Most people get the fact that insurance companies only stay in business by paying out as little as possible, if any at all. One of their favorite games is to play what I call the “Insurance Shuffle.” Typically they will start off pretty strong in the beginning, and then switch you to a variety of other claims adjustors or “Senior Claims Reps” before every settling. Many insurance companies have bonus structures set up for their agents based on how little they pay within their range of settlement discretion. If there is any wiggle room whatsoever in a case these initial claims adjustors try and stick it to you making it seem like your case has zero or very little value. They will often come up with crazy reasons as why the medical treatments you received are not related to your accident, or are not justified by it. Anything to lower the value of your case.
If you are persistent and can present the facts in a clear and reasonable manner then you eventually you can get them to bump their offer up. In this case the Hartford insurance company insultingly increased their offer by about $500-$2,000 per counter offer. They were barely even covering the medical expenses of my client. It has been 1.75 years of brow beating negotiations where they have continued to try and take advantage of my client. The offers and acceptance of liability on their part were like pulling teeth – notwithstanding their insured driver had been clearly cited for blatant violations of the traffic laws and run right over my cyclist.
So, after almost two years of frustration my client and I counseled together and I explained that filing a lawsuit would be the next step. The current low settlement offer on the table would barely cover their medical expenses and this was unacceptable to both of us. I knew that once we filed the law suit we would likely get to discuss the merits of the case with the Hartford’s legal team as opposed to the claims adjustors who we had been dealing with thus far. Happy and eager to file the suit on behalf of my clients we prepared a great law suit and served it on all relevant parties. Waiting the required 20 days for their response was a suspense that I am accustomed to. just a couple of days before the 20 day deadline we received a letter faxed to us from the Hartford. Was it from their legal team? Nope. They had pulled the “Insurance Shuffle” and assigned us a “Sr. Claim Rep” for any “further correspondence” and for “further handling.” You can see the letter below:
I admit I am not surprised. This is Hartford’s policy. Eventually because of the law suit I will be talking to their legal counsel. But for now, they are attempting once again with someone who apparently has more authority to settle at a higher amount than the prior adjustors we had previously been dealing with. The letter even stated that this new “Sr. Claim Rep” can “better serve” me and my client. I wonder how? And if so, then why not assign them to us earlier when I had emailed them a copy of my law suit weeks before I filed it stating that they should entertain reasonable negotiations with us or we will be forced to file this suit. Instead, they continued to play hardball and forced my client to file a law suit.
This is the “Insurance Shuffle” in one of its many varieties… Yes, there are many faces to the Insurance Shuffle including but not limited to the: lets “better serve” you by assigning you a senior claim rep at the last moment after we have made you file a law suit. We can just shuffle them around until they are tired of chasing us and then maybe they will finally settle this case. Well, that doesn’t work at my firm. We don’t stand for those games. Our insurance companies have two very simple and clear alternatives when dealing with us:
- Be fair and reasonable and pay what our client deserves and we will settle out of court; or
- Be unfair and unreasonable and we will file a law suit against them. End of story.
I have attached a copy of the letter for your viewing pleasure. It has been redacted to protect my client’s privacy. The red lined additions and notes are mine so you can see what they were doing. Really, after a while you just shake your head and laugh it off in my line of work wondering why they keep playing the same games… Don’t they know we will just sue them?
Be safe out there and ride it like you stole it!
Ben Dodge, Cyclist & Bike Accident Attorney
Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge
If you, or someone you know were injured in a bicycle accident caused by road debris, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles.
Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire united states. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the country. it isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases.
Ben Dodge is a proud member of Bike Law. Bike Law is a national network of elite like minded bicycle accident attorneys founded in 1998. In concert with the mission of Bike Law, Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches the police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.
A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free
In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the united states every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.
Ben dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:
- your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
- the applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
- your cyclist’s rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
- the process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
- the value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.
You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of bike accident attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922 (855.one.ez.call). Mr. dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. there is never an obligation for a complimentary consultation with Mr. dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.
Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC
Call Ben Dodge, the Arizona Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 480.656.8334.
Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at email@example.com
His main offices are located at:
Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 e. baseline rd., suite 124
mesa, Arizona 85206
Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback rd., suite 700
phoenix, Arizona 85016
Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to mesa, phoenix, tucson, yuma, gilbert, peoria, glendale, scottsdale, ahwatukee, tempe, chandler, prescott, sedona, flagstaff, surprise, kingman, page, lake havasu city, payson, goodyear, buckeye, queen creek, paradise valley, show low, winslow, maricopa, nogales, globe, avondale, cave creek, fountain hills, apache junction, carefree, wickenburg, pinetop-lakeside, strawberry, anthem, safford, and more. Ben dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and can assist in representation in all 50 states.