Dealing With The Insurance Company
Nearly all of the individuals and corporations responsible for our clients' injuries are covered by some type of insurance policy. Doctors, hospitals and nursing homes are covered by medical malpractice policies. Premises or general liability policies cover stores and business owners for dangerous premises claims. Homeowners policies cover the owners of animals that bite or attack members of the public. Trucking companies are covered by fleet policies.
Regardless of the type of case, the insurance company involved has a claim department whose job it is to handle these claims and minimize pay-outs. This department employs claim adjusters who are given some basic medical and legal training and are then schooled in techniques to use in order to avoid or reduce the amount the insurance company must pay for a claim.
A claim representative is not your representative. He or she represents only the insurance company and has no duty to explain your legal rights to you. The claim adjuster has no duty to explain the value of your claim or the nature of your medical problems that your injury may cause.
It is a serious mistake to believe that any claim adjuster represents your interests. The claim adjuster's job is to maintain a cordial and friendly relationship with you, to try to win your trust, and to convince you that he or she will "do the right thing" or "take care of everything." Insurance adjusters do this for two reasons: (1) to gather information from you, such as recorded statements, claim forms and medical releases in order to minimize or defeat your claim; (2) to convince you not to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who will know the true value of your case and fully pursue maximum damages for you.
It is best to contact an attorney at The Glassman Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible after you have been injured so that we can protect your rights and provide prompt and early advice on how to best handle your case.
If you have been discussing your case with an insurance claim representative and decide that you may want to consult an attorney for advice about your rights, stop talking to the claim adjuster immediately and contact us. We will promptly review and evaluate your case. We will advise you if we can be of help. If we agree to take your case, we will advise the best course to pursue.
If after our initial free consultation we have impressed you with our sincerity, our desire and our commitment to work hard for you, we will ask you to sign a contingent fee contract so that we can represent you on a percentage basis.
We will then send out what is known as a lien letter, or letter of representation, notifying the party against whom a claim is filed and his insurer of the nature and reason for our claim, as well as the date and place of the incident giving rise to the claim. This is not yet a lawsuit. We are merely notifying the insurance company of our representation and requesting that it contact us to acknowledge our lien letter in writing. This usually takes 7-14 days.
Once notified that we are your legal representatives, it is improper for any insurance representative or claim adjuster to call, discuss or communicate with you in any form about your case. If called or contacted, politely inform the claim representative that you are represented by The Glassman Law Firm, P.C., and ask for the adjuster's name and phone number to give to your attorney. You are not required, nor should you make any further statements or give any information about why you decided to hire an attorney.
From this point forward, we will assist and guide you through the medical process so that you receive proper care and evaluation. Our staff will assist you in the submission of medical insurance forms. We will handle all contacts and negotiation with the opposing insurance company.