Car Rental Tips After An Accident: You’re Entitled to Dollars and/or An Equivalent Vehicle

Insurance companies oftentimes do their best to not treat you fairly or equitably.  One example of this is when the at-fault driver's insurance carrier provides you with a rental car with a "take it or leave it" attitude.

 

In California, you are entitled to be provided with a vehicle of equal value to the vehicle that was damaged as a result of another driver's negligence.  For example, let's say that you get rear-ended in your new Toyota Prius.  The other person's insurance company says "yep, our driver was at fault" and then allows you $20 a day for rental car.  Well, an equivalent Prius may rent for $50 a day.

You are entitled to rent a $50-a-day car and have the other party's insurance company pay for it (subject to, among other things, his or her property damage policy limits).  Period.

Now, let's change that scenario a bit: For whatever reason, you don't want to rent a car during the time that your car is in the shop.  You're entitled to make that choice.  Let's take it one step further: Your car is in the shop for six weeks (42 days).  You will be entitled to $2,100 in real dollars to compensate you for the time that your car is in the shop.  In other words, you do not have to actually rent the car in order to be compensated for your loss of use.

OR what if you rent a car for $25 a day?  You'll be entitled to the difference in cash (well, in check).  So, you rent a car for 42 days at $25 a day for $1,050 but you were entitled to a car renting for $50 a day. The insurance company should pay you the difference of $1,050 in the form of real dollars.

Here's the law (CACI 3903M): To recover damages for loss of use, [name of plaintiff] must prove the reasonable cost to rent a similar [item of personal property] for the amount of time reasonably necessary to repair or replace the [item of personal property].

 

Drinking Coffee While Uninsured? Don’t Do It!!!

Hot coffee What do McDonald's, Jack-in-the-Box and an uninsured motorist have in common? Well, you might recall that back in the day  elderly Stella Liebeck was the victim of a hot coffee spill at a McDonald's drive-through.  When McDonald's refused to pay for her skin grafts and other related medical bills, they were hit with a multi-million dollar verdict.  McDonald's whined and cried and screamed bloody murder but, the truth is, that the verdict was in response to their refusal to lower the temperature of the coffee they served to something safe — i.e., a temperature which doesn't cause third degree burns upon instant contact with the skin.  Read McDonald's Coffee Case, The Truth — I'm still outraged at the perception that Stella's lawsuit was frivolous when McDonald's callously put profits above safety.  

But I digress.

Young Woman Burned at Jack-in-the-Box

Fast forward to the 21st Century when a young woman, Teckla Chude, pulls her car into a Jack-in-the-Box drive-through, orders coffee and is handed a cup with a loose lid.  Lo and behold she suffers the same fate as Stella Liebeck and is burned pretty badly.  Teckla's injuries were expressly alleged to be increased because she couldn't get out of the vehicle after the coffee spilled because the drive-thru was too narrow to let her open her door and the hot coffee just soaked through her pants causing burns and, ultimately, some scarring.  She incurred medical bills, loss of earnings and had to delay her schooling a bit.

Jack in box on phone Jack, that clever fellow, had his lawyers argue that Teckla Chude was ineligible to recover for her pain and suffering under California's Uninsured Motorist Law  which states that "in any action to recover damages arising out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle, a person shall not recover non-economic losses to compensate for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other non-pecuniary damages, if any."  Read Uh-Oh, Car Accident With No Liability Insurance: "But I'm Not At Fault" for a colorful explanation of the law. 

Teckla Loses! Jack Wins (say what?) 

Yep, you read it right!  The California Court of Appeals decided that the Uninsured Motorist Law applies to this case.  Here's their actual opinion: Chude v. Jack-in-the-Box.  And here's the court's logic:

…Chude used her car to drive up to the drive-through window. Even more than the plaintiff in Harris or Cabral, both of whom had parked and were outside of their vehicles, Chude was seated inside her car, with her seatbelt on, with the motor running and the transmission engaged. Here, the accident "arose out of" her "operation" and "use of" her vehicle at the time of the incident. More important, Chude would not have been in the drive-through lane purchasing coffee but for her vehicle. It is JIB's policy not to serve anyone at a drive-through window who is not in a motorized vehicle. Thus, the accident "arose out of" or "flowed" from Chude's operation and use of her vehicle. Stated otherwise, she was in the drive-through lane precisely because she was using her car to purchase coffee from the drive-through window part of the restaurant. Accordingly, this "action to recover damages ar[ose] out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle" and so section 3333.4, subdivision (a) applies to bar her recovery of non-economic damages.

