Personal Injury & the Insurance Adjuster

It's not personal for your Florida insurance adjuster: It's business

Our legal experience with insurance adjusters can help your case! Contact us TODAY!

One of the realities you have to face quickly after you are involved in an accident is that the insurance company often won’t agree with you on the correct valuation of your damages. As much as insureds might hope to the contrary, insurance adjusters are normally not focused on making you happy. Generally speaking, adjusters want to pay you the least they can so that they can maximize their company’s profits.

It's not personal for your insurance adjuster: It's business

It’s not personal for your insurance adjuster: It’s business.

That’s worth reiterating: Insurance companies must turn a profit in order to continue operating. The larger their profit, the more people they can employ, the larger the salaries they can pay their employees, the nicer the offices they can build, and the more they can spend on advertising to draw in more business. As altruistic as they want to seem, their profits are essential to their continued business presence. Insurance adjusters, therefore, are not trained in the art of giving money away, but in keeping as much of it as they can.

Among insurance adjusters, there are different philosophies when dealing with claims, all with the goal of company profit maximization. Some – a clear minority, we believe – will unfairly deny legitimate claims, forcing injured parties into legal action to get any compensation at all. Others will offer a fraction of what the claim is worth, hoping the injured party will decide to be happy with what they have and stop fighting early on. These two types are easy to spot and to counteract, as injured parties are more likely to become personal injury plaintiffs if they cannot cover their bills.

Harder to counteract is the insurance adjuster who is friendly, compassionate, and helpful. This type makes you want to believe that he or she truly has your best interests at heart. To be fair, the pleasant adjuster may, indeed, have a kind heart and truly want to see you get what you need to recover… but you should still remember who pays this adjuster’s salary.

Whenever you get an offer from an insurance adjuster following an accident, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before accepting it. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation and can tell you what a claim like yours is normally worth – and whether the offer you received from the adjuster is a fair one. What’s better is to consult with an attorney as soon as possible following your accident, even before you receive the adjuster’s offer.

The Tampa, Florida law firm of Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore has a wealth of experience handling personal injury cases – and insurance adjusters of all sorts. Contact us today for a free consultation.


Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore's ACTL fellows

ACTL Fellows: Alan Wagner, John McLaughlin, and Bill Wagner

The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), the most selective group of trial lawyers in North America, was founded in 1950 with the goal to improve the practice of civil and criminal trial law. Its mandate is “to improve and elevate the standards of trial practice, the administration of justice and the ethics of the profession.” It counts as “honorary fellows” each of the U.S. Supreme Court justices, as well as the justices of the Canadian Supreme Court.

Membership in ACTL, though much sought-after, is difficult to obtain. ACTL guidelines, in fact, dictate that only 1% of the local attorney population of any given state or province may become an ACTL “fellow,” and its current membership includes a mere 5700 fellows, encompassing the United States and Canada. An attorney can become a member only by invitation after a minimum of 15 years of active trial practice experience. Only those trial attorneys who have earned the respect of the legal community, through their talent and integrity, have a shot at becoming a member.

As part of upholding its mandate, ACTL sponsors awards encouraging judicial independence, justice programs, courageous advocacy, and improvements to the litigation process. The Emil Gumpert award, for example, is an annual $100,000 award given to a program designed to improve the administration of justice.

ACTL is active in educating its own members as well as attorneys throughout Canada and the United States. It publishes codes of pretrial and trial conduct, with forwards by the Chief Justices of the United States and Canada. It has also produced trial advocacy materials for lawyers and judges, and it sponsors law student competitions in trial and appellate advocacy.

Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore is proud that three of our attorneys are ACTL fellows: Alan Wagner, John McLaughlin, and Bill Wagner.

Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore's ACTL fellows

Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore’s ACTL fellows

Together with the rest of our committed team of attorneys and staff, these three lead Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore in zealously fighting for our clients’ rights.

If you have been injured through someone else’s negligence, our attorneys have the experience, passion, and reputation to be your voice in court. Whether your case deals with personal injury, legal malpractice, or medical malpractice, contact us today for a free consultation.

Florida injured tourist personal injury lawyer
Injuries seem worse when you're far from home

Injuries seem worse when you’re far from home

Work with the experienced International Tourist Claim lawyers!

The Florida sunshine attracts tourists from all over the world. These travelers come to enjoy beaches, local attractions, and some time having fun with their families and friends away from home. When an international tourist is injured in Florida, however, an enjoyable vacation can be ruined.

When you’re injured internationally through someone else’s negligence, many considerations may make it difficult to obtain compensation. Language barriers and time zone differences may make communication difficult after you return home. Lack of understanding about Florida’s legal system and how it differs from your home country’s system may have an unfortunate impact on many of your decisions. Witnesses to the injury may also have left Florida before trial and may need to be brought back for depositions and for the trial itself. Your medical doctors in your home country may be required to travel to Florida for depositions and trial, as well, as Florida law does not normally allow essential evidence to be presented through affidavit.

Beyond the difficulties in evidence, going to trial in Florida on your personal injury case will require expenses of travel and missed work for you, personally. You will likely be required to travel back to Florida and to obtain lodging for depositions, settlement conferences, mediation, and, if all else fails, for the trial, itself. While travel can often be minimized by combining several matters into a single trip, the expense and time lost could reduce or even eliminate the benefit of any recovery.

If you are an international tourist who has been injured in Florida, it is important that you consult as soon as possible with an attorney experienced in international personal injury cases. Your attorney can help you contact witnesses, obtain evidence, and map out the potential costs and benefits of going forward with trial. Even if you decide that a jury trial would not be financially beneficial, your attorney may still be able to help you negotiate a resolution that can minimize your expenses and maximize your recovery without a trial.

Your vacation may not have ended up to be the dream you wanted, but the process of getting compensation doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

If you are an injured international tourist in need of an attorney in Florida, the Tampa Bay attorneys of Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore would be pleased to speak with you. We have represented many clients from overseas, and would be pleased to fight aggressively to protect your rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.