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Old 04-20-2019, 04:46 PM   #13401
Dave D
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Re: Law School

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Originally Posted by xdeuceswild81xx View Post
Have an auto case. CL does soft tissue work for 4 mo, elects for surgery on doctor's orders, has to delay surgery due to an unrelated incident for 2 mo, so ends up with surgery in month 8, not month 6.

We send in demand package to StateFarm. Statefarm offers us meds only and says, "CL delayed surgery in order to run up the medical bills."

I sent them a letter memorializing that statement with bad faith language and immediately filed a Complaint.

Is this normal? I mean, I have some experience over last 2 years doing Plaintiff PI, but every single adjuster I've had so far has just been the nut low.

Everyone says trial experience is impossible in civil realm now, but I'll be picking 3 juries in 2019 alone and two defendants are statefarm, 1 progressive.

I honestly can't tell if they're just playing games with me because I'm new or if they're just playing games because they are trained to play games.
I forget what state are you in? I wonder if you are doing something that telegraphs NOOB. Maybe take a CLE?

I’ve heard they are pushing back a lot now because they have lost money in other areas. I’ve also been told that the way you send in your demand can show you know what you’re doing. Like the way it’s presented, the order of docs etc.

Now that you filed will they move on the amount?

Last edited by Dave D; 04-20-2019 at 05:07 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 02:59 AM   #13402
Gioco
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Re: Law School

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Originally Posted by xdeuceswild81xx View Post
. I honestly can't tell if they're just playing games with me because I'm new or if they're just playing games because they are trained to play games.
I think trained to play games. Most insurers settle pre-complaint for peanuts.

After doing PI work for a while I noticed that I always went through the "adjuster process" (getting all the stuff together and preparing a demand letter and package, etc.) and then filed a complaint and was asked for all the same stuff by defense counsel, so I quit dealing with adjusters and filed a complaint.

Worked much better, at least more satisfying. I've been out of the game for a while, so maybe things have changed, but that's my experience.
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Old Yesterday, 07:02 PM   #13403
xdeuceswild81xx
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Re: Law School

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Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
I forget what state are you in? I wonder if you are doing something that telegraphs NOOB. Maybe take a CLE?

Iíve heard they are pushing back a lot now because they have lost money in other areas. Iíve also been told that the way you send in your demand can show you know what youíre doing. Like the way itís presented, the order of docs etc.

Now that you filed will they move on the amount?
I'm in PA.

I mean, if you "look me up", you could figure out I'm new without much effort. My name is on a decent number of civil cases in the counties in my area but I don't have tons of verdicts or an extensive resume due to only practicing 2 years. I think because of my setup I have far more experience than most my age/exp, but obviously I don't stack up to a 40 year+ graybeard who's been trying cases longer than I've been alive.

My work product is good. I was given access to about 4 dozen demand package templates from reddit lawyers page (which has been great), and synthesized the best elements from each one. I'm smart enough to realize I don't have to reinvent the wheel every time on my own and my own demand package improved tremendously from analyzing good lawyers demand packages.

I guess we'll see re: filing. In the auto case, no. But, they did call late Friday wanting to talk pre-answer, so we'll see.

In a separate case, I just had defense file PO's to try to boot my case. After receiving the PO's, adjuster calls saying, "Now that we filed PO's, I'll give you 12k as a lifeline offer, blah blah" I just hang up on him.

Sent in my brief. Adjuster calls back a week later offering 17.5k as a "last chance offer" lol. We decline and we have oral argument soon. I straight up told adjuster and counsel that I would rather lose than settle the case for less than its worth. They weren't pleased, but I think building a reputation as a guy who tries cases/fights will be worth it in the long run. Who knows though, I'm open to admitting I could be wrong on that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gioco View Post
I think trained to play games. Most insurers settle pre-complaint for peanuts.

After doing PI work for a while I noticed that I always went through the "adjuster process" (getting all the stuff together and preparing a demand letter and package, etc.) and then filed a complaint and was asked for all the same stuff by defense counsel, so I quit dealing with adjusters and filed a complaint.

Worked much better, at least more satisfying. I've been out of the game for a while, so maybe things have changed, but that's my experience.
Dealing with counsel >>>>>dealing with adjusters.

My relationships with opposing counsel has been relatively chill despite being on opposite sides, but adjusters treat everything like a scorched earth war. I've pretty much just stopped taking their phone calls tbh. I dont even want to waste an iota of a second listening to them low balling me on the phone over and over and over.

I actually thought about saying like, "don't bother calling me unless you can offer me at least "$XXXX" as a starting conversation point. However, I felt like it could possibly raise some ethical rules issues, as I have to communicate offers to my clients, so I didn't do it. I know I could get authority to deny certain offers below thresholds and what not, but still, I feel more comfortable just listening to the bad offer, taking it to CL, and then rejecting.
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Old Yesterday, 07:07 PM   #13404
xdeuceswild81xx
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Re: Law School

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Originally Posted by CohibaBehike View Post
I know a lot of people who do the defense side of this work, and I've been told that an important factor in the size of the initial offer is the experience of plaintiff's counsel.
If that is true, it makes sense ime. I'm young and don't have the resume like a 40+year lawyer. It would make sense, and I get it if that is the strategy, i.e. prove you belong here, prove you can sit at the grownups table.

I hear from my defense friends that pre-litigation is 100% determined by Colossus for like 90% of cases. The rare cases, like say a pure emotional damage case, very high value case, or a self-employment high value case, get decided via a mixture of Colossus and some personal review of the file by necessary parties.

I have been trying to find good reading materials on Colossus to understand it better but haven't had much luck finding anything worthwhile. I wouldn't be shocked if Colossus weighs attorney experience into the value of the settlement or something like that and it could generate some lower offers to me.

But, that is pure speculation on my behalf.

Just want to say I appreciate this thread one more time. I don't really have a boss or great mentor to bounce ideas/thoughts about these administrative/non-legal ideas. Everyone's feedback/responses are really helpful to me.
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Old Yesterday, 09:37 PM   #13405
minnesotasam
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Re: Law School

Man, it’s crazy that the general public thinks you and I have the same job. Your career and mine as a biglaw transactional attorney have so little in common.
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Old Yesterday, 10:29 PM   #13406
DonkJr
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Re: Law School

I did personal injury defense for a year-and-a-half. Something we constantly talked about was whether the plaintiff's attorney can and will go the distance. If it was a solo attorney, especially a younger guy like you, they would almost always be offered less because the thought was that they are hoping to settle the case quickly to "keep the lights on." Being very experienced for an attorney that has two years of experience means that you are still very inexperienced, and the insurance company and the defense attorneys know that. They know that the $15K you are going to have to spend to go to trial (badly) is daunting for a new attorney.

On the other hand, the biggest plaintiff's firm in FL had a rule that every attorney must go to trial at least three times in a year, or they incur a severe financial penalty for failing to do so. Everybody knew that those attorneys would be jones-ing for trials, and that firm tends to have very experienced attorneys, so they got higher offers.

You can't take personally that insurance companies are going to string you along somewhat. What you have to do is make strong initial demand letters with deadlines, make it clear that you will pursue a bad faith claim if they do not do what is right, and (most importantly) go to trial.
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