woman looking away in disagreement from insurance company attorney

What to Watch for When Dealing With the Insurance Company’s Attorney

When an accident happens and your insurance company hires an attorney, that attorney protects you, right?  Probably not!  Although this is a complicated area of law, the answer is probably not!

Remember: your insurance company is trying to save money and protect the insurance company’s bottom line!  Often, this means that the attorney’s goal is in opposition to your best interests. An area where we frequently see this issue occurs when the other driver or their attorney is seeking what’s called “punitive damages.”  This might happen if you got a ticket for driving recklessly or driving under the influence.  Your insurance company will always follow the age-old advice, “To thine ownself be true.”  If this happens, you are likely at risk of the opposing attorney seeking money FROM YOU, personally, not just from your insurance company!  What’s worse?  Your insurance company and “your” supposed attorney almost never let you know when this is happening!  Read on for more information about this too-often ignored type of lawsuit:

Punitive damages can happen for lots of reasons, although allegations of reckless driving and drinking and driving are the most common.  If the insurance company tells you that a lawsuit has been filed, you must ask the right questions.  Is the other side asking for punitive damages?  Was there an opportunity to settle without a lawsuit (which avoids the other side coming after you for money entirely)?  Is there a possibility that the other side might ask for punitive damages later in the lawsuit?  And- If we lose, will you cover the punitive damages portion for me (get this answer in writing, for example by email!)

If the opposing attorney convinces the judge, during a lawsuit for the accident, that they can ask a jury for punitive damages, you’re in a very dangerous situation that you might not even know about!  Your insurance company should  let you know this is happening—it’s a big deal to you, right?  And it might change how you want the case handled!  But your insurance company is likely never to let you know when it’s happening!

This situation usually creates what’s called a “conflict of interest”: the insurance company may decide it’s worth the gamble to go to trial.  But it’s in your best interest to settle without trial, avoiding the potential of punitive damages.

Another common situation where your insurance company has a conflict of interest—a situation that puts them in a position where helping themselves save money puts you at risk—is when the other side has made a “statutory offer”—a special type of settlement offer that goes through the judge, rather than just the usual informal settlement negotiations.  A statutory offer can lead to a situation where, if you are found liable for the accident at trial, the other side may come after you for money in addition to the maximum amount your insurance policy has pay by law.  And again, most insurance companies won’t even let you know when this situation happens!  So now, your insurance company is betting against you—they might want to take the case for trial when settling means that you don’t have any personal risk.  Isn’t that why we purchase insurance in the first place?  Most people are shocked to hear that their insurance companies almost never lets them know when they’re in danger of this situation!

There are many other ways that your insurance company may have a conflict of interest—where their best interest is pitted against your best interest—but you’re likely never to know when it’s happening.  You may not want to have the case go to trial—but your insurance company negotiates whether to settle and makes the call about going to trial.

If you think this situation may be happening (or about to happen) to you, speak to an attorney—one who is actually an attorney with your best interests at heart.

The attorney for your auto accident case is really an attorney for the insurance company.  The attorney for the other driver isn’t legally allowed to speak to you, but other plaintiff’s personal injury attorneys can.  At Bell & Pollock,  our law firm will first and foremost check  to make sure that we don’t have any conflicts of interest of our own—more than you can count on from an attorney for an insurance company!  if we represent the other driver, for example, we will tell you that up-front.  Once we’ve ensured that we can represent you, and ONLY YOU, we’ll give you a free consultation to advise you and tell you whether we can help.  Call Denver Car Accident Attorneys Bell & Pollock to discuss your options and whether you may need an attorney- one who is actually representing you.

Contact Us

Call a trusted attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. at (303) 795-5900 to get on the road to recovery now. You can also email our firm via the contact firm on this page.

As proud champions of the people, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions, explain the law and your rights, and help you take whatever steps necessary to recover the compensation you’re entitled to. With us in your corner, you can be confident that you have the legal support and representation necessary to successfully resolve your claim.

Don’t delay your recovery for a second longer – and don’t be misguided into thinking that you have to go through the process alone. Our attorneys are here, ready to help – and you won’t have to pay us anything until (or unless) there is a recovery in your case.

