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Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis
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Insurance – Pay the Victim or Pay the attorney?

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Here is another situation the media never picks up. I was called by a woman who was involved in a wreck. Let’s call her Jane Smith. She was stopped in traffic, and another woman was allegedly stopped behind her. Let’s call her Mary Doe. Ms. Smith was rear-ended and had approximately $500 in damages to her car. She was not injured, but she had a $500.00 deductible so she couldn’t pay for the damages with her insurance.

Ms. Smith filed a claim with Ms. Doe’s insurance carrier. According to Ms. Doe, a truck hit her and pushed her into Jane Smith, and the truck left the scene. So, Mary Doe claimed she wasn’t at fault, and her insurance company refused to pay for the damages. Ms. Smith saw no damage to Ms. Doe’s vehicle at the scene.

What happened? Jane Smith filed a small claims case for her $500.00 against Mary Doe. Mary Doe’s insurance company hired a lawyer to defend her. I called the lawyer to see if it was something we could settle without having to waste our time, the clients’ time, and the court’s time. The attorney called me back and told me no, that the insurance company pays their firm a flat fee for these types of cases, and they are not willing to pay anything.

Now, will Ms. Smith win the case? Who knows, but odds are against it if there was damage to the rear of Ms. Doe’s vehicle. But, think about this. Ms. Doe’s insurance carrier could have paid $500.00 to Ms. Smith to help her fix her vehicle instead of paying their attorney $500-$1000, or even more.

So, Ms. Smith is out the damage to her car. She is out the filing fee for filing the lawsuit. And, she will have to spend time in court. The insurance company is out the flat fee they pay their attorney. And, Ms. Doe will be out the time she spends in court. Who wins? The defense attorney. There is no trial attorney in this case so the "greedy blood suckers" aren’t winning. Oh, wait a minute. Yes they are. The insurance company because they are being the bully they are.