Posted on: November 17, 2011
A judge helped me understand how to handle a personal injury case early on in my career.
“Get their reserves up,” the judge advised me while I was in the courtroom waiting for the jury to return their verdict in a case that I had just tried in front of him. We were killing time and he was a kind man giving me helpful advice. He advised giving the insurance company all of the information helpful to my case as soon as possible, rather than holding back any surprises for trial. This judge, a former insurance company lawyer, knew how the system worked.
Let’s look at the big picture. In order to efficiently file and settle claims, you must understand what is going on behind the scenes. It all begins with the insurance company. You pay monthly premiums to the insurance company and those monthly premiums are then invested. The insurance company earns money on those investments and by not by paying out claims. They are forced to however, set aside a portion of each premium dollar to pay claims with, which is called “reserves”. Once the amount of reserves is decided on, the rest of the premium dollars go into investments. Insurance companies spend a lot of time determining these reserves and do not like to change the amounts once they have been set aside.
With this insight, it is clear that you should promptly present the insurance company with all of the information that will cause them to set aside a large amount of reserves, or money to settle your case. If you can use your know-how to get them to put a high value on a claim, the insurance adjuster will not have to request that more money be set aside later on. Adding money to the reserves from their investment money upsets the insurance company because they had the additional money invested, making a profit for them. They didn’t plan to pay it to you, and so that makes the insurance company mad and the adjuster look bad. “Why didn’t you evaluate this claim correctly at the start?” is what the insurance company will ask their adjuster. He looks bad and is not likely to be able to get more money for you, even if he or she wants to. So, “Get their reserves up!”
It’s that simple. As a Charleston car accident attorney , knowing how the system works, and knowing how to work the system, makes a personal injury claim much easier to settle.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer in Charleston.