Don't Get Burned! Get Auto Liability Insurance

Was this the intention of the statute or is the court reaching too far in its interpretation?  Maybe, maybe not.  But this is how the court has interpreted the law so broadly that I must give you the bottom line: Get liability insurance when driving in California or you could get burned! (Read Auto Insurance Coverage From a Personal Injury Lawyer's Perspective)

Questions? Concerns? 

For a Free Consultation please contact Attorney Lowell Steiger immediately at

(323) 852-1100

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"

  


Auto Insurance Coverage from A Personal Injury Lawyer’s Perspective

Insurance-policy A friend, Johnny, asked me to evaluate his auto insurance coverage.  He lives in Los Angeles and drives an Audi TT, a small sports car.  Although my often tongue-in-cheek responses are geared for California auto coverages and, in particular, Los Angeles, this should give you an idea of what to look for in your own venue.  Most importantly you must be aware that if you do not have insurance coverage that is sufficient to compensate someone for injuries sustained in an accident that is wholly or partially your fault, you could be on the hook personally for that amount which exceeds your policy limits.  And, as we all know, accidents happen in what seems like a millisecond – it’s not something that we anticipate BUT it is something that we can prepare for.

I want to stress that laws and insurance policies and coverages are different in different states so please contact your insurance agent to be sure that you’re complying with local and state laws and are getting the coverage that best suits your own particular needs.

Please also note that I’m being relatively specific in my responses to Johnny.  I’m just being illustrative when referring to a crosswalk accident.  You can replace “crosswalk” with “running a red light,” “making an unsafe U-turn,” “rear-ending the car in front of you” or 25,000 other possible scenarios!

    Dear Johnny,

In response to your questions regarding your current auto insurance coverage:

Bodily Injury

Your Bodily Injury Coverage is $50,000/100,000.  Increase it to at least $100,000/300,000 — right nowCrosswalk mva  you have $50/100 which means that if you accidentally whack someone in a crosswalk and break their hip, the most they can recover from you is $50,000.  Also, if there are more than two people in that crosswalk, and you hit and injure all of them, then the most that will be paid out is $100,000 somehow divided by those 3 people.  You risk them getting an excess judgment against you and garnishing your wages.  In general the best coverage, in my opinion, is the maximum coverage your carrier allows.  It usually doesn't cost much more to maximize.  

Property Damage

Exotic car accident Property Damage: Right now you have $50,000 in coverage which means that the most that your insurance carrier will pay for damage to the other person’s car, his/her rental coverage while his/her car is being repaired or evaluated for a total loss, towing and storage is $50,000.  Get the most PD coverage you can — in L.A., the cheapest car is $50,000 so, if you cause an accident and total out a Bentley, they could sue you for the difference between $50,000 and the value of the car.  I carry $500,000 Property Damage because I know that with my luck, if I get into an accident it will be with a rock star being driven in a $250,000 tricked out Lincoln Limo

Medical Payments

I cannot stress the importance of Medical Payments Coverage: Get the most that you can get.  I don't remember if you have health insurance or not but, if you get into an accident, regardless of fault, you and each of your passengers will be entitled to have your reasonable medical bills paid up to the limits of Hospital_logo your med pay coverage.  Most people have $5,000 but, in today's world, if you can get $25,000 or more that would be great (it depends how much your carrier provides). Also, tell them you do not want excess coverage and you want it to be NON-REIMBURSABLE in a third party claim.  This means that if someone rear-ends you and they are obviously at fault, then when you get a settlement from their insurance company you do not need to pay your carrier back for the medical payments that they made on your behalf.  This also covers each of your passengers for the same amount. I always worry that if a passenger in one of our cars doesn't have health insurance and we get into an accident, that they will be unable to pay their medical bills.  With this coverage, that isn't a problem (subject to the policy limits).  Your med pay can also kick in if you're hurt in an accident in someone else's car, are on your bicycle, in a crosswalk, etc.  That's tricky but I've invoked it for many, many clients.  My carrier allows for $100,000 Medical Payments Coverage (which I have) but this is rare.  Again, check with your own carrier.

