Posted on November 16, 2022 at 12:22 PM by The Biker Lawyers
Rebellion is a core part of the biker lifestyle.
Often, simply telling the truth is seen as an act of rebellion, especially in a system where there are things that Big Insurance doesn’t want you to know. We’re all about speaking truth to power. It’s time the truth comes out.
We need to talk about tort revision, the things that your personal injury lawyer can’t say in court, and everything that Big Insurance doesn’t want you to know.
Here are all the answers to the questions you didn't know you needed to ask.
What types of things are Lawyers not allowed to say in court?
So, the number one thing is we can't talk about insurance, which puts people at a tremendous disadvantage.
It's typically a shock when somebody comes into the office with a new case to realize we can never talk about insurance in court.
How does not being able to talk about insurance in court affect a trial?
So, when we go in front of a jury, we might have some nice little old lady as the defendant and the jury's looking at that nice little old lady thinking, “How can you sue her,” and “you're going to take her home?”
We cannot balance the playing field by saying, “Mrs. Nice Little Old Lady has an insurance policy to cover this,” so jurors either don't know, or they can't be told that there's an insurance policy.
In a personal injury lawsuit, are you suing a person or the insurance company?
We're not suing this nice little old lady to take her house, car, or retirement plan, we're suing to get her insurance policy. It's us against the insurance company but the jury never knows that. We can never say anything about them.
Why don't you go after the insurance companies directly?
Because we can't. In the state of Iowa (and nearly all other states) when you file a lawsuit, you have to name the individual who hit you. You cannot, by law, name the insurance company - even though it's the insurance company's money that's behind it. The individual that hits you really doesn't have much say in the case. You cannot name the insurance company,
So, for example, if I show up in trial tomorrow and I'm suing Joe Smith and he's insured by State Farm Insurance. The lawsuit is against Joe Smith and we can never say anything about State Farm. Again, we can't say anything about the fact that Joe has insurance.
All the jury hears is that we're suing Joe Smith.
What's the truth about insurance companies?
The bottom line with insurance companies is they're not out there to help the injured biker or injured motorists. They're out there to resolve cases as cheaply as they can. They don't care about the individual person, their recovery, or their rights.
Insurance companies are doing their best to make a profit, and that means paying people as little as possible.
Are you saying that you can't trust insurance companies?
That would be a good place to start.
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
Personal injury cases are cases where somebody has a duty to do something, or not to do something, and they've violated that duty causing damages. This is called a duty of care.
Need help navigating a personal injury claim?
What’s an example of duty of care?
Let’s think about you and me as motorists. To put it simply, going down the road we've got a duty to keep a proper lookout for the other guy.
What is a tort?
A tort is when somebody has a duty to do something or not to do something they violate that duty and cause damages.
What is tort reform?
Anytime I hear the term “tort reform,” I say “no, it's not tort reform. It's tort revision.”
The word “reform” implies that there's something wrong that needs to be fixed. Tort revision is an animal of the insurance industry. It is simply a means to artificially limit what damages people can recover, and under what circumstances. It’s taking away the rights of people.
Is tort reform bad? What has tort reform caused over the years?
Tort reform has caused a skewed view in the minds of a lot of people.
The insurance companies, when they're espousing tort revision, come up with what sounds like the most ridiculous cases possible - where people are recovering vast sums of money for some silly little injury. If you look deeper, it's almost never true, but it hardwires people to believe that most lawsuits are not legitimate when, in fact, just the flip side is true.
Jurors are hardwired to think that anybody who's coming into court is going to be another one of these “Oh they got hot coffee spilled on them,” type of cases when, in fact, it couldn't be further from the truth.
If I can’t even trust my insurance company, why should I have insurance?
If you get into a car accident or motorcycle crash, one thing to keep in mind is one out of ten motorists has no insurance at all. The other nine probably have insufficient insurance.
The state of Iowa requires only $20,000 per person liability insurance coverage. Most states have minimum coverage limits that are very close to this amount.
If you're in a wreck on a motorcycle, $20,000 is a spit in the bucket when you consider the cost of hospital bills, rehabilitation, and potential surgery, and that’s just scratching the surface.
What’s the best advice regarding insurance for bikers?
If you're a biker, in my opinion, it's even more important to have strong Uninsured Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) to take into consideration one out of ten has zero insurance, and the rest of the population doesn't have nearly enough insurance to cover the injuries and damages from a serious motorcycle accident.
In Conclusion: The best advice insurance companies don’t want you to have
The number one thing to remember if you ride a motorcycle is to make sure you have plenty of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
98 out of 100 cases that I see there's not enough insurance coverage.
Insurance companies don't push these products.
If people would take the initiative to have high limits on their uninsured and underinsured motorist policies then you actually do have protection against these kinds of scenarios.
Is UM/UIM expensive?
These products, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, are super affordable, but the insurance companies don't push to try to sell them. You almost have to have some inside knowledge about the fact that you really need this coverage and why because otherwise you're going to end up being another one of those sad stories that walk through our door at the start of riding season.
Make sure you know your rights, take initiative to be insured and protected, and know who to call if you get into an accident.
The Biker Rebellion
If you enjoyed this post, you'll love the new Biker Rebellion series we're working on. The Biker Rebellion is a high-quality podcast-style series coming very soon to YouTube and Facebook. This series is focused on speaking truth to power in the way that only we can.
Knowledge is power and we believe it's about time to put that power back into the hands of the people where it belongs!
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