Single Car Accidents Leave Drivers and Passengers with Few Options

I often consult with clients that have been in a single car accident and want to utilize the insurance coverage they have paid on for years because they have “full coverage”. Well, liability insurance is just that, it goes in effect when you are at fault for causing someone or something injury and/or damages. Not when you cause yourself injury or damages. People would be running their cars into trees on purpose to get insurance coverage if that were the case.

Accidents happen and those in the “driver’s seat”, literally and figuratively, have a duty to the passengers in the car.  Passengers traveling in the car during a single car accident often times have claims against the insurance company of the driver.  “Fault”, or liability, is a legal term here used to proceed against the insurance company of the driver. Sometimes that driver is your friend, family member, and/or loved one.  However, their insurance premium is going to go up regardless of what you do because they are going to have a “claim” for property damage or simply for the accident.  Thus, you are causing no more trouble and are actually using resources that your friend, family member, and/or loved one has provided for people like yourself. Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection is additional coverage everyone should have because it benefits every occupant in a car that has been injured, regardless of who is at fault.

Unfortunately there were more than a few single car accidents in Upstate South Carolina this past week as reported by The Greenville News and Anderson Independent:

Be careful out there on the roadways. Regardless of whether you are the driver or a passenger.


Book Review- John Grisham’s “The Appeal”: Fictional or Non-fictional?

When flying, I find a good book will make me forget about the small quarters, obnoxious people, and crying babies. I recently read John Grisham’s “The Appeal”, and was so taken back by some of his descriptions in the book and how closely they came to non-fictional events and groups.

For example, in describing the position of the wealthy business owner’s perception and plan to beat the small firm’s large verdict against them; that questioned his company’s tactics in polluting and ultimately killing local people in the community:

“Summary: These people are heavily in debt and hanging on by their fingernails.  A little push, and they’re over the edge. Strategy:  Drag out the appeals, delay, delay.  Crank up pressure from the bank. Possible buyout of Second State, then call the loan.  Bankruptcy would be the only course.  Huge distraction as appeals rage on. Also, Paytons would be unable to pursue their other thirty (or so) cases versus Krane and would probably decline more clients.” p.96

Another interesting description about my own brethren:

Trial lawyers, always a colorful and eclectic bunch. Cowboys, rogues, radicals, longhairs, corporate suits, flamboyant mavericks, bikers, deacons, good ole boys, street hustlers, pure ambulance chasers, faces from billboards and yellow pages and early morning television.  They were anything but boring.  They fought among themselves like a violent family, yet they had the ability to stop bickering, circle the wagons, and attack their enemies.  They came from cities, where they feuded over cases and clients, and they came from the small towns, where they honed their skills before simple jurors reluctant to part with anyone’s money.  Some had jets and buzzed around the country piecing together the latest class action in the latest mass torts.  Others were repulsed by the mass tort game and clung proudly to the tradition of trying legitimate cases one at a time…..A few did their work in firms where they pooled money and talent, but firms of trial lawyers were notoriously difficult to keep together. Most were lone gunmen too eccentric to keep much of a staff…… If they shared anything, it was a streak of fierce independence and the thrill of representing David against Goliath.” p 197-98

Amen. What a great book in the way it broke down issues of corporate greed, mass torts, political elections and power & politics.

In my brief tenure as a trial lawyer it was too on point and too descriptive of everyday non-fictional events. If only the populace of people read books and sought for deeper understanding of how the system works there would not be so many angry, crying, and perplexed people in my office on a weekly basis.

A response I seem to give too often, “No that is not legal but they do it all the time because no one will call them on it!”  Maybe their time is coming……..


When Insurance Claims Adjusters Refer You Clients-It All Makes Sense

I conclude my initial interview with new clients by explaining to them my goal is to do such a good job with their case, that they refer friends, family, and enemies to my office when they know they are being taken advantage of by insurance companies.

