Immediately upon a wreck, the insurance company often send a “rapid response team” to the wreck.
Often times the insurance’s team arrive before even the first responders and emergency personnel. This is common practice in the industry.
They have investigators, attorneys and accident reconstruction experts all on stand by 24/7/ When they arrive at the scene they take photos, measurements, videos, down loading or removing the black boxes and talking to witnesses.
The insurance company allege that it is “work product” and do not share the information with the victims families.
Some truckers have 2 log books and one often disappears. Skid marks fade.
I have seen witnesses hidden, log books destroyed and other important evidence lost.
They have one mission, to take money from the victims and their families.
Despite this unconscionable behavior, I often hear objections from people, and they attack the families and attorneys they involve in the case. These critics are clueless as to how it works in the real world.
These critics attack the lawyers for the victims. The attorneys who are seeking to protect their rights.
So I assume people like this feel that the family should not have someone working for them? Just wait a month or 2 until after everything has settled down? Meanwhile the insurance company works to avoid their accountability.
My experience is you are not “in good hands”, you are “not a good neighbor”, “you don’t get a piece of the rock”, no cute geico lizards or ducks or magically appearing agents. The Cave man is closer to the truth.
They also often lie about all their insurance coverage. Trust me insurance companies are not your friend.
With 30+ years of handling catastrophic injury cases I am often contacted by friends and family of someone who just had a horrible injury or even death in the family.
I am always at a loss of how I can respond to their concerns about the spouse or the children or the parents of the victim for their horrible harms and losses. I as an attorney and they as a family member do not want to intrude on the grief or the hectic situation that often turns the family upside down.
But sadly I often see 3 situations
1. The defendant (frequently an insurance company or trucking company or other corporation) are busy gathering or hiding or destroying evidence.
This includes things like locating and interviewing witnesses, taping over or losing videos and disposing of property damage.
It is very frustrating because I know our investigator and attorneys could be protecting their rights, while they are attending to their loved ones medical situations, children, loss of income in the household, a destroyed car or worse funeral arrangements.
Why are people made to feel sleazy if they have a lawyer working for them immediately after a tragedy?
Meanwhile insurance companies and businesses are expected to have a team of lawyers and experts, 24/7 and often at the scene before first responders.
Recently we had a catastrophically injured client crushed by a fallen object. The defendants removed the object before the ambulance picked up our client!
2. Unethical attorneys and hired runners are contacting and soliciting people who they don’t know often at the hospitals in the ER or places that they aren’t thinking straight.
The scariest part is the lawyers who engage in this kind of conduct are usually the least experienced or most ill equipped to handle such a serious case.
3. Many people make the decision of hiring a lawyer based on a TV or other marketing strategy.
All I will say is that after 30 years of litigating serious cases, I have never seen a lawyer who does heavy TV marketing in the court house.
Trust me adjusters don’t pay top dollars to non-trial attorneys.
Have you ever seen a TV lawyer talking about a record jury verdict? Nope they brag on $100K settlements (in the type of wrecks that we collect millions).
Many times we have been hired after the client fires such low skilled lawyers and we find additional insurance coverage missed by the first lawyer.
I wish I could accomplish 2 things:
1. Find an acceptable way for people to communicate with their family and loved ones about getting an experienced lawyer immediately after a tragedy.
or better yet
2. Convince people to do research and their due diligence and make a lawyer selection in advance “just in case of tragedy”; like they do for estate planning and other important decisions.
I guess I can dream.
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