Deductibles

Premium bank As for deductibles, ask how much increase your premium will suffer if you lower your deductibles to $500, $250 or even zero.  It may be de minimis and therefore worthwhile to decrease your deductibles.  It’s human nature to try to save where we can but I’ve heard many a client scream “What? I have to pay the deductible? It’s $1,000!!!” Maybe they saved a tiny bit on their premium by having a high deductible but, when the unforeseen accident occurred, it bit them in the rear.

Rental Coverage

Car rental logos ental Coverage: I don't like the fact that you have to pay 20% of the rental bill and that you're capped out at $500.  This means, with today's rental prices, you'll be covered for a max of approximately 20 days or so.  It sometimes takes longer than that just for the insurance carriers to get the preliminaries started!  I know you don't really care what type of car you rent so ask them to give you different options for rental coverage and then ask me and I'll tell you which is the best.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist Uninsured / Underinsured Coverage: Just like with Bodily Injury, get the most that you can afford.   You're driving a small car.  If someone whacks into the back of your TT, you and your passengers could get seriously injured.  Right now you've only got $30,000/60,000 coverage which means that if the other party is uninsured or only has a $15,000/30,000 policy, the most that each person in your car is entitled to is $30,000 — up to a maximum of $60,000 for all of the people in your car (again, having to divide the $60,000 between everyone).  Not good.  What if you need surgery or other extensive short or long-term treatment?  Your case could be worth in the six figures yet there's no coverage for this. You should have as much coverage for yourself and your passengers as you have for the unknown person with whom you might find yourself in a wreck.

Questions

Let me know if you have any questions 

Feel free run the new or current coverages by me.  

If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident, please contact me immediately at

(323) 852-1100

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

Woman Charged with Insurance Fraud for Second Time in Two Years

Insurance commission Commissioner Poizner Announces Bakersfield Woman Charged With Insurance Fraud For Second Time In Two Years

Commissioner Steve Poizner announced today that Shawn Rene Dodd, 43, of
Bakersfield, was arrested on Wednesday, and charged with uncertified
practice of medicine, making false or fraudulent insurance claims,
money laundering, commission of a felony while on bail and selling
stocks without a license.  Dodd's bail was set at $1,000,000. If
convicted, she could face a maximum of nine years four months in prison
for these charges.

"I will not tolerate those who abuse the insurance system to
satisfy their own greed," said Commissioner Poizner. "CDI experts are
quick to stop anyone who attempts to scam insurance companies and drive
up the cost of insurance for all consumers."

Insurance fraud

Since her previous arrest in 2007,
Dodd allegedly continued to operate medical corporations, which were
used to fraudulently bill insurance carriers.  At one point, insurers
were billed for medical services reportedly rendered when there were no
doctors present. It is alleged that Dodd attempted to defraud insurance
companies of at least $100,000. The California Department of Insurance
and the Kern County District Attorney's Office jointly investigated
this case.

Dodd allegedly operated these fraudulent companies while on $500,000
bail for previous felony charges.  In January 2007, Dodd was charged
with felony insurance fraud, workers compensation insurance fraud, tax
evasion and money laundering.  She was released from Kern County Jail
and remained free on bail until her arrest on Wednesday. 

The Kern County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting this case.

Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch
regional offices throughout the state.  Close to 1900 insurance
fraud-related arrests have been made by the Department of Insurance's
Enforcement Branch since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 –
more arrests than have been made during any other two year period,
under any previous insurance commissioner.    

