You are in your car running an errand for your job, when all of a sudden a pickup truck crosses the centerline from the other direction and smashes into you. The accident is catastrophic. You are seriously injured and left in a coma. When you wake nine days later you have multiple broken bones, collapsed lungs, and are destined to spend the next few agonizing months under constant care.
And then comes the real kick in the teeth. The insurance company denies your claim. They claim the driver who caused the crash acting in a moment of deliberate road rage, and so the accident was not an "accident'. Your hospital bills pile up, you are too injured to go back to work, and your insurance company has deserted you.
For 60-year-old Ethel Adams from Seattle, that nightmare scenario became a horrifying reality in 2004. She had a $2 million policy with a subsidiary of insurance giant Farmers, the nation's third largest personal lines insurance group. However, the company denied her claim under the tortured logic that it was never an "accident".
"The insurance companies say they're here to protect people," said a wheelchair-bound Adams during the battle with Farmers," but when you need them most, they do something like this."
Adam's insurance company, Farmers, was in the business of denying claims as a way to boost its bottom line. Farmers even ran an employee incentive program, "Quest for Gold", that offered incentives, including $25 gift certificates and pizza parties, to adjusters who met low payment goals. One Farmers' executive told claims representatives to stop paying claims, saying, "Teach them to say, 'Sorry, no more,' with a toothy grin and mean it."
Ethel Adams eventually prevailed after Farmers' denial sparked an outcry and intervention from the state insurance commissioner. However, for many others whose valid claims have been denied there is no such luck.
Have You Been Injured In A Charleston South Carolina Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.