Personal Injury Lawyer
Office Locations
Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
1-866-900-7078
Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

Is Your Insurance Company Looking Out for You or for Their Profits?

I have been practicing workers’ compensation law for over 10 years and am Board Certified as a North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Specialist. Clients and prospective clients ask me all the time, “Can I trust the worker’s compensation insurance company?”

Can You Trust Your Insurance Company?

When I am asked this question, it is typically because the insurance adjuster or the employer that is responsible for providing workers’ compensation benefits to an injured worker has been exceedingly pleasant and easy to work within the workers’ compensation claim – up to a point. In that situation, my prospective client believes that the insurance company is working in their best interests. However, I have to remind them of a basic fact about insurance companies. The majority of insurance companies are for-profit businesses. I believe that for any insurance company seeking a profit, their primary motivation is probably that profit and not the insurance claimant. As such, even though an insurance company can be very pleasant to work with at times in a workers’ compensation matter, they may ultimately be more interested in doing what is best for their company.

If you have not read the book Delay Deny Defend by Rutgers School of Law Professor, Jay M. Feinman, it describes many of their devious tactics and truly bad behavior most people don’t know about. We believe every person who buys insurance should read this book. Delay Deny Defend offers this shocking but factual observation about claim payouts:

“A classic text used to train adjusters, James Markham’s The Claims Environment, states the principle: The essential function of a claim department is to fulfill the insurance company’s promise, as set forth in the insurance policy. . . . The claim function should ensure the prompt, fair, and efficient delivery of this promise.

Beginning in the 1990s, many major insurance companies reconsidered this understanding of the claims process. The insight was simple. An insurance company’s greatest expense is what it pays out in claims. If it pays out less in claims, it keeps more in profits. Therefore, the claims department became a profit center rather than the place that kept the company’s promise.

All insurance companies have an incentive to chisel their customers in order to increase profits. Unum, the largest seller of disability and long-term care insurance in the United States, became notorious for failing to pay what it owed to sick or injured workers. Numerous courts castigated the company for unscrupulous tactics, nonsensical legal arguments, and lack of objectivity amounting to bad faith in denying claims.

Employees who were especially aggressive in denying claims were recognized with the company’s “Hungry Vulture Award.”

Delay Deny Defend Tactics We Have Witnessed

We have seen so much bad behavior from some insurance companies, we produced our own booklet entitled Insurance Companies (and others) Behaving Badly. Here is one story from the booklet that shows how one of our paralegals discovered a very underhanded and ugly way a workers’ comp adjuster tried to save the insurance company money.

“I began working on a project that required me to delve into the case notes of clients who had suffered burn injuries. I remember reading the notes on a particular case and I was absolutely shocked at the insurance company’s aggressive efforts to keep our client from getting prescriptions filled or seeing the doctor. The height of disgust for me was when I read how the insurance company tried to force our client back to work, even though her doctors said she wasn’t ready yet. After reading her case notes, I realized how ugly some insurance adjusters are capable of behaving. Clients should never have to take that, and we will do everything we can to stop it.”

Sadly, you simply cannot trust some insurance companies to act in your best interest. Too much money is at stake.

The Real Reason Adjusters Say You Shouldn’t Hire an Attorney

I have had clients tell me that an insurance adjuster told them that hiring an attorney will only hurt their case and the attorney will only be seeking to take money out of their pocket. I understand why some insurance companies would make such a claim, given their profit motives. They do not want an attorney to become involved. Why? Because they know we are potentially able to point out deficiencies in the way they are assisting in the claim or any additional benefits the injured worker may be entitled to that the insurance company may not be providing in the claim.

When an injured worker has an attorney who can try to make sure they receive what they may be entitled to, then that can affect an insurance company’s bottom line – and not for the better. Insurance companies are keenly aware of this.

In short, it would be prudent to be highly suspicious of trusting an insurance company whose main goal is profit. Some are going to be motivated to speak with an injured worker in the manner that best meets that goal. Despite what they might otherwise say to an injured worker, many are ultimately interested in what is best for the insurance company and only the insurance company.

Why Choose James Scott Farrin Workers’ Comp Attorneys?

Our firm was named one of the “Best Law Firms” for workers’ compensation by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® for the greater Raleigh area* in 2018. That doesn’t happen by accident. Who is on our workers’ compensation team?

Former defense attorneys and paralegals for insurance companies who have worked inside the insurance companies (they know what you’re up against).

More than half our workers’ comp attorneys are NC Board Certified Specialists in Workers' Compensation law. This is an NC State Bar certification denoting a high level of proficiency in a particular practice area. Of the more than 28,000 attorneys licensed in North Carolina, less than 1% (148)** of them are North Carolina board certified specialists in workers’ compensation law.

We have two former North Carolina Industrial Commissioners. The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) is the impartial agency that administers and enforces workers' compensation laws.

We have a former North Carolina State Senator who was elected to serve four terms. He also helped write some of North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.

