Former claims adjuster and former insurance defense lawyer Carl Nagle stands ready to tell you exactly how your adjuster will approach your case. He offers the following short list of common tricks and secrets that insurance companies hope that the victim never learns:
- Fair dealings on property damage are used to build trust! The property damage adjuster is bound by law to pay you fairly. The N.C. Insurance Commissioner’s Office mandates this. Thus, they will pay you properly on property damage and hope this gains your trust. The adjuster CAN and WILL underpay you for your injury claims. Injury and property damage claims are separate, and you should not expect the injury adjuster to simply volunteer fair payment.
- You can sometimes collect from multiple sources! Insurance companies will not help you to open claims or find reasons to pay you more money. In many cases, you can collect for the same loss more than once. For example, if you have Medpay coverage on your policy, and if the accident is not your fault, Medpay will pay your medical bills and you can collect for the same charges AGAIN through claims against all at-fault parties. You do not have to reimburse your Medpay insurance carrier.
- There may be hidden layers of insurance coverage. In serious injury cases, insurance companies often push you for a quick settlement and they only offer benefits on the primary policy. However, in many cases there are secondary sources of coverage or even umbrella policies that provide large amounts of additional coverage.
- Insurance companies ask for Medical Authorizations ONLY so they can look at your pre-accident medical records. They are working to reduce the value of your case, and adjusters take no steps to build your case or increase your settlement.
- Property damage and injury claims are separate. You can settle for property damage claims without harming your injury claims.
- Insurance companies may watch or follow victims who suffer serious injury. The adjusters only represent the at-fault driver, and they hope to find evidence to suggest that you are exaggerating your injury, or that you have not lost physical ability.
- Insurance companies in North Carolina ALWAYS try to blame the victim – - if they can show you were just 1% at fault, they owe nothing for your damaged vehicle, your medical bills, your lost wages, or for your pain and suffering.
- Insurance adjusters are NOT there to serve you. Adjusters are trained to be friendly and to build trust. However they are also trained to defend all accident claims, and they will try to establish proof that you caused your own accident or injuries, that your medical condition was “pre-existing” or not caused by the accident, that your symptoms are being exaggerated, and that they do not owe for your medical bills, lost wages, or for your pain and suffering.
- Most cases involving lawyers settle with no lawsuits or court involvement. Hiring a lawyer does not mean you have to go to court!
- Lawyers typically pay their own fee by increasing the settlement paid to the injured client. In fact, in most cases, the client with an attorney nets far more tax-free money even after the lawyers fee is paid than a client who handles their case alone.
- Insurance companies always question victim credibility. Even the most honest person is doubted in the claims office, and the adjuster is trained to treat the victim as a greedy exaggerator.
- Insurance companies will not pay your medical bills or lost wages as the losses are incurred. Rather, they will only pay a single lump-sum payment at time of settlement. They use this as leverage, and often compel families with income loss to settle their injury claims for a fraction of their true value simply to keep their family afloat.
- Personal injury settlements are tax free as long as no specific amount is collected for lost income.
- Insurance adjusters in serious injury or high force collision cases will seek to settle early, or “cash out” a victim’s injury case. They do this with “Scheduled Releases” which purport to leave the claim for future medical costs or lost wages open. These are terrible rip-offs and should NEVER be signed by any accident victim.
- Health insurance helps the victim in every case. Health insurance is “no-fault”, meaning that it pays for medical needs regardless of how you became injured. Even if your health insurance company gets paid back from your settlement, your lawyer can represent you and seek reductions in the health insurance share so you net more money when the case closes.
- Attorneys in vehicle accident cases will provide a free consultation, typically even by telephone, and they will provide your safest plan of action even if you prefer to handle your case without counsel.
- With proper medical proof, you can collect tax free payment for pain and suffering that you will experience after settlement and for the remainder of your life.
- Hiring an attorney costs you nothing up front. We can begin working for you today, and we are paid only if AND WHEN we settle your injury case on terms that you approve!
- With proper medical proof, you can collect for future lost wages and earnings. This includes reduced earning ability and also pay for years of pay that you may lose later if your injury will not allow you to work freely up to typical retirement age.
- If the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays to fix your vehicle, in most cases they also owe additional case to the vehicle owner to pay for the lost fair-market value of the vehicle resulting from the fact that a used car buyer would pay less because the vehicle has been wrecked and repaired.
- Medicaid, Medicare and many private health insurance companies can take a share of your personal injury settlement and, if you do not consider them in your dealings with the insurance company, they can sue you later or even void your future health insurance coverage.
- Injury lawyers should charge NO FEE to help you with property damage claims.
- Injury lawyers are paid nothing up front, and they work to increase your settlement by building and focusing on your medical evidence, by validating your threat of suit, by controlling insurance communications, by developing all money damage claims, and by protecting your settlement money and defending/reducing any claims made against your settlement proceeds.
- You may be able to collect under multiple auto insurance policies. For example, if a victim receives and offer of $50,000.00 from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the adjuster claims that this is the FULL policy limit, the victim may have rights to collect huge sums from other policies including additional liability insurance in the driver’s household, additional liability insurance for the vehicle owner or the driver’s employer, or from Underinsured Motorist policy for the victim AND for every person who lived with the victim on the accident date who is related to the victim by blood or marriage. WARNING – If you sign the Release and accept the initial policy limit offer, you forfeit all claims and rights under these outside policies!
- Hidden defendants may provide additional insurance coverage for your losses. One example is the employed driver. If the at-fault driver was on the job when she struck you, her personal auto policy pays for your injuries AND her employer’s business liability policy will also pay for your accident claims. Also, bar owners who provide alcohol, auto repair shops who improperly repair a vehicle, road managers who fail to properly engineer intersections and signs, and other outside parties often can be included in the group who can be held liable for your family’s losses.
- Settlements in injury cases are final! You cannot reopen your case if problems arise later. However, with proper and aggressive case handling, we can collect now for all anticipated future problems and expenses. Make sure your settlement includes payment for all troubles that the accident might produce for the remainder of your life.
EVERY CASE IS UNIQUE! Thus, you should secure a free consultation directly with Mr. Nagle and his legal team. You can reach us now by telephone or send us an email with your case facts and questions. Our firm only handles motor vehicle injury cases, and former insurance company lawyer Carl Nagle stands ready to tell you exactly how the other side will approach your case.