These small independent claims adjusters are absolutely the worst. I just hung up with an adjuster from Love, Barnes & McKew, who does rent-an-adjuster work in “the Washington-Baltimore Corridor, Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.” Why I send a demand package to these people is beyond me. I just hung up with the most irrational adjuster who I’m this close to naming, who told me that my 66-year-old client, with no prior injuries, whose car was totaled by a tractor-trailer should not have gotten diagnostic testing or worn a back brace after the accident. I really can’t remember a more irrational insurance adjuster in my career.
She refused to claim that this woman is faking her injuries but pointed out that her pain levels increased about the same time she started talking about a workers’ compensation claim. Now the woman retired from the National Cancer Institute years ago, but don’t let that interrupt the conspiracy. Now look, I realize that citing insurance adjusters for unreasonable offers is like giving out speeding tickets at the Daytona 500. But even in a business that a certain level of insanity is the norm (for plaintiffs’ lawyers, too), this is just insane.
Not for nothing, this adjuster confided in me she had been a serious car accident. You would think this is a sign that an insurance adjuster is a sympathetic person who can feel better feel the pain of another human being. But, I’m telling you, it has the reverse effect on many of these adjusters. “My pain was so great. Yours was not.” I don’t want to get carried away, but it can’t help but remind you of the whole “abused are more likely to are more likely to abuse” adage.
The crazy thing is that we thought this was a big case. Again, this woman was creamed by a tractor-trailer and was badly hurt. I was operating under the impression she had a serious and permanent injury. But she recovered remarkably well. She has approximately $7,500 in medical bills, which is unbelievably low. The Love, Barnes McKew offer for this woman was $5,000.
If you are a trucking company or a small insurance company looking for adjusters, I realize that hiring a Gallagher Bassett or a Sedgwick is probably a far more expensive play. I still think they are a better investment than hiring one of these small agencies like Love, Barnes and McKew. Sure, from the plaintiff’s lawyer’s perspective, those adjusters jump on the edge of the calculation between unfair and insane in their offers. But, at least they sell it with some modicum of logic that does not force the client to do what I will do right now: call the client and strongly recommend that she sue. So the few dollars that you are saving, you will pay back because you will face more lawsuits.
Update: Eventually, this case settled for more than twice the initial offer after we sued their client.
Update #2: I went back to look at this post in 2019 to see if this company is still in business. They are.