Ten Secrets Insurance Companies Donít Want You to Know When You Are Negotiating a Settlement of a Personal Injury Case


     By The Law Offices of R. Sebastian Gibson

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Law Firm in Palm Desert: The Law Offices of R. Sebastian Gibson
The author divulges ten secrets about insurance companies you should know when trying to negotiate a personal injury settlement. This experienced negotiator warns how insurance companies try to take advantage of people without attorneys.

As an auto accident attorney and personal injury lawyer in Southern California with nearly thirty years of experience in San Diego, Orange County, Palm Springs and London, there are secrets that insurance companies donít want you to know. Here are ten of the most important.

First, insurance companies are not your friends. They are in business to make money. The less money they give you for your accident, the more money they make. Their adjusters may seem pleasant, and on a personal level they may even feel something for what you are going through. But they do not get ahead in their jobs by giving you more money than they can get by with giving you.

Second, insurance companies do no want you to hire a lawyer. If you hire a lawyer, they know they will have to pay you more money. They will paint lawyers as greedy, lazy, unnecessary, and any other number of adjectives to believe you will do better without a lawyer. Knowing the first secret, why would you ever believe such a portrayal from an insurance company interested in making money?

Third, an insurance company will tell you things that an insurance lawyer knows better than to believe himself. Some will tell you that you arenít entitled to claim a back injury from an accident if you had back problems before the accident. They may tell you that you arenít entitled to pain and suffering for certain types of medical bills. They will almost certainly tell you that you canít be seriously injured if your impact was minor.

Fourth, an insurance company adjuster is a skilled negotiator. That means he or she will attempt to play you like a poker pro. You will hear things like, ďthatís my best offer,Ē ďif you donít agree to accept this offer, we can have an arbitration,Ē ďyou wonít do better than this after an attorney takes his fee,Ē and ďour analysis of your medical bills is that the reasonable value of them is less than half.Ē

Fifth, insurance companies do want to settle your case, but they pretend as if they could care less if you take the case to court. Unfortunately, until you have an attorney, they will be discounting the value of your case not only by at least what you would be paying an attorney out of your settlement, but often by other values such as the cost of future medical treatment, and future wage loss.

Sixth, insurance companies will probably not tell you other things that you have a right to be compensated for such as prescriptions, the loss of use of your car, damage to items in your vehicle, mileage to your doctors and other items you can be compensated for.

Seventh, when you are dealing with an insurance adjuster, you might as well be dealing with their insurance attorneys. The adjuster has often been trained in programs put together by top insurance negotiators and attorneys who know the law, who know psychology, and who know how to pay you the least amount of money they can get by with paying you.

Eighth, insurance companies have reserves set aside for major catastrophes that allow them to hold millions to billions of dollars and gain interest on those funds and improve their profits.

Ninth, insurance companies donít advertise on television all of the time because they arenít making money. If they werenít making money, they wouldnít advertise (although this may no longer be true of financial institutions that have gone bankrupt on Wall Street while still running advertisements on television).

Tenth, insurance companies make interest on every dollar they hold. It is therefore in their best interest not to settle your case quickly, unless they are settling it cheaply.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: R. Sebastian Gibson
Sebastian Gibson graduated cum laude at UCLA in 1972 and received two law degrees in the U.S. and the U.K., graduating with an LL.B. magna cum laude from University College, Cardiff in Wales and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in Southern California.

Mr. Gibson began his legal career in San Diego before practicing for a number of years in London, England. Today, he has offices in Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert, Newport Beach, and the firmís Of Counsel office is in Carlsbad, San Diego.

Mr. Gibson practices litigation in a wide variety of areas of law including personal injury throughout Southern California from San Diego, Orange County, Irvine, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, La Jolla, Temecula, Buena Park, Riverside, San Bernardino, Indio, Chula Vista, Palmdale, Victorville, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard, San Luis Obispo, Fullerton, Orange, Palm Springs and Palm Desert, Newport Beach and Carlsbad.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.



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