VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hi, this is Robert Mansour, and I'm a lawyer in the Los Angeles area. One of my areas of practice is Personal Injury Law, and I'm broadcasting today from my office in Santa Clarita, California which is in northern Los Angeles County. I want to spend a couple of minutes with you talking about this letter that I got from Mercury Insurance. The reason I like this letter and I think it's a terrific letter and I want to share it with you is because it is very demonstrative of how insurance companies deny claims.
This is an accident case. It was not a big accident. My client knew that going in. Here's the letter. I think this letter just sums it all up really well. I'll show you exactly what I'm talking about. So here's the letter that I'm going to read to you. This is from Mercury Insurance.
It says, dear Mr. Mansour, we have evaluated the specials. Now, the term specials means the damages, the economic bills, et cetera. It says, this loss involves a minor impact to the driver side rear of your client's vehicle. They're using the fact that it was a minor impact to try to minimize the case. So the severity of the impact is very important. That's something that you should keep in mind. It says here, there was no police report filed. So here they're using the absence of the police report as an indication that this was not a major accident which, of course, is silly, but here's how insurance companies work.
If the police are not called to the scene, then obviously it was a minor accident, but if they are called to the scene they generally presume well, maybe there was an injury. So again, very interesting. No police report filed, it says. Your client did not receive emergency treatment on the date of the loss or subsequently. So the fact that my client never went to the emergency room or wasn't taken away by ambulance or anything like that, the lack of emergency treatment is being used against my client.
Now, maybe my client is stoic. Maybe my client wasn't hurt all that badly, but what they are doing is they are using the absence of emergency treatment against her. Also it says here, your client sustained soft tissue injury. That means pulls, muscle strain, sprain, that kind of thing. She was treated by a chiropractor which is interesting. That is the reason that they are using to minimize this claim, the fact that she was treated by a chiropractor.
Now, in some minds of some insurance adjusters, the chiropractic treatment is not as valued as an orthopedist treatment which is very interesting because many chiropractors provide terrific relief for their clients, here it is being used against my client. The fact that she went to a chiropractor. It says here, the treatment charges are excessive in relation to the injuries and the impact sustained.
Basically, they are using the size of the impact to dictate how much treatment she should have gotten. So if it was a low impact she should not have gotten this kind of treatment. Again, they don't take any individuality into consideration. They just look at the amount of the impact and determine, gee, does that make sense? Did they go treat for too long or not too long?
You'll notice in this letter it doesn't say anything about my client's medical condition, what the actual doctor had to say, what my client's reported injuries were, whether she is a frail person, whether she has any pre-existing problems, nothing like that. This denial, well actually it's not a denial. They offered her $2,000, but we suspected that in the very beginning.
Here's the thing. This letter is full of all the classic arguments. No police report, no emergency room treatment, minor impact, chiropractor. All of this being used against my client. I just wanted to share this letter with you as a demonstration of how some insurance companies, especially Mercury, just my opinion, use to deny and minimize these kinds of personal injury claims.
Thanks again. My name is Robert Mansour. You can learn more about me by visiting my website valencialawyer.com or calling my office at 661-414-7100. Thanks a lot for watching.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hi everybody, my name is Robert Mansour, and I'm a lawyer in the Los Angeles area. One of my areas of practice is personal injury, and I want to spend a couple of minutes with you this video segment talking about the importance of uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is perhaps the single most important piece of auto policy coverage you can have on your insurance policy, and here's why. If you get involved in a car accident with another party, there is a 20 to 25 percent chance that party had no insurance, either because they forgot to pay their premium or they just don't want to pay for insurance, or they just don't believe in that, whatever the case may be.
Now technically you can go after that person in court, sue them. You have to win the lawsuit in front of a judge, or a jury, and then you get a judgment, and then you have to enforce that judgment.
Now to get a judgment, at least, now in California you're looking at a year to two years in court, and that assumes you even win. Then you have to get that judgment, and go enforce it. So you have to hire a lawyer, or a collections company to go after this person, and recover the money that you are owed.
What if you have something called uninsured motorist? That would be my preferred method because it's much faster, and that's what you're paying for. You're paying for that benefit, so you might as well use it.
If you can't get insurance from the other party, you can at, least, go to your insurance company, and recover under your UM policy, uninsured motorist. Basically, you'd be presenting your case to your insurance company rather than to the other fellow's insurance company.
The other thing that's important to note about uninsured motorist is that most cases it's equivalent to something called underinsured motorist. That means the other party has insurance, but it's not enough.
Let's say, the other party has $15,000 of insurance which is the minimum currently required in California, and your injuries happen to exceed $15,000. Well, in that case you can turn to your insurance company for the excess, but here's the thing. If you only have $15,000 of uninsured motorist, and you recovered 15 from the other party they negate one another because your insurance company gets credit for whatever you were able to get from the other party.
In the first example, they have zero so you can get up to 15 from yours, but in the second example they had 15, so you better have more than 15 on your side of the equation, and that's why I always tell people get as much as you can.
Let's say you have $30,000 of UM coverage. That means you can recover an additional $15,000 from your own insurance company. Let's say you have $100,000 of uninsured motorist coverage, or under insured motorist coverage, that means you can recover an additional $85,000 because you got $15,000.00 from the other party, you have a $100,000 policy. Your insurance company gets a credit of $15,000 because you were able to get that from the other side, and therefore you have $85,000 available to you.
Again, of course, you have to assume that your case is worth well over $15,000 for any of this to apply, but it's a very important piece of insurance coverage that you should have.
Some people think they have it, but they actually don't. People tell me all the time, "Oh, I have full coverage." I say, "Well, do you have UM coverage?" They look at me, and say, "Well, I don't know what that is."
So make sure you review that with your insurance policy broker, or your insurance agent, or your insurance company. Take a look at something called your declarations page. That will list all the different insurance that you have. You want to make sure that you have this thing called uninsured motorist, and try to get more than 15 if you can afford it.
Thank you very much for watching. This has been Robert Mansour broadcasting from Los Angeles. Thanks again.
Call our office at (661) 414-7100 for help with your personal injury case. Robert Mansour serves Santa Clarita, Valencia, Newhall, Canyon Country, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch, and surrounding communtieis.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,