Archive for the ‘Insurance Companies’ Category

Injured in Auto Accident — Be Careful of Recorded Statements to Insurance Investigator

By admin

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

“What You Say Can & Will Be Used Against You: Auto Insurance Companies & Recorded State

There has been an increasing trend for automobile insurance companies requesting recorded statements of everyone involved in an auto accident, if they believe that their insured may have been at fault. Sometimes, insurance companies make these requests only minutes after the accident. I have even seen where an insurance company asked their insured to put the other driver on the phone at the scene of the accident to get a recorded statement. Insurance companies do this to deprive any potentially injured person the benefit of (1) medical treatment; (2) time to calm down after a traumatic accident; (3) the chance to speak with loved ones or the police; and most importantly, (4) the opportunity to consult with an attorney before giving such a statement.

Insurance companies do not want anyone who may later make a personal injury claim to have the opportunity to speak with an attorney before the insurance company has its chance to ask its own set of questions. While the answers to these questions are not the same as testimony in a courtroom, the recording and the transcript of that recording do have an effect on any lawsuit that is filed down the road, and the insurance company can try to use the contents of that interview as leverage later on.

If you are involved in an automobile accident, you must be skeptical if asked by an insurance adjuster or investigator to give a recorded statement. This is particularly true when it is the other driver’s insurance company asking for the statement immediately or shortly after the accident. The other driver’s insurance company hopes that, before there is time for some injuries to present themselves, you will say you were not injured. That way, they can use that statement later on to try to disclaim coverage of and compensation for legitimate injuries.

You must still cooperate with your own insurance company and report any accidents in a timely fashion, and you should always contact the police following a serious accident, but if you are asked to give a recorded statement immediately after an accident by another driver’s insurance company, you must be very careful about what you say. Ideally, you should not give a recorded statement to another driver’s insurance company without first consulting with an attorney, and you must always be careful whenever giving a recorded statement, even to your own insurance company.

A skilled personal injury attorney can not only protect your rights before, during, and after a case goes to court, s/he can also aid you with requests for a recorded statement by an insurance company after you are injured in an accident. Call 1-800-432-LAWS to speak with a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney, who can answer all your questions about your rights.

Limitation On Lawsuits – When Small Savings Don’t Add Up

By Thomas R. Smith

Friday, February 24th, 2012

A victim who suffers personal injuries from a motor vehicle accident may have restricted their ability to be compensated under New Jersey law.  Choosing the Limitation on Lawsuits options when purchasing automobile insurance, will restrict your access to compensation.  With this option, you will only be able to recover damages if your injuries result in one of the following defined categories:  death, displaced fracture, disfiguring scarring, dismemberment, loss of a fetus, or a permanent injury – which must be proven by objective medical evidence.

Your choice of insurance will not only restrict your rights to recover, but also those family members residing in your household, or others listed on the insurance policy.  This often results in an unfair denial of compensation to those suffering personal injuries due to a negligent motor vehicle operator.

Insurance companies vigorously defend claims brought against them by injured victims who choose the Limitations on Lawsuits threshold.  Juries appear reluctant to find permanent injuries and thus fewer awards are made.

While you may save a few dollars in the policy’s cost by electing the threshold, you in turn will give up important rights to be fairly and adequately compensated by a careless driver that caused you pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and/or disability.  Give much consideration when purchasing your policy if the small savings is worth it.

Insurance Claim Delays – Avoid the Pitfalls with a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney

By Thomas R. Smith

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Because of its protective role in the lives of ordinary citizens, the insurance industry is bound by law to act in good faith with its customers.  However, since the mid 1990s, a new profit-centered model, combined with weak governmental regulation, has essentially overturned that ancient social contract.  For most insurance companies, the traditional way of adjusting claims for accident victims has been replaced by a profit-driven method that makes purposefully low offers to claimants.  Those who accept the low-ball offers receive prompt service, while those who do not have their claims delayed and may ultimately be forced to bring a lawsuit to fight for their benefits.  Insurance companies attempt to pass off claim delays as fluke occurrences, but they are actually a routine and intentional product of the profit-centered model.  A former Allstate agent told the American Association for Justice that the strategy is to make claims “so expensive and time-consuming that lawyers would start refusing to help clients.” 

