Who Pays for the Defense Attorney: You or the Insurance Company?

I represent plaintiffs, or those injured by the negligence, ignorance, and omissions of other persons, employers, and corporations,  100% of the time. Conversely that would mean I work against defendant's that have injured my client. OR DO I? Yes and no.

Actually, I work against defense attorneys that are paid hourly or on retainer by insurance companies. These insurance companies hire defense attorneys to protect them when their insured, or client that pays for insurance, does something wrong.  Understand?

Let's look deeper. We all buy insurance. We buy insurance up to a certain amount and pay a premium.  That premium is paid to an insurance company to protect our interest if something goes wrong or something bad happens. We usually pay that premium towards a particular amount of coverage to have the insurance company come in and protect us when something goes wrong. Do insurance companies really protect their insureds?

Now let's talk about insurance companies:

  • Did you know if someone hits you without auto insurance that your insurance company, the company you pay your premium to protect you, stands in place of the person that hit you without insurance?
  • Did you know if a drunk driver hit you and hurt you so badly to require more than your insurance coverage and you were smart enough to purchase UIM, or underinsured coverage, that your insurance company will stand in for the drunk driver and protect them against you stacking that coverage?
  • Did you even know you could stack certain insurance coverages?
  • Did you know that insurance companies pay lots of money for expensive software and research programs that let them know as much about you as possible?- ie Ever watch one of those movies where if it has ever been put into a computer or mainframe system they know? (Those aren't science fiction movies anymore). Confidential medical records--ha ha. Funny.

Defense attorneys love to point out shiny objects in your past. If you have ever hurt yourself in the past then they will say that was the result of your current injury not the fact that the person they are paid to protect by the insurance company ran their 5,000lb car into your front seat.  In their minds it was most likely a result of the fall you had when you were 3 years old and it just never healed right.  Understand better?

Certain things can not be brought in front of a jury at trial regardless of how relevant they may be to a lay person:

  • I can't bring into evidence the ticket the highway patrolman gave to the at fault party;
  • I can't talk about the defendant's insurance coverage;
  • I can't even mention the word "insurance";  

Ironically, defense attorneys get paid by the hour and don't care how quickly the case moves. Remember they get paid by the hour. Would you rush a project that paid you by the hour or would you work at it so long as you could? Also, it helps the premium you pay build interest and that interest to make them money while they stall on giving you any money. Funny isn't it?

If you remember nothing else, remember this:

Insurance companies don't make money paying you money, they make money keeping it away from you.

 Now, who do you think pays for that defense attorney? You or the insurance company?

How Do Insurance Companies Make Money?

My question to every single one of you out there is, "What service do you pay for all your life but get penalized for using?"  If your guess was INSURANCE ding, ding, ding, you win.

I'm sick and tired of people coming into my office shocked and dismayed that their insurance company would "drop" them or significantly raise their premiums if they were to ever have a claim on their insurance.  Wikipedia explains the way in which insurance companies make money as:

Profit = earned premium + investment income - incurred loss - underwriting expenses.

Insurers make money in two ways: (1) through underwriting, the process by which insurers select the risks to insure and decide how much in premiums to charge for accepting those risks and (2) by investing the premiums they collect from insured parties.

I have heard this comment,

"I've never had a problem with my insurance company and I have had them for 25 years!"

Well how many times have you had a claim against them or have you just paid your premium every six months for the past 25 years and watched them collect on that premium?

Insurance is a much needed service but don't go armed with a knife to a gunfight when dealing with them. Hire an attorney. You wouldn't call a plumber to fix your car. Why trust an insurance adjuster that is paid to make money for their employer?

"Insurance ain't nothing but a tax you have to live with. Cause you can't get anything without it and it won't pay you back." --Client