After her car accident and an offer of $15,000 from the at-fault truck driver’s insurance provider, Roxanne, instead, sued the Insurance company – a court battle that took three years but which awarded Roxanne $167,000. Why did Roxanne sue? Was she just too greedy for cash or was there injustice that actually shrouded the whole settlement negotiations.
The truck driver was obviously at fault; he wrecked Roxanne’s car, caused a slight cut above her eye, and injured her spine and neck (whiplash) – all these meant $15,000 in medical payments and another $10,000 in lost wages due to time off work. $25,000, however, was much more than what the Insurance firm was willing to pay and, on the firm’s part, Roxanne can either take it or leave it.
When an accident occurs or when a destructive natural calamity comes, one possible major source of finances for needed medical treatment or for repair/replacement of damaged property is Insurance, a person’s means to protecting himself/herself against the unexpected effects of untoward situations, such as death, severe illness, injury due to accidents, disability, lost wages and so forth.
Some people even choose to pay higher premiums, knowing that this will mean higher financial benefits when needs arise. Often, though, policy holders end up disappointed and feeling cheated as the amount of financial benefit Insurance providers often grant are much smaller than the amount they expect from their policy. In many other instances, Insurance firms even deny or disapprove a valid claim, or maliciously impede the processing of a claim.
After an 18-month long investigation, Anderson Cooper, the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°, posted in his blog in 2007 the results of his investigation. Based on what he gathered from insurance industry insiders and lawyers, most insurance companies do everything to save money. Their most famous strategy is called the three “Ds”: delay, deny and defend. “Delay handling your claim, deny you were hurt and defend their decision in drawn-out court battles.”
Anderson further says that, one former claims adjuster revealed how “she would offer as little as $50 dollars in some cases. This is in many Insurance firms’ training manuals: pressure claimants until they accept “smaller walk-away settlements.” The sad thing is, many poor people take the offer rather than get nothing at all. Insurance firms bet that victims will neither wait or sue and will rather take whatever they can get and walk-away. According to experts, many accident victims have been walking away from billions of dollars that insurers now keep for themselves.
Tactics employed by insurance providers are called Insurance bad faith – the act of deceiving another person by deliberately and maliciously refusing to honor a contractual obligation. Bad faith is a violation of the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” a law in most U.S. states that is suggested in insurance contracts. Violation of this covenant gives the policyholder the legal right to file a claims lawsuit against the insurance provider due to breach of contract and for tort claim.
In the website of Mazin & Associates, PC, it is said that disability insurance lawyers are aware of the legal help needed by people who face a disability as the insurance benefits they hope to recover from their insurance provider is necessary to pay for their increased health care costs, as well as to cover their lost wages. This is why lawyers will always be willing to work closely with claimants to help them recover the amount they are legally allowed to claim and receive.Read More