More on Insurance Fraud

Big RIgging Lawsuit against Great American Insurance Company

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud – Fascinating site with latest news, articles and fraud related stories

What is Consumer Fraud? – California Department of Insurance

National Insurance Crime Bureau

Please Follow me on Twitter

If
you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motorcycle or
automobile (or similar) accident, please call me, Lowell Steiger,
immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

Uh Oh, Car Accident With No Liability Insurance: “But I’m Not At Fault”

No_car_insuranceSo what happens when you’re in a car accident in California, you’re injured badly, it’s the other driver’s fault and you have no liability insurance?  Back in 1996, Californians passed Proposition 213 which then became California Civil Code Section 3333.4 which states "in any action to recover damages arising out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle, a person shall not recover non-economic losses to compensate for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other non-pecuniary damages if any."  What does this actually mean?  Well, to give an extreme example, let’s say that you’re driving along and someone makes an illegal left turn in front of your car.  You can’t avoid the collision and the collision is clearly not your fault.  You break 7 ribs.

Pain Under normal circumstances, there is nothing that a doctor can do to help speed the healing of broken ribs. It just takes time.  As a result, your medical bills for this nasty, excruciating, debilitantingly painful injury are minimal — maybe $2,000-3,000.  Yes, you are entitled to be reimbursed for your medical bills.  If you have liability insurance, you’ll also be entitled to be compensated for the pain and suffering that you experience as a result of the broken ribs — several thousand dollars in excess of the $2,000-3,000 in medical bills.

No_money However, if you have no liability insurance covering you for the operation of the vehicle that you were driving at the time of this accident, you get no money, zero compensation for your pain and suffering.  Not a penny more than your reasonable medical bills.  Period.  End of story. (The only exception to this hard and fast rule is if the at-fault driver was convicted of driving under the influence pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 or 23153).

Towtruck To add insult to injury, driving without insurance will subject you to having your car impounded, temporarily losing your driver’s license and paying a hefty fine.  See California Vehicle Code Section 16029 for further details.

Bottom line: If you’re going to drive in California, get auto insurance.

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger now at (323) 852-1100       

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com 

What To Do If You’re In An Accident

Things to Do If You’re Involved in an Auto Accident

Auto_accident_001

CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY TO SUMMON POLICE and/or PARAMEDICS

Then get the following information:

  1. Name, address and phone number of other driver(s) involved in the accident
  2. Driver’s license number of other driver(s) involved in the accident
  3. Insurance information of other driver(s) involved in the accident, name of insurance company, policy number
  4. Registered owner information of other vehicles involved in the accident
  5. If any of the other drivers appears to be on the job for a company, get the name of that company
  6. Passengers in other vehicles? Get their names, addresses, phone numbers
  7. Actual location of accident (street, intersection, exact address, if possible)
  8. Witness information: Names, addresses, phone numbers
  9. Jot down basic information such as weather conditions, street condition, traffic (light, medium, heavy), time of day that accident happened
  10. Very Important: Do not speak to anyone other than your doctor(s) without the advice of an attorney.  In particular, DO NOT give a statement to any insurance company, recorded or not, without the advice of an attorney.

Keep a camera in your car at all times (disposable, camera phone, digital camera, etc.) and take pictures of the cars (including damage, license plates), people, scene.Camera_phone

Kodakmaxoutdoorcamerapromotional

Some excellent links What To Do If You’re In An Accident

MSN Money: Insure Your Car.  Important tips on basic auto insurance

State Bar of California. Links to 14 important questions such as "What Information Should I Get at the Scene" and "Do I Need Auto Insurance?" as well as a link to download an entire pamphlet on the subject.

Roadragers.com. Practical tips and advice from the site whose tagline is "when you just can’t take it anymore."

The following video report from Allstate and Newstream explains what to do if you’re ever involved in a traffic accident.

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Work Injuries Resulting From Negligent Third Party (Someone Other Than Your Employer)

On_the_job_injury Through California’s Worker’s Compensation Laws injured employees are able to recover from the limited benefits of their employer’s insurance.  But what happens in cases where an employee has sustained an on-the-job injury caused by someone other than the employer? Simply put, in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim, the injured employee may sue this third party (i.e., other person or entity) in tort law. Third party cases may fall into categories such as traffic accidents, slip & fall incidents, defective products, defective equipment or the exposure to toxic substances and any number of other situations.

If a worker suffers a significant injury, it is highly probable that they will not receive sufficient funds from a workers’ compensation claim because workers’ compensation claims are not based upon fault whereas tort claims are based on fault and include monetary compensation for pain and suffering.  Therefore, pursuing claims against a negligent third party is critical to ensure maximum compensation for injuries or death.

