More Ways Insurers Lower Damages

A knowledgeable Jacksonville injury lawyer will alert clients to the methods used by insurance representatives to justify lower settlement offers. Be aware of these tactics as you prepare your claim or case. Jacksonville injury lawyer

It’s Tax Free!

General damages paid on claims are not taxed. Insurers think that this gives them the ability to lower their payouts. The way they see it, you won’t have to pay a large tax bill, so they can just subtract that double-digit penalty from their settlement offer. But the truth is that the tax law is written this way for a reason: A claim is not taxable income, like wages, salary, earnings or profits, so the insurer’s argument doesn’t hold water.

Case Avoidance

As a personal injury claimant, it’s important not to be afraid to argue your case. Yet insurance adjusters know that many people would rather quit than fight, even if their cases are worth it. If the claims representative senses that you’re unlikely to call a Jacksonville injury lawyer, they will tempt you with an unfairly low settlement offer, knowing you would rather accept it than call a lawyer and press your case. Don’t be intimidated; let a Jacksonville injury lawyer fight for you.

Unclear Coverages

We’re not saying that all insurers do this, but some are less than forthcoming about what their claimants’ policies cover. If you don’t demand particular costs and damages, the insurance company may not offer to cover them. According to most accepted industry practices and requirements, the insurer typically has the duty to tell you what coverages apply to your claim. Once you notify the company of your loss, it should be upfront with you. But be careful to ask for the information about your policy just in case. Otherwise, you may not be aware of all the coverage you deserve.

Structured (Delayed) Settlement

You may have heard of structured settlements; these insurance claims are paid out over time instead of in a single cash payment. While this set-up may be right for you, your Jacksonville injury lawyer knows that the insurer has a huge incentive to drag out payments while it retains the funds for investment purposes. Work with a legal professional to be advised of your options.

Car’s Current Worth

After an accident, the car can lose significant value once it is repaired. But who pays for the difference between the car’s prior worth and its value after the loss? The insurer should, but may refuse, and that would leave you holding the loan or title to an asset that is devalued. This is particularly likely for luxury or expensive vehicles. Contact Us Insurance representatives use dozens of approaches to delay, reduce, or avoid payouts. But your Jacksonville injury lawyer is up to speed on all the latest gimmicks. Be sure to put an experienced and knowledgeable local expert on your side by calling First Coast Accident Lawyers, 904-278-1000.

About John Fagan

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. Professional Activities 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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