Why is the Insurance Company Not Named as the Defendant in the Lawsuit?
I had a good question today by a reader that inquired as to why he had to file suit against the person that harmed him without putting down the insurance company that he had been dealing with. That is an excellent question and presents so many layers of legal analysis that I am merely going to skim the top and provide a somewhat basic version.
It’s because insurance companies lobby big money to be the “man behind the curtain” without ever truly having the target on their backs. In a trial you can not mention “insurance” for either party regardless of type, ie health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and automobile insurance. Those are considered collateral sources and are not to be given weight by an impartial jury. Yes, yes, we all know about “insurance” even if we were in that magical jury box but it can not be talked about in court by either attorney, plaintiff, or defendant.
We all know that when you are harmed/injured in a wreck by the negligence, omission, and/or ignorance of another, that person’s liability insurance will have to assess the personal injuries and property damage that arise out of all wrecks. OR the “uninsured” policy of your automobile insurance will cover the property damage and personal injuries because the at fault person is without insurance. Yes, that means your insurance company defends the at fault party against you.
Often times after you leave the scene of the wreck, or incident, in question you never speak with the responsible party. However, you are contacted by the responsible party’s insurance company that then gives you the cold shoulder or acts like you did something wrong. (I appreciate them doing that because it makes my life so much easier).
OR in a really ironic turn of events, your insurance company then defends the at fault party against you because they really don’t want you to just walk away with those premiums you have paid for the past couple years. You have to earn them by fighting your own insurance company for compensation for your injuries and property damage! Hilarious, I know.
Seek legal advice anytime insurance companies are involved. You don’t have to retain legal counsel but it doesn’t cost you anything to hear what the law really is in a personal injury case vs. what insurance adjusters reading from a computer to save their company money say it is.