           Every on-the-job injury should be evaluated by an experienced attorney to determine if a third party claim exists.

The personal injury component of a workers’ compensation claim is oftentimes overlooked.  Here are just a few examples of such cases that my office has successfully handled (all clients were on-the-job but we also sued a third party on their behalf):

·         Male bus driver rear-ended by automobile.  He suffered a knee injury which required arthroscopic surgery. Significant confidential settlement.

·         Female building maintenance person who slipped due to wet carpets when exiting the elevator of her office building.  At the time of the incident, a carpet cleaning company (third party) was cleaning the carpet and failed to post signs warning of the dangerous condition.  Serious knee injuries. Large 6-figure settlement against the carpet cleaning company.

·         U.S. Postal Worker who was in Los Angeles on business suffered severe burns to his left foot due to the hotel’s providing scalding hot water to the shower.  The client almost lost his leg due to complications.  Significant settlement against the hotel.

·         Male law firm investigator was rear-ended while in the field. He suffered injuries sufficient to require him to undergo neck and back surgeries. Policy limit settlement against the driver of the offending vehicle.

·         Female Cal-Trans worker was in a lift changing a street light when an the top of an 18-wheeler grazed the bottom of her bucket, throwing her several feet out of the bucket. She hung in the air by her safety belts.  The worker suffered severe physical and emotional injuries as a result. Significant 6-figure settlement against the trucking company.

The attorney handling the third party portion of the claim must work closely with the workers’ compensation attorney as well as with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier because of the unique legal issues presented in these situations.

If you have suffered a work related injury and have reason to believe that a third-party may bear some liability, please call or e-mail me to discuss your legal rights.

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

State Farm Sued for Sham “Independent” Medical Exams

New York Personal Injury Lawyer Eric Turkewitz Reports The Following in his Blog:

State Farm Hit With Civil RICO Claim Over Sham Medical Exams

State Farm has been sued for racketeering in New York with a claim that it conspired with "Independent Medical Exam" companies and medical practitioners to produce fraudulent and sham medical reports. The suit, filed January 30th in the Eastern District of New York, is brought under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act (RICO). (This story has not been previously reported.)

State Farm acted in concert with "IME" companies and doctors to furnish fraudulent and boilerplate reports, according to the suit. The objective was to procure "scientifically dishonest reports in order to terminate benefits." The Complaint is here: McGee-v-StateFarm-RICO-Complaint.pdf

Of particular interest is that the plaintiff is not an injured accident victim that was wrongfully deprived of insurance benefits, but John McGee, a physician practicing rehabilitative medicine. The physiatrist asserts that claims submitted to State Farm are being wrongfully denied, thus depriving him of the revenue he should be receiving for the treatment he rendered. He alleges that "sham" examinations were done by the defendants to procure false findings so as to cut off the benefits, resulting in the claims he submitted being denied.

The Complaint alleges that State Farm and the other defendants communicated that the evaluations and reports must deny that its insureds needed future treatment and that there was a lack of medical necessity for prior treatment. The Complaint goes on to state that State Farm engaged the other defendants with the expectation that reports received would be favorable to the insurance carrier, and to the detriment of the insured.

McGee states that "State Farm made it known to the other defendants that if they did not provide sufficient denials within the evaluation reports then State Farm would not use their IME services."

The defendant "IME" companies are Independent Physical Exam Referrals, Inc., and Metro Medical Services, LLC.

According to the website of Independent, they play no role in the production of the report:

We have addressed the "independent" part of the examinations by requiring all reports to be independently processed by the medical provider, typed and forwarded on their own stationary. IPER does not participate in the production of the reports, thus ensuring an arms length transaction for our clients. IPER reviews all reports by a registered nurse only to ensure that essential components of the report are present and that your questions are answered. The medical opinions rendered are those of the examining physician and based upon his/her clinical assessment and review of medical records.

This description, however, is directly at odds with the allegations of the complaint, which states that "boilerplate medical evaluation reports" are used. That may be an easy thing to prove if identical language is used in many different reports.

