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August 11, 2020 | Uncategorized
By: Joseph R. Ferretti, Attorney, Manchin Ferretti
Far too often I meet with people for the first time who have decided to consult a lawyer because the insurer has made an offer on a claim and they are simply curious if the offer is fair. In most cases, the offer is made early in the process, before medical treatment has concluded. In almost all instances the offer cannot be fair as it certainly will not reflect the full measure of medical expenses, lost wages, and the impositions on one’s life arising from the motor vehicle injuries.
The early offer is designed to promise quick money in return for the insurer’s ability to close the file. There is a growing fear that more injured victims will, unfortunately, agree to the “quick settlement” due to present external factors. I am alluding to the pandemic, the extensive unemployment, and the backlog in our courts. All of these factors are working together to inhibit one’s ability to have their claim addressed fairly and promptly, the end result being that victims are readily accepting less than the fair value for their claims, almost out of desperation.
Insurers know that someone who has been laid off or impacted through personal or family sickness is much more likely to take that early settlement offer. Combined with knowledge that seeking recourse in our court system will entail many months of litigation while the Courts play “catch-up” due to inactivity in March, April, and May, lowball offers and outright denials of claims are on the increase. This is evident in the number of consumer complaints being filed with various state insurance commissioner offices, which regulate the insurance industry. Recently the California Department of Insurance had to send notices to insurance companies in the State advising that a multitude of complaints are now on file from consumers citing too many instances where insurers are unfairly taking advantage of the pandemic and the status of the courts. “The lack of access to the California court system puts policyholders [and claimants] who are already in severe financial hardship at a disadvantage and vulnerable to unjust settlement practices”, the notice said.
More than ever a consultation with an experienced attorney to discuss your case and determine how best to proceed is essential. We see with our current clients more low offers and more challenges to simply litigate rather than settle claims. At Manchin Ferretti, PLLC we have the claims and trial experience to not only offer you proper guidance but to show the insurance companies that they are in for a fight if there is an attempt to take advance to current events. We feel our decades of experience and knowledge of the law is exactly what is needed to combat the current tactics of the insurers.
Call my firm today for a free consultation on your case.
At Manchin Ferretti, PLLC, we seek justice for you.