Seattle, WA business lawyer Thomas E. Gates talks about how he deals with insurance agencies in regards to personal injury cases.
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The insurance companies tend to have a bad rap. I’ve been fortunate to work with professionals where they understand an injury has occurred and they try to get some relief, if you will, to the injured party. Naturally, as the dollars go up, it becomes a little bit harder in the negotiations. People have to understand that their problem is not unique, that the insurance companies collect a large database of similar problems. They have in their database jury trials and so know what the jury is going to award typically for that particular injury. You come to a point where you know you’re not going to make more money by going the trial route, in fact, you may lose money because you have to have specialists in pursuing your cases. And so, we try to make sure that the client understands that here’s the template, work within those bounds, and so, you end up having to take a risk that you’re going to prevail at a higher rate. And that, unfortunately, doesn’t happen too often. And so, as an attorney, we look at the specific personal injury area and then from that, we determine what the likelihood of their reimbursement will be. Now their reimbursement comes with the fact that they have to pay all the medical expenses, they have to pay their attorneys, and then whatever is left over they get. And sometimes, unfortunately, it’s not the amount that they anticipated.