Someone rear-ends you. Now what? You spend the next couple of months getting your neck and back taken care of by a couple different physicians. Along the way you do not consider making a claim against The Other Guy’s Insurance Company, Inc. or calling a lawyer. After all, you ‘don’t want to hurt the other driver, it wasn’t intentional’. Or maybe you are just ‘not the type of person to make an insurance claim’. But did you know that whether you make a claim or not, The Other Guy’s Insurance Company surcharges the other driver? And what’s more is that they set aside money for future payment to you for a claim they assume you will make. This is called setting a “reserve”. You see, The Other Guy’s Insurance Company knows that it may owe you money. So, they estimate a dollar amount equal to your harms and losses and they set that money aside for you. If you make a successful claim, they give it to you. If you do not make a claim, they keep it for themselves and consider it profit. As your lawyers we are not bound by the upper limit of the insurance company’s reserve. We’ll argue and prove the reserve isn’t set high enough and press on until we recover a fair amount, whether it be through a settlement, arbitration award or verdict.
This isn’t just for automobile crash injuries. Insurance companies set reserves for all types of injury cases. They just don’t want you to know about it. They count on a certain percentage of people to never make claims.
We represent people harmed from all sorts of incidents: car crashes, house fires, trip and falls on defective premises… the list goes on. One thing that never changes, though, is that these people are worse off after their incident than they were before. The idea behind an insurance company setting reserves and paying money for claims is to help get injured people back to where they were before their incidents. There is nothing wrong with claiming money from a fund of money that an insurance company has reserved for you. That is the reason why insurance companies pool our premium dollars into one, giant fund: To make you whole again.
– Zachary M. Ballin, Esq.