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Case Results

WE KNOW HOW TO WIN

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver. As a result of the motor vehicle accident, client was rendered a quadriplegic and needed a life care plan.
Outcome: $9,600,000

CASE: Against Insurance company for failure to pay for property damage after a gas and fire explosion.
Outcome: $1,600,000

CASE: Medical malpractice for failure to diagnose a descending aorta aneurism, resulting in death.
Outcome: $1,300,000

CASE: Neck and back injuries from car accident. Client had ongoing symptoms and needed injections for attempted remediation of pain.
Settled for $485,000

CASE: Client was injured in a 2 vehicle collision. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion and multiple injuries to the neck.
Outcome: $6,000,000

CASE: Client was in her car and was T-Boned by a commercial vehicle. Her cerebral spinal fluid leaked and she suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury with neck and lumbar (low back) injuries. Her neck injury caused radiating pain, numbness and tingling in her arms.
Outcome: $3,400,000

CASE: Client was driving on a rural road when another car crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision in the snow and ice. Client did physical work for a living. Both knees were injured, along with a neck injury.
Outcome: $2,300,000

CASE: Client was driving on South Parker road when another vehicle rapidly changed lanes and rear-ended the client. That vehicle was cited for careless driving. The collision caused a concussion with traumatic brain Injury. Client missed time from work and had a positive correlation between brain scan and neuropsychological test results.
Outcome: $950,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a dump truck, was then knocked forward and hit another vehicle. Client had a concussion with traumatic brain injury. Client underwent a brain scan which showed hypoperfusion, correlated with her concussion symptoms. Client suffered neck injuries and injuries to her low back.
Outcome: $650,000

CASE: Client was rear-ended. The mechanism of injury from the forces in the collision caused her neck injury and at the same time, damaged her organs inside her throat. Client had swallowing and choking issues.
Outcome: $1,250,000

CASE: Client was in a motor vehicle accident. Both injections in the neck rendered some temporary relief. The Injections were transforaminal epidural steroid injections. Surgery was recommended on the lumbar (low back). The low back was injured by the forces in the collisions.
Outcome: $933,000

CASE: The client was driving in her car and was rear-ended thereby causing injuries to her lower back and neck. Client also suffered a concussion. Client had to undergo facet injections multiple times, through multiple procedures. Client also had cognitive issues which required cognitive training and therapy.
Outcome: $400,000

CASE: Client was entering a highway from an on ramp and was rear-ended by a commercial van. Client tested positive for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and failed conservative treatment. Client underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgey, which involved removal of the first rib to attempt to relieve pressure in the thoracic outlet. Client also suffered a back injury.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver, who crossed the center line of the road. Client underwent multiple surgeries and could not work. Client was late 40s and needed a modified life care plan.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a tow truck driver who was a diabetic. The diabetic at fault party was a non-compliant diabetic and claimed he had a syncope episode, and was “blacked out”. Client had a preexisting back condition known and the forces from the collision aggravated, or made worse, the preexisting back condition in addition to, causing neck injuries.
Outcome: $350,000

CASE: Client was a passenger in a car where the driver fell asleep on a country road in the early morning hours. The car rolled multiple times. Client had eye injuries, facial injuries and neck and knee injuries.
Outcome: $850,000

CASE: Client was on the job, driving her own car, when she was rear-ended. She suffered a concussion with traumatic brain injury and pursued Workers Compensation Claim.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice in Central City. He suffered back injuries, that did not require injections.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice on a sidewalk in front of a business. She had to have knee surgery and multiple injections in her back.
Outcome: $175,000

CASE: Client was visiting a friend who was renting a house. Client tripped on untreated, dangerous section of deck and injured his back.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE:Client was rear ended and needed fusion spinal surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE:Client was rear-ended and had to have rotator cuff surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Settled for $65,000

CASE:Client was at Denver International Aiport traveling through Denver, slipped and fell and broke her ankle.
Settled for $118,750

CASE:Client was exposed to mold in a multi-family dwelling that was caused by leaking water.
Settled for $125,000

CASE:Motorcycle accident, reconstructive surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurological injuries
Settled for $1,275,000

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I could not have made a better decision than to call Bell & Pollock with my case. Dana Miller and her team were the best.
Brian B.
THEY WERE VERY PROFESSIONAL, KEPT ME INFORMED AND DID WHAT I WOULD CALL A SPECTACULAR JOB- THEY SEEM TO PREACH "LEGAL GAME PLAN" AND EVEN WROTE A BOOK ABOUT IT- IT BASICALLY MEANS THEY HAVE STRATEGIES FOR YOU AND YOUR CASE AND I MEAN EVERYTHING WAS SOUND AND ANALYZED.
Jason H.
I appreciate brad and his team the bell and Pollock attorneys are by far the best ones i have ever worked with.
Aliviya D.
Brad Pollock is educated, experienced, and is the world's greatest attorney. Marlena Elsloo helps him focus in on the most important issues.
Kathy T.
He is very professional and we would recommend Mr. Bell to anyone who is looking for an attorney.
Dianna C.
He was kind, compassionate and knowledgeable, but also tenacious when working with the insurance companies.
Michelle K.
I was blessed to be put in contact with Dana, who not only provided me free feedback and counsel when we spoke on the phone, but also took the time to call me back on multiple occasions to check on me.Dana Miller, you are a sweet, caring and amazing person and I appreciate all your help.
Grady C.