Tonight on CNN’s 360 With Anderson Cooper, Mr. Cooper will report on his 18 month investigation into the duplicitous tactics employed by Allstate, which claims “You’re in Good Hands With Allstate,” State Farm, which claims to be “Like a Good Neighbor,” and other major automobile insurers to force unfair settlements on victims of motor vehicle accidents. Cooper interviewed victims, lawyers, and insurance company insiders. CNN previewed the story on Mr. Cooper’s blogsite, reporting:
And if you are in a minor impact crash and get hurt…insurance companies will most likely try doing the same thing to you: delay handling your claim, deny you were hurt and defend their decision in drawn-out court battles. It’s the three D’s: delay, deny and defend. That, in a nutshell, is the stategy adopted by several major auto insurance companies over the past ten years…. With nowhere to go, Allstate and others bet you’ll take what they offer and walk away. It’s right in the training manuals we obtained from Allstate: force “smaller walk-away settlements.”
Cooper interviewed a former Allstate claims adjuster who told him that she would offer as little as $50.00 to poor people, some of whom would take it for fear of getting nothing at all. The story features the case of Roxanne Martinez, who was broad-sided in an accident in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She suffered a cut above her eye and soft tissue neck injuries. She incurred $15,000.00 in medical bills and $10,000.00 in lost wages, but Allstate made her a $15,000.00 “take it or leave it” offer. Fortunately for Ms. Martinez, she declined Allstate’s offer, hired a lawyer, and received a jury award of $167,000.00. Unfortunately, the verdict was three years post-accident. This story highlights the importance of accident victims contacting competent lawyers soon after their accident. Negotiating with companies like Allstate is a waste of time. The adjusters typically do not have authority to fairly compensate the victim. Rather, they have marching orders to delay, deny, and defend. Here’s a message to accident victims: hiring a law firm that is nothing more than a high-volume settlement mill plays right into the hands of Allstate, State Farm, and the other companies investigated by CNN. You need a lawyer who is willing to file a lawsuit on your behalf (not beg for a settlement) and take your case all the way to trial. We are proud of our thirty year history of jury verdicts and settlements. Please contact us if you have questions about your legal rights.