Insurance adjusters use many techniques to lower the value of claims, and a Jacksonville injury lawyer wants you to know about this danger. Here are some tactics that clients need to recognize.
Lawyers Weigh In
Some personal injury lawyers write opinion letters for insurers saying that a claim has little value. The insurer will show the letter to the claimant in an effort to influence or lower a settlement figure. But if the claims representative has not shown the lawyer all of the facts and details, then the opinion is not well-informed.
“Home Court” Advantage
If you live in a different state from where the accident or injury took place, the insurance representative knows that the distance presents a huge incentive to settle. Otherwise you, the claimant, must travel to take your claim to court. This would incur costs, including lost work time, travel, hotel, etc. If the injuries are painful, this makes travel extremely undesirable. So if you are in a different state as the jurisdiction of the trail court for your case, you can expect the defense to leverage their local advantage.
Stigmatizing the Claimant
If the claimant’s station in life or personal lifestyle can be called into question, the insurance team may do so. The claims representatives know that jurors may view a plaintiff negatively, and they play this card to achieve their goal of reducing a claim’s value, leading to a favorable settlement for the insurer.
The insurer has contacts with a battery of experts, who are paid to testify about factors that would support denying, mitigating, or reducing a claim. From doctors to lawyers to engineers and investigators, adjusters rely on a wealth of professional expertise to validate an underestimated claim. This can prove to be a biased effort when the insurer controls the information and scope of an investigation. If the insurer disapproves of the expert report, that report will never see the light of day. If it does, the research may be slanted or incomplete.
The bottom line is that legal experts in your area stay on top of these and dozens of questionable approaches used by insurance representatives. Don’t fall victim to these practices. Be sure to call Jacksonville injury lawyer John Fagan today at 904-278-1000.
John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981.
John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder.
In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home.
John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation.
John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates.
Service to the Community
John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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