You have been in an accident. Your car is damaged or destroyed. You are hurt and in pain. You are confused and anxious as to how you will get back to health, and back to your life.
Insurance companies tell you that they are “like your neighbor,” and that you are “in good hands” when these life-altering events occur. In fact, the insurance industry spends millions of your premium dollars a year to market and lobby for legislation against attorneys like me. They tell you that I am the reason your premiums are so high or that it is lawsuits filed by me that keep you from getting insurance.
What the insurance company doesn’t tell you though is that they will stop at nothing to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. Unfortunately, a few rotten apples have ruined it for the whole. I am talking about individuals who have attempted to defraud and cheat insurance companies by bringing fraudulent claims. The insurance companies will tell you everyone is out to cheat them. This simply is not the case.
In my career, I have only represented individuals against some of the largest insurance companies, nursing homes, hospitals, and corporations in this State and Nation. I have represented individuals from all walks of life and races. I have also had the experience of having my own mother being injured in an auto accident, and having to deal with an insurance company. I can tell you from these experiences that the overwhelming majority of people who seek out my services have very real and significant injuries. And those that don’t, I have not represented.
Why am I telling you all this? Because if you are contemplating bringing a claim against an insurance company for your injuries, you need to understand: THE INSURANCE COMPANY WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO BEAT YOU, AND PAY YOU AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. Thus, you need to understand the tactics the insurance company will use against you in your claim.
Let me start by explaining the most recent insurance strategy, it is called Fraud on the Court.
Fraud on the Court is a strategy whereby the insurance company tries to trap you into testifying that you have never suffered prior injuries, or brought prior insurance claims or worker’s compensation claims, or that you have not had a prior injury or injuries. They do so by researching consumer databases shared amongst themselves, which detail a history of any and all claims that you may have made in your lifetime. They also, seek to get you to testify in deposition or through your written responses to Interrogatories, contrary to what your prior medical history and medical records detail.
Oftentimes, this is successful because people forget minor injuries with the passage of time. This is natural and done by everyone without any intent whatsoever to hide anything. (I cannot tell you every toe I broke playing soccer as a kid).
What the insurance company does next is they file a motion with the court, seeking to dismiss your lawsuit for “fraud on the court.” They basically will file a lengthy motion, that does nothing more than call you a liar and a cheat to the court. Attorneys like me then have to go before the court and fight these allegations. The law imposes a very high burden on the insurance company to actually prove fraud on the court, and more often then not, the insurance company will lose this motion. However, remember “you can’t un-ring a bell.” What I mean is this strategy is particularly effective in placing you in a very bad light in front of the Judge, who presides over and makes important decisions regarding your case. This is the real goal of this strategy.
So, how do you stop the insurance company from calling you a fraud? You get an attorney who understands that they will do this and knows how to prevent it. But you also must take action. You must make sure that you tell your attorney every possible detail you can give regarding your past medical history, including all past accidents and injuries. You need to be honest and forthright at all times throughout your case. We all have skeletons in our closet, and things we would rather not share with the world. Believe or not, as a personal injury attorney, I have probably heard of your “skeleton” before and I probably have seen and heard worse. I can help counsel you through anything if you tell me, but I can’t help you if you don’t tell me. Tell your accident attorney everything!
Also, you need to be aware that the insurance company will probably use surveillance and that you are on “candid camera.” They do this to make sure that you are telling the truth about your injuries and what you cannot do as a result. Therefore, if you are bringing a claim, assume you are being filmed at all times. This is not to make you paranoid, but aware.
Also, watch what pictures you display and what you discuss on social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace. The insurance company will find you on these sites, so assume that anything you put up there will come out and be fair game in your case. (I find it best to not have these sites at all if you have a claim pending).
Knowledge Equals Power in Orlando Insurance Dispute Cases
An insurance company makes billions by simply taking in more in premiums then what they pay out in claims. This translates into a “Win at all Costs” strategy that directly affects your case. Don’t fall victim.