Another great piece from PopTort – read it here.
They’re at it again. Insurance companies are raising their premiums, despite raking in billions of pure profit for the third year in a row. The Covid-19 pandemic that killed millions of people and financially devastated entire industries turned out to be a boon for insurers. Of course, when your business model is based on denying businesses interruption claims stemming from the pandemic and capitalizing on civil court backlogs as a way to avoid settlement offers, you’re bound to come out on top.
None of this comes as a surprise to attorneys representing the injured. They battle claims adjusters for a living, so they’re used to this kind of stunt from insurance companies. Back in 2008 they blamed the global recession for causing a civil juror bias against corporations – and they’re still using that as an excuse to try and evade payouts over ten years later. Then they started whining about the high salaries of sports stars and celebrities and how they made civil juries “numb to monetary values.”
There’s no evidence to back these allegations up, by the way. But that hasn’t stopped the insurance industry and its lobbyists from waging a largely successful campaign over the past few decades to limit jury awards and force plaintiffs to resolve disputes through arbitration instead of the legal system. This movement is known as tort reform, and it has turned insurance companies into Goliaths with significant power over injured parties.
Plaintiff’s attorneys watch this play out every day with their clients. Adjusters make lowball settlement offers to personal injury victims that will barely cover their medical bills. They deny the surgery or medications an injured worker needs to heal. They refuse to pay part of an injured claimant’s wages while they are at home recovering. How will they put food on the table? How will they get healthy again? How will they get the compensation they need to start rebuilding their life?
Adjusters don’t care. It’s not their job to care. It’s their job to resolve claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Their company shareholders expect it. They are used to seeing profits year after year, and providing every injured claimant the benefits they deserve would cut into the bottom line.
A good claimant’s attorney knows it’s their job to care. That it’s their job to fight. That they must fight and keep holding these insurance companies accountable. Because they damn sure won’t do it themselves.