Whether these companies are like Integrated Risk Services Inc. — a company I wrote about Tuesday that specifically states it doesn’t want information favorable to the plaintiff included — remains to be seen. (See: How to Fool a Jury (Is It Insurance Fraud?))

Another part of the Complaint alleges that State Farm pays an excessive fee to the IME company for the doctor’s services, and that the money is then shared with the IME company or a kick-back is given to non-medical personnel. The complaint sets forth (in paragraph 19) that felonies have been committed with respect to the sharing of medical fees with non-medical personnel.

Thanks to my anonymous tipster for the heads up.

The plaintiff is represented by Bruce Rosenberg of Bellmore, New York.

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Related Links:

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Gary McCallister’s Injuryboard discusses this and other related issues

Tipsheet: Independent Medical Exam

Wikipedia: Independent Medical Examination

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Rear-Ended By Drunk Driver: Leads to Surgery, Large Settlement

Rearend_collision How horrific it was for my client, Mrs. F., an innocent woman legally slowing down for a stop to be suddenly, and without warning, be rear-ended by a drunk driver.  Otherwise in great health, this lovely lady’s life was turned asunder by the flagrant disregard of a guy who was more concerned with his afternoon cocktails than the safety of other people on the road on which he drove.

The physical impact to Mrs. F’s car was so severe that it was deemed a total loss.  In particular, the insurance company felt that it would cost more to repair her car than the $30,000 that it would cost to replace it! 

Discectomy Mrs. F., was so seriously injured that she required neck surgery to remove and replace the discs in her cervical spine at two different levels in an effort to relieve the symptoms of the herniated discs in her neck.  The herniations were deemed to have been caused by this accident.

Medical Bills: Over $100,000.  The drunk driver’s insurance policy had a limit of $25,000 which was paid very quickly to Mrs. F.  However, what to do when her medical bills and pain and suffering far exceeded the drunk’s policy limits?  Fortunately, Mrs. F. was savvy enough to have Uninsured Motorist Coverage which is also known as Underinsured Motorist Coverage with a limit of $500,000.  Simply put, Mrs. F’s insurance policy "stepped into the shoes" of the drunk driver and treated this case as though they were insuring the drunk driver. 

Our office prepared a detailed settlement demand package which included all of the details of the accident, injuries, treatment (and all relevant medical reports, surgical reports, treatment reports) and what Mrs. F could now expect in her future.  With that in mind, we demanded the entire $500,000 from Mrs. F’s insurance own company under the provisions of her Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Policy.  Due to the severity of the injuries, her insurance company tendered the entire $500,000 less a credit for the $25,000 that she received from the drunk driver’s insurance carrier.

I routinely advise my clients that it is imperative that they carry as much automobile insurance as they can afford — and very importantly, Uninsured Motorist Coverage.  I hope that what happened to Mrs. F. never happens to you but, in the event that it does, it is best to be covered to the greatest extent possible.  In another posting I will discuss Medical Payments Coverage.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Auto Insurers Play Hardball in Minor Crash Claims – CNN Expose

Minor_crash CNN has done an incredible expose on the tactics and strategies of major insurance carriers whose strategy is to deny, delay and defend claims where a person is, through no fault of his/her own, injured in a minor collision.  The strategy is to make initial offers far below your medical bills which forces you into the court system.  At that point, the auto insurers make it so expensive to litigate the matter that injured persons and their lawyers will be dissuaded from pursuing legitimate claims. 

In 2006, Business Week published an in depth article about Allstate’s practices entitled In Tough Hands at Allstate  wherein they cite many of the tactics described in David Berardinelli’s groundbreaking book From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves,

Are you in good hands with Allstate?  Quoting from the CNN article, "Playing off Allstate’s signature slogan, one document recommends the insurer put boxing gloves on its "good hands" for those who insist on going to court."

Story Highlights

• State Farm, Allstate employ consultant’s strategy, CNN research finds
• Theme of strategy is "deny, delay, defend," former employee says
• Companies convince juries that claims are fraudulent
• Insurers, institute deny treating claimants unfairly

You can download the text of the article by clicking here.

e-mail me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

www.steigerlaw.com

Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law (323) 852-1100