We get it. Personal injury claims can be tricky. And scary. Insurance companies try to push you around. If you get injured at work, your company goes silent or is completely unhelpful. Irresponsible drivers try to push the blame onto you. And the list goes on. But when you put your trust in a firm like BK Law—a firm filled with real people who truly care about you and your outcome—it’s not so scary after all. No tricks, just treats.

Want to know more about how we slay the monsters? Read the comments below–straight from some of our team members.

Lou Battista

Trick: The trick doesn’t occur to represented persons. It’s the unrepresented that the ins industry takes advantage of. Here are some examples:

  • “You don’t need an attorney”
  • “I can get you a check by end of day”
  • “Just sign this release, it’s standard”
  • “Don’t worry about your medical bills”
  • ‘We’ll take care of everything, you’re in good hands”
  • “It’s just a recorded statement, no big deal”
  • “You think a jury will see it your way?”
  • “Your insurance rates will never go up”
  • “You seem like a nice person”
  • “If it were my kid, I’d take it”
  • “I am telling you the truth”
  • “We never lose”
  • “You have full coverage”
  • “By the time you get an attorney to settle this, your kids will be married and very little in your pocket”
  • “These lawyers and lawsuits, that’s why your premiums are so high”
  • “Stores are closing because of frivolous lawsuits”

Treat: There is no treat when it comes to the insurance companies. They do nothing to help us or our clients. In their game of risk, they are trying to keep as much money as they can in their pocket. Instead of making fair offers at the onset, they follow company policy and make lowball offers designed to test the attorney to see if they can make it to the finish line or take the settlement after the first ¼ mile. The experienced attorneys know better and persevere. A person with the same injury, with the same insurance company but a different caliber attorney representing them, gets paid different amounts. If you were really “in good hands” with the insurance company, that shouldn’t matter or happen, but it does. So find yourself an experienced, board-certified trial attorney to represent you against all these tricks and to get you the settlement that you deserve.

Eric Sachs

Trick: Often the “trick” I see in pre-suit is an adjuster that says their offer is their final offer or top offer. They will often give a number that is an exact dollar and cents amount and say they have evaluated the claim and have been given this amount. Clearly, this amount was given based on that particular adjuster’s written evaluation to his/her supervisor or manager. The problem is that the evaluation is not the same evaluation I would have given the manager. Some attorneys will be tempted to tell the client that is all the carrier has and to accept the offer. It is an attempt by the insurance company to “bully” or deceive the client into taking an offer they know not to be the full value of the claim.

Treat: I have found that perseverance and persistence help by continuing to negotiate or even cutting off negotiations until the adjuster (or maybe a new adjuster) reaches back out to offer more money. Sometimes, it is necessary to contact the manager/supervisor and explain the situation and that the adjuster had simply not done what they needed to do in order to resolve the issue. Often the supervisor has the ability to raise that “top offer” to a number that is more acceptable.

Greg Marangos

Trick: Insurance companies are always trying to do whatever they can not to accept liability or to put liability on our clients.

Treat: There are a number of ways we can combat this: Black box downloads, body-worn camera footage from the officers, 911 calls, accident reconstruction, witness statements, etc.

Trick: Insurance companies also love telling us that our clients’ injuries are degenerative in nature or not acute from the accident.

Treat: I always try to have PCP records or anything prior to the accident to help distinguish the injury as new.

Brad Pepper

Trick: Business owners in slip and fall cases constantly try to explain that the accident wasn’t their fault, there was nothing dangerous at the location, the injured party did something wrong, etc.

Treat: One of the first things we do with any new slip and fall or premises liability case is to send a legally binding warning letter to the business owner to preserve all surveillance footage around the time of the accident. We then demand that video (if any) during the course of the case. Countless times that helps us prove that there was a dangerous condition at the accident location that the business owner allowed to occur. We’re able to use it to force the insurance companies representing the business owners to pay much higher amounts in settlements and court judgments.

Colleen Ryf

Trick: Defense attorneys are notorious for their everything-under-the-sun attempts to delay litigation. It is generally accepted that case delays benefit the defendant. The longer a case drags out, the more likely it is that memories fade and witnesses become unavailable. Additionally, the present value of a dollar is worth more than that same dollar paid out two years later. A defendant can mitigate loss by holding on to their dollars longer.

Treat: The best response is to be proactive and remain one step ahead of your defense counsel’s delay antics. There are numerous ways to do this. A couple of suggestions for avoiding delay: First, serve discovery promptly; serve discovery as soon as you are able under your jurisdiction’s rules. Second, notice your own witnesses’ depositions. Many plaintiffs’ counsel do not consider noticing their own witness’ deposition if the defendants delay in noticing witness depositions. This either pressures the defendants to notice their discovery deposition or permits you to control the deposition, by taking a direct exam before the defendant cross-examines the witness.

Nicholas Brown

Trick: In Massachusetts, during a deposition, opposing counsel may object to evidence, to a party’s conduct, to the officer’s qualifications, to the manner of taking the deposition, or to any other aspect of the deposition—must be noted on the record, but the examination still proceeds; the testimony is taken subject to any objection. I was in a deposition recently where opposing counsel objected to a question because the question referenced “the jury.” Opposing counsel asked if we were taking a trial deposition or a discovery deposition and threatened to end the deposition if we referred to a jury because “this was a discovery deposition and not a trial deposition.” Opposing counsel was a seasoned attorney who knew better but was likely trying to change the momentum of the depo.

Treat: All depositions can be used at trial. I think the best way to respond is “Are you advising your client not to answer?” And then cite Rule 30 on the record. That will likely shut them down on the topic. But if opposing counsel ends the depo, you’re sitting pretty for a follow-up motion to compel.

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