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

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?

. . 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

Posted

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 create an attorney-client relationship. As with all legal matters, you should contact an experienced attorney in your geographical area to discuss the law specific to your state. For more information, see www.hendricksonlaw.com.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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 relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.

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Posted

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 always speak directly with a lawyer in your State. It is difficult to evaluate your legal problem without a consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.

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1 comment

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Posted

Like I always tell people, you don't want me fixing your toilet, performing brain surgery, or wiring your electical, much as I don't want you handling your own lawsuit. Much as we lawyers get a bad reputation in some parts, we actually do provide a service of value to the consumer/claimant and we don't charge unless we collect money.

Posted

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

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Posted

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 relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.

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4 lawyers agree

Posted

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 not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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