Ben Glass, a friend of mine that practices law in Virginia, has a great blog about a recent case he handled. He and I share the same principle: not everyone needs a lawyer to settle their case. There are, however, circumstances where that principle does not apply. He and I, both, encounter insurance companies that change their “perception” on the value of a case when they know the client is represented by an attorney.
Ben recaps a story about a lady that had been in an accident. The accident was clearly caused by the other person and they were insured by Allstate. The accident victim had never sued anyone, had never been in an accident, was perfectly healthy before the accident, and was fortunate enough to have a good job and make over $100,000 a year.
Her injuries were fairly serious but after getting good treatment and listening to her doctors, she got better over time. She approached Allstate with a very reasonable settlement proposal. Allstate only offered to repay her medical bills. They essentially were not offering anything for the inconvenience she had gone through or for any of the pain and suffering she experienced.
She decided to hire Ben as her attorney and they filed suit. Allstate did very little to defend the case. They sent out subpoenas, admitted the insured was at fault, took a deposition of the client, but did not even request a doctor perform an independent medical examination. Probably because the medical picture had not changed and was so clear.
Allstate essentially TRIPLED its offer a couple of weeks before trial and the case settled.
Ben makes his point, “there is no reason the victim should have had to hire an attorney to get fair compensation.” I completely agree. The facts of the case did not change. The medical picture was the same.
Every case is different so there are different conclusions to take from these situations. One thing is for sure in this case though, Allstate didn’t listen to this client until she got an attorney.
Here is the link if you want to read Ben’s blog on Can you really settle a case with Allstate before the day of trial.
I want to thank Ben for the great blog. I appreciate you sharing it.