Often times individuals who are harmed, suffer losses or personal injury due to another’s negligence feel they are at a disadvantage because the insurance carrier has the extensive resources to try a case.  If you feel your insurance company is treating you wrongfully, you should speak with an experienced and qualified personal injury attorney who has the financial resources and know how to navigate complex legal issues and provide the best possible results.

Insurance “Immunities” limit our Constitutional Rights

By Edward Slaughter, Jr.

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

The idea behind “insurance” is that it is a method of spreading risks.  So, if a house is destroyed by fire, the owner, if insured, does not have to bear the full weight of that loss by himself/herself.

The same is true of casualty insurance.  We pay insurance premiums so that if we cause an accident, we don’t have to pay the full measure of the other innocent person’s losses.   The insurance company does that for us depending on what kind of insurance we bought.

For the past few decades insurance companies have gradually moved away from this idea.  They are now multinational companies with tremendous power and wealth.  They do everything they can to influence political decisions.  They, together with their allies in Congress or State Legislatures, do all they can to limit our Constitutional right to access the Court system to litigate our claims.

The New Jersey Constitution in Article 1, Paragraph 9 and Amendment VII of the United States Constitution state that the right to trial by jury in civil cases is inviolate and shall not be infringed upon.

Yet, all sorts of “immunities” have sprung up in New Jersey.  All of the following are now immune from suit to one degree or another: amusement rides, playgrounds, horseback riding, ski resorts, roller skating rinks, owners of property used for recreational purposes, volunteer first aid or fire companies, sports officials, mental health workers and condominiums.

It seems that the New Jersey Legislature is more interested in seeing to it that insurance companies pay fewer claims than it is in protecting people who are injured because of the negligence of others.  It’s also interesting that many of these immune entities cater primarily to children.

Don’t allow the NJ Department of Banking & Insurance regulate your auto accident treatment!

By Edward Slaughter, Jr.

Monday, November 7th, 2011

A standard NJ auto policy provides up to $250,000 to pay for medical treatment due to an auto accident, regardless of fault. This is why NJ auto insurance is more expensive than in other states. Many states require less or no medical treatment coverage.

Now the auto insurance companies are seeking to restrict access to needed treatment by getting the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance to allow them to put auto accident victims into “organized delivery systems”. They will thereby restrict treatment to doctors or groups of their choosing, control what tests will be allowed, and otherwise deny needed care.

It is the mission of insurance companies to make profits. Profits are made by restricting payments to injured people. If they are given control of treatment they will try to limit it, thereby reducing what they have to pay. Thereby making more profit.

I have nothing against profit but insurance companies are not your typical business. They don’t make or sell a product. All they do is collect premiums from people against the risk that they may have to pay certain claims. If they never have to pay a claim they get to keep all the money they collect.

Insurance companies originally were there to spread the risk of loss amongst us all. We all paid premiums so that if one of us had to be helped in some way because of a loss that person would be made whole. Now the profit motive is all they are interested in. And they have the ability to influence politicians because they have a lot of money that they collected from people just like you.

You can oppose this by speaking or writing to the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance before it is too late.  They can be reached at 800-446-7467 or by visiting their website at http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/.

United States Supreme Court overrules New Jersey Supreme Court

By Edward Slaughter, Jr.

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Insurance companies and corporations and the politicians who support their interests have yet another victory to celebrate. The United States Supreme Court, certainly the most reactionary Supreme Court since before Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, has again sided with corporations to the detriment of the common man or woman.

In its decision of June 27, 2011, in the case of J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd., v. Nicastro, the United States Supreme Court struck down a decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court and ruled that a New Jersey worker who lost several fingers at work while operating a machine made in England by a British company could not sue that company in New Jersey courts because the manufacturer had not “purposefully” availed itself of the privilege of conducting business in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Court had ruled that “fairness and foreseeability” should allow suit in New Jersey. The United States Supreme Court ruled that “fairness and foreseeability” do not count even though the manufacturer had targeted every one of the fifty states as places that it wanted to sell its machines for profit.

The New Jersey Supreme Court had ruled that globalization of the world economy has removed national boundaries as barriers to trade. Thus, if a person was hurt in New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court had ruled that the injured person may use New Jersey courts to sue a foreign manufacturer who has built a dangerous machine.

In a day when almost everything is made in China, does the United States Supreme Court want the ordinary citizen to have no rights against foreign manufacturers? Perhaps so.