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So is it good service or a simple race to protect their money? We have been told repeatedly about adjusters just popping unannounced into the hospital rooms of horribly injured plaintiffs or just showing up at their house. It would be ambulance chasing and a ethics complaint if a lawyer did it.

The person is drugged up and in a lot of pain. Is the insurance companies really working for them. Are they there to help?

Wait. Stop. Think. Do you really think a multi-billion dollar insurance company has your best interest at heart? Insurance companies’ profits depend on taking in more in premiums and investments than goes out in payments. The insurance company only benefits if they pay out less.

Maybe they’re trained to be nice to keep you from going to a lawyer because they know that will cost them a lot. Maybe it’s that the adjusters really know what to say:

– Are they giving legal advice?

– Are they trained to convince people that they really are getting good deals?

– Are they just plain old lying to people?

It’s illegal in most states for the insurer to tell you not to go to a lawyer. But it’s not illegal to be nice, to pretend they have your best interests at heart.

Many insurers even have a whole different set of adjusters that deal with people who don’t have lawyers. ‘Unwrapped Units’ are trained to deal with these folks, using special training to try to keep people happy. If they get smart and hire a lawyer, their case gets switched to a ‘wrapped unit’.

It’s amazing how many times we look at the offers that are made within days of the collision and they are woefully inadequate. Occasionally, we see fair offers and we tell people that. We’ve even had cases where we help them make sure that the health insurance subrogation interests are dealt with and that all of the coverages have been found. If it’s a good deal, or even close to a good deal, we tell them.

The reality is that you can hire someone that is on your side and who works for you or you can hope they don’t rip you off too much. You can guess what the value of your case is or hire a lawyer that has done this before and knows how to present a case.

Now I do understand that the case is always yours. So if you want to settle and think it’s a good deal, go for it. But, it reminds me of the last time I tried plumbing. Took me two days to put in a garbage disposal. Week later, a real plumber came in and got it fixed in about 30 minutes.


  1. Mike: Great post with terrific advice! Even if an injury victim decides not to retain a lawyer, it is always wise to consult with one. It is, almost always, absolutely free. Discuss the "offer" made by the visiting adjuster. See what the lawyer thinks of it. I have been in the legal arena for 35 years; I have never experienced an insurance company making a fair offer to an unrepresented or REPRESENTED plaintiff, right out of the gate. Even in small policy wrongful death cases, I have always experienced a "can we shave something off the policy" mentality. Folks: If you negotiate with an experienced claims adjuster, whose business it is to resolve claims for as little as possible, without an attorney by your side, you are selling your case short. And if you reside in the Twin Cities area, call Mike Bryant-he is an outstanding attorney.

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