR ADVICE
So then why did she deal with the insurance companies without the aid of a lawyer?
And I asked her why she didn’t hire a lawyer.
According to her, she asked the adjuster, the one working for her insurance company, "Do I need a lawyer?". Yes. I'm not kidding.
That is like asking the executioner if you should have hired a lawyer for your trial.
And what do you think the adjuster said?
Right. The adjuster said, “No, you don’t need a lawyer.”
Now aside from the fact that the adjuster was dispensing legal advice without a law license, why would anyone take advice about needing representation from an insurance adjuster?
This is one of those dahhhhh moments.
You shouldn’t trust the insurance adjuster because they are not there to dispense legal advice or even legal services. They are there to make money by keeping your money.
ASKING THE ADJUSTER FOR ADVICE IS LIKE ASKING THE CAR SALESMAN, IF YOU ARE PAYING A FAIR PRICE
In the end she received the exact value of her ‘legal representation’.
And just so you know, she settled her own case for a fourth of what it was actually worth and then had to spend all the money that she thought was hers, paying for medical expenses that she didn’t include in the settlement evaluation.
BOTTOM LINE: THE PERSON REPRESENTING THEMSELVES HAS A FOOL FOR A CLIENT
Had she hired a qualified lawyer, paid them a contingent fee of one-third, she would have received two to three times what she received and would have been able to keep the money rather than give it right back to the hospital, the doctors and now her own health insurance company.
Don't make the same mistake she made. If you need legal representation contact me online or call me directly at 515.222.1110.
OTHER BLOGS TO READ
- Dragnet, (’54)
- Do You Have To Give Statement To Insurance Adjuster? | Lombardi
- Here is why you can never trust your own insurance company adjuster
- The Adjuster Recorded Statement in a Single-Vehicle Crash
- Q: When should I accept what money the insurance adjuster offers?
- Q: At what point do I need to hire a lawyer in my personal injury case?
- What happens if my claim is rejected by the other driver's insurance?
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