What to Do If Insurance Company Denies Coverage?
Insurance Companies Deny Claims, But You CAN Fight Their Decisions
I want to tell you another story about a case I had recently. The young woman was driving down Southeast 82nd here in Portland. She had a green light. There were cars in front of her that had already gone through the green light, and out of nowhere, somebody runs the red light going the other way and totals her car, just about. Absolutely hard hit, a lot of property damage to her car. If you can believe it, the insurance company for the guy who hit her said it was her fault, not the guy who ran the red light. We see this kind of behavior from insurance companies all the time. Completely unreasonable denials of legitimate claims, just to keep from having to pay somebody what they owe them.
So she hired me, and we sued the driver. That’s the only choice we had. They wouldn’t pay her a penny. They wouldn’t pay for her property damage to her car, and so she had to pay for that. They wouldn’t pay for her medical treatment, so she had to pay for that, so we sued the driver. And the case went all the way through arbitration, and of course the arbitrator said, are you kidding me? How could it be her fault when this guy clearly ran the red light? Well, that was a case that we were able to do two things: one for her was to get her compensation for the injury that she got in the car crash because she got hit really hard. The other thing we were able to do is get something called diminished value for the car itself.
When your car gets hit really hard in a car crash and the repair shop is able to repair it and give it back to you, it’s often not worth what it was before. So there’s a diminished value, and loss in value there. So we sued for both of those things, and we sued under an Oregon statute that did something that we love to do, which was make the insurance company pay us instead of having our clients pay us. The typical personal injury case, the client has to pay the attorney out of the money that they get at the end of the case. In some situations, the insurance company or, or the at-fault party, the bad driver, the person who did something wrong, has to pay us, and our clients get to keep all the money that they’re owed. And we love that.
And that’s what happened in this situation that I’m telling you about. My client and her husband got to keep all the money that the arbitrator awarded them, and we were paid by the insurance company. We love doing that.