In this past year I have received several clients by way of what I would consider unusual means-Insurance Claims Adjuster referrals.  Sallie Jane* & Jenny Laura* of Deny, Delay, & Defend Insurance Company recently referred Johnny Adjuster*, a friend of theirs that was also a claims adjuster.  Johnny had been involved in an accident and did what he thought was right and not what he knew he should have done to cover his tail with the evil empire of insurance companies and their tactics of denying, delaying, and defending.

Having been an adjuster, Johnny knew he needed an attorney that was actually willing to file and follow through with a lawsuit. Not an attorney that was looking for a quick settlement. When Johnny shared his struggle with his friends, they knew exactly the attorney to call.  As Johnny explained, “I needed an attorney that was a pit bill but not so much that he was a complete Jack Ass!”  In steps Trey Mills, personal injury attorney.

A true story where only the names have been changed. There are many more adjusters that would just refer to me as a Jack Ass or worse. However, seldom do I back down from a fight. It use to be that was the case in or out of the court but with age and abstinence from alcohol that has evolved into more court than street/bar fighting.

I hate insurance companies! They tried to take advantage of me when I was dying of cancer and I see them taking advantage of you all everyday. I can’t take on every battle and everyone’s case. However, there are others out there that fight the good fight, like I do everyday. Do not accept mediocrity and second rate treatment from those SOB insurance companies! Take action.

*The names have been changed to protect the innocent.


South Carolinians Get the Shaft While SC Department of Insurance Drops the Ball

The South Carolina General Assembly Legislative Audit Council performs independent, objective performance audits of state operations. Their main goal is to ensure accountability in the management of public resources.

The Greenville News reported  “SC Consumers Paying Too Much For Insurance”. The Legislative Audit Council found mismanagement on the part of the SC Department of Insurance in ensuring South Carolinian’s best interest in the following areas:

Interestingly the report doesn’t talk about trial attorneys are runaway juries, it mentions more the mismanagement of the department in holding insurance companies accountable.  Oh well, no one will read the small print or take the time to read the report. What do they care? It will just raise their rates and make insurance companies tons of money. Ha. Ha. At the expense of South Carolina citizens. How funny is that?

Call and complain. Ask for accountability people. You pay taxes & insurance.  If you can’t trust the State to do its job why are you getting upset at attorneys for protecting your interest?

The phone number and address to the South Carolina Department of Insurance is below:

803-737-6205 – Fax       


Post Office Box 100105
Columbia, SC 29202


An Advantage to Downsizing: Insurance Adjusters Turned Consultants

I receive several promotional emails, flyers, and mailers everyday but for some reason, an idea and a promotional email caught my eye.  As insurance companies try and become even more gluttonous with profits they are stream lining their claims process by shedding the intelligent, experienced, and knowledgeable adjusters for younger, inexperienced,”read from a script” warm bodies. These seasoned adjusters that are being replaced have figured out their years of service may be valuable to their adversaries, PLAINTIFF TRIAL LAWYERS!

Maurice Kraut of Mass, LLC, formerly an insurance claims representative for Ohio Casualty and Montgomery Insurance for over 30 years, recently provided some valuable insight to our firm.  No matter whether a litigation firm negotiates first and then files suit or just files suit, they still have to interact and work with insurance adjusters that assist in the evaluation and valuation of injury claims for their respective insurance companies.

Mr. Kraut helped evaluate our logistical approach to settling claims, settlement packages and content, and did some case reviews with us. I found his presentation to be helpful to my staff, myself, and more importantly to our clients that will reap the benefits of our improved efficiency and effectiveness.

Maurice Kraut’s website states:

“My 30 years experience in Claims Management along with specialized education and technical expertise has enabled me to achieve expert status in the following areas:

  • Bad Faith
  • Insurance Claims Handling
  • Insurance Claims Management
  • Coverage Issues
  • Liability and Damages Evaluations

I have testified in both State and Federal court cases. Please call me to discuss your case anytime.”

655H Fairview Road  #350
Simpsonville, SC  29680
(864) 757-1058

 “Change is the essence of life.  Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.” — Unknown author

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