“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” — Nietszche
As an auto accident attorney, my job is to protect and fight for my clients. Yet I sometimes wonder, how do you fight every day with insurance claims adjusters who regularly cross the line, mistreating people terribly and breaking the law, but still avoid Nietzche’s warning about falling into the abyss?
And make no mistake, every day I do fight with monsters. Michigan is one of few states without bad faith or punitive damages, so insurance company claims adjusters can treat people terribly without much to deter them.
I personally believe the excesses will continue as long as Michigan has no meaningful insurance reforms to curb egregious behavior. Today, for example, victims of car accidents and truck accidents constantly have legitimate no-fault claims for medical bills and wage loss denied and delayed, forcing them to hire a lawyer for benefits that should have been paid immediately. Many insurance companies regularly cut-off their own insureds within weeks or months of an accident by sending them to notorious “cut-off” doctors – who never find anything wrong with people.
So many of these insurance company abuses are directly linked to the unique challenges that accident victims, accident attorneys and doctors face in Michigan.
As 2010 approaches, I will be reflecting on some of the “monsters” I see, and some of the abuses that arise in our no-fault system as a result of gazing into the abyss. In my next blog, I will write about the sensitive but important issue of doctors being forced to needlessly work up cases and ordering unnecessary testing.
If your insurance company is giving you the run around, please call Michigan Auto Law for a free consultation at (800) 777-0028.
– Steven M. Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in serious car and truck accident injury cases and automobile insurance no-fault litigation. Steve has received the largest jury verdict for an automobile accident case in Michigan in four of the past seven years, including 2008, according to a published, year-end verdicts and settlements report.