Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Insurance Company Fast-Ones, Part 1

When someone does something wrong and causes you harm and injury, you make a claim under that person's insurance policy to recover money as compensation for your losses. The most common example is in car accident cases. If you get hit by someone while driving, you make a claim against the other driver's insurance company to recover the losses you suffered.

You present proof of your loss to the insurance company, then they decide how much money they want to offer you. In deciding how much money they will offer, one of the things insurance companies do is look at what the historical jury verdicts have been in similar cases in the county where you will have to bring suit if the case doesn't settle. If those verdicts are historically low, you will probably get a low offer. If they're high, you will probably get a higher offer.

Here's the kicker, thanks to the lobbying efforts of insurance companies and their lawyers, they have been able to enact laws preventing juries from hearing evidence that the wrongdoer in a personal injury lawsuit, such as a car crash case, is covered by insurance. So, without knowing that the defendant has insurance, juries often give little or no money to personal injury victims.

What happens because of this is that settlement offers to personal injury victims get lower and lower, to the point of being absolutely unfair, all because of the law the insurance companies bought preventing evidence of insurance coverage.

Next time you have jury duty in a personal injury case, remember that the defendant most certainly has insurance to cover the damages even though you don't hear it in trial. This helps ensure fair verdicts and just results not only in the trial you are in, but also for the public in general.

More Resources:

Insurance Company Fast-Ones, Part 2