Isn't it illegal when insurance companies make a low offer to unrepresented people vs a higher one to lawyers?

Asked over 2 years ago - Bloomington, IL

I have been asking some questions on this site and this is repeated over and over...

These are BOGUS numbers...just an example...

Situation A-
"John" is injured and wants to get a fair settlement from the Insurance company. He gets an offer of $25,000.

Situation B-
"John" is injured and wants to get a fair settlement from the Insurance company. He hires a lawyer and he receives an offer of $75,000

The injuries havent changed. the insurance companies knowingly low ball an unrepresented victim.

Isn't this illegal?

Additional information

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To be clear.... these numbers represent INITIAL offers.... NOT final settlements....

To me, it is comparable to companies offering a lower wage to women.

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Todd Nathan Hendrickson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. It's not illegal. It is the result of the insurance company knowing that they can get away with lowballing you if you are unrepresented. It's like this: if you are going to battle the insurance company without a lawyer, you're bringing a knife to a gunfight. In fact, you're bringing a spoon. I know that isn't what you want to hear, but its the truth. The vast majority of people who hire attorneys net a bigger settlement. That's net--after attorneys fees and after expenses. In fact, I think I'm like most lawyers--if you come to me with a case that is somehow limited by insurance coverage and you have an offer in hand that is better than I know I can net you, I'm going to tell you to take the offer, even though I could get the insurance company to pay more. The goal is the net to you, the client.

    This answer is provided as a public service for informational purposes only. Providing this information does not... more
  2. David Matthew Gotzh

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. In either scenario, you have the right to reject the settlement and take your case in front of a judge and jury. In either scenario, you have the right to reject or counter-offer. A settlement is a negotiated process outside of court.

    So in short, it's perfectly legal and logical that a company would low-ball someone with no trial experience and lacking a legal education.

  3. Stephen Laurence Hoffman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Remember how the bullies used to beat people up in school?

    Why did they do that?

    Because they could!

    Same deal with insurance companies and unrepresented claimants.

    That's why personal injury lawyers exist--to provide a chance for you to receive fair value on your claim!

    Contact an attorney!

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    Email: stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website: www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog: www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more
  4. Daniel G. Galivan

    Contributor Level 17

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is certainly not illegal and if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The insurance company naturally wants to settle every claim for as little as possible to avoid litigation. It is the "threat" of litigation that motivates them. Litigation costs them money to defend and presents the risk of a judgment that will be in excess of what a fair settlement would be. You pose no threat of litigation when you don't have a lawyer and you have no experience evaluating "fair settlement value" of injury cliams. www.galivanlaw.net

  5. Salim John Sheikh

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . It is not illegal and this is a common practice by insurance co.'s regarding personal Injury claims.

    You may be hurting your claim by the statements you have given also.

    There are professionals who deal with this situation. They are called Personal Injury attorneys.

    If you ever have a cavity, I don't advise you do your own fillings, same goes for trying to settle a Personal Injury claim on your own.

    Sal Sheikh practices law in Illinois.This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. You should... more
  6. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The difference is not the fact of lack of representation versus the fact of representation. The difference is between knowing what elements of damage are accounted for in case evaluation versus sending stuff in and hoping for the best.

    The answer to your question is no. But, the reason is that, for example, a jet airliner will get further down the runway and through a successful flight with an experienced licensed pilot than with someone who has never flown a plane before. A personal injury case is going to be evaluated with more signifigance when the elements of the claim are properly and thoroughly presented by an experienced seasoned trial attorney who the insurance company knows has the knowledge to take the claim through trial and appeal, than the same claim presented by a 'do-it-yourselfer.'

    Hope this perspective helps.

  7. Stephen Laurence Hoffman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Remember how the bullies in school beat people up for no reason?

    Why?

    Because they could!

    Same deal with insurance companies.

    That's why lawyers exist--to get you fair value.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    Email: stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website: www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog: www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more
  8. Brian C. Pascale

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Hoffman's answer is correct, as are the other attorneys. Insurance companies are alot like bullies. The pick on those they feel are weaker.

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does... more

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