EP06 S05: Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit? Question Adjusters Hate Series
Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit? Question Adjusters Hate Series
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Today I want to talk about the number one question that insurance adjusters hate. And there are actually a few different ones, but one of the top questions that insurance adjusters absolutely despise is, “What are your complete bodily injury limits?” And in New York, there’s actually a law, it’s insurance law 3420(f), and we put that code into all of our initial letters of representation that we send to the insurance carriers, notifying them that we are going to be representing a personal injury plaintiff. And the insurance company has to tell us their limits, especially if it’s a car crash case. They have to tell us does their insured, the policyholder that has been paying premiums to their insurance company, do they have the minimum in New York, $25,000? Do they have $100,000? Do they have 250, 300, 500?
Is it a single limit? Is there excess or umbrella beyond the primary policy? Sometimes you can have a 250 policy with a 1 million excess. So it’s very important to learn this. And the reason they don’t want to tell you is that they think that if you have a serious injury and you know that there are all these available resources and all this available money, that you are going to go after it. So what they really try to do is protect their assets. They’re a financial company. Just like if you owned a company and you issued stock to shareholders, you would care about your bottom line, your profit and loss statement. So what they really try to do is save their money. So if you ask that question, they really don’t like it. And in fact, they have to tell you under the law in New York, and in New Jersey, they used to not have to tell you.
So when we had a case with a New Jersey insurance company, I think one of them was a manufacturer or something in New Jersey, they would never tell us. And we would say, “Insurance law 3420(f),” and they would say, “That doesn’t apply to us. We won’t tell you what it is.” But now I think they changed the law in New Jersey. Now those carriers have to tell us as well. But in litigation, once you’re in court, they have to tell you, right, because the judge orders it in the preliminary conference order. So they have no more choice. They have to tell you. They’re compelled to do so by court order. But what they do is, on bigger cases, like on ceiling collapse cases with apartment buildings, they’ll just tell you and disclose, “We have a million,” right? And then you’re up to going to trial and your client might have a serious injury, like a spinal fusion surgery, and you’re negotiating with them and you say, “Okay, well tender the million because that’s all you have.”
And they say, “No, well, by the way,” because again, they don’t want to hide the ball, so then they send you a disclosure, “Oh, we have a 10 million in excess beyond the mil.” Well, wait a minute. Why didn’t you tell me that at the preliminary conference order when the judge directed you to? You see, all they do is play games. They hide the ball. It’s like one of those three-card monte games. So you have to be careful. You have to always be diligent, always be searching, discovering information, never back down, and just be tough with these insurance companies. Okay. Have a great day everyone. And we’ll talk to you soon. (silence).
If you have any questions about ceiling collapses, let us know. We’d be happy to help, and we want to be here as a resource for you. Have a great day, and let us know what other topics you’re interested in so we can make more videos for you. Have a great day. Bye-bye.