Many of our attorneys have been acknowledged by colleagues and peers. They are often asked to speak at seminars for other workers’ compensation attorneys. Others are accomplished authors of scholarly articles and two have received coveted awards for workers’ compensation, including Best Lawyers “Best Lawyer*” and NC Super Lawyers Magazine’s “Rising Star*.” One was named NC Super Lawyers Magazine’s “Super Lawyer*” three times and Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year*” for Raleigh twice.

Our attorneys are givers and champions of the underdog. Many of them join our side because they are advocates for those without a voice. And that is often the injured worker. Of our 13 workers’ comp attorneys, 12 are members of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of legal representation in our state. Many are active members in their communities – from teaching at local colleges, to counseling the Hispanic/Latino community.

NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Offer FREE Case Evaluation

All of our attorneys are advocates dedicated to fighting tooth and nail for each and every client to try to make sure you get the compensation and benefits you may be entitled to under the law. Insurance companies don’t like attorneys like us because they suspect we will find out how they may be working against you. And we often do.

Contact us today or call 1-866-900-7078.

 

* For more information regarding the standards for inclusion for “Best Law Firms” visit www.usnews.com; “Best Lawyers” and “Lawyer of the Year” visit www.bestlawyers.com; “Rising Star” and “Super Lawyers” visit www.superlawyers.com.

  • “Best Lawyers”: Matthew Healey, 2013–2018; Barry Jennings, 2015–2018.
  • “Lawyer of the Year”: Matthew Healey, 2015 and 2017.
  • “Rising Star”: Matthew Healey, 2010–2013; Barry Jennings, 2011–2013.
  • “Super Lawyer”: Matthew Healey, 2014–2016.

** Figures from the N.C. State Bar as of December 31, 2017.

Victim of a Drunk Driver? Let Us Help You Fight for Compensation.

Drunk driving accidents can often have tragic outcomes for victims as well as for the drunk driver.

Victims could suffer permanent and crippling injuries and potentially lose their lives. Drunk drivers who cause the accidents could have their lives derailed due to criminal charges. Even civil charges can have life-long and ruinous financial consequences.

One recent collision illustrates how tragic drunk driving accidents can be, and it underscores the importance of preventing drunk driving collisions.

If you do enjoy an adult beverage or two,
click here to contact one of North Carolina’s sober ride services.

They take you AND your car home.


Tragic Consequences for North Carolina Drunk Drivers

The News & Observer reported on an impaired driving collision which could result in the driver spending 70 years in prison. The driver, a Goldsboro resident, was charged with multiple felonies after a collision he caused in Raleigh led to six people injured and three deaths. The crash happened at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Highroads Boulevard in Raleigh.

The impaired driver was in a 1995 SUV traveling approximately 50 miles per hour. He lost control of the vehicle and struck a light pole, a street sign, and a tree before overturning.

Seven people were inside the SUV at the time of the collision – one of the victims who died was sitting in the driver’s lap at the time of the collision. The victims who were killed were just 22, 21, and 18. Two of the victims were thrown from the vehicle as a result of the force of the impact.

The driver, just 22-years-old, was convicted of three counts of aggravated felony serious injury by vehicle, as well as three counts of aggravated felony death by vehicle. Each felony could potentially carry a lengthy prison sentence, and he is facing 17 years in prison for each death and seven years for each serious injury if found guilty. His father, who is a pastor, indicated he would be paying for the victims and the families of the victims who were killed and injured in the accident.

When I read this story, I couldn’t help but wonder how the drunk driver’s father plans to pay for the victims who died and their families. Our attorneys and paralegals have dealt with hundreds of drunk driving cases. Believe me. We try to leave no stone unturned when it comes to compensation for injuries and deaths. There is not enough money in the world to compensate for the death of a child.

Tragic Endings for Victims and Families

Our firm handled a drunk driving claim for the family of a father and husband whose life was cut off in one instant because of a drunk driver. A negligent driver.

This father and husband was in his car, stopped in traffic. The drunk driver had left work early in the day to go drinking with his friends. He was so drunk that he didn’t even slow down when he plowed right into the rear of our client's car. The impact was so forceful the victim was ejected and killed on impact. The victim who was a pillar of his community left behind a devastated wife and young children. This one irresponsible, irreversible event plunged his family into a downward spiral.

We went after everything we could to help ease this family’s financial burden to try to get them a settlement that would help pay for therapy, loss of financial support, funeral expenses, and punitive damages, among other things*.

Getting behind the wheel after drinking is not only irresponsible, it is not worth it. Yet people do it anyway. A lot.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts reported that in 2013, every 52 minutes a death occurred as a result of a drunk driver whose blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.08 or higher. That equates to more than 10,000 children, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, grandparents, sisters, brothers – loved ones – whose lives were cut short. Those deaths represented one-third of all traffic deaths. One third!

What Does a BAC of 0.08 Mean?

In North Carolina a BAC of 0.08 is the legal limit of the amount of alcohol you can consume before you are considered too drunk to drive. That is about four standard drinks in one hour for a 170-lb. man or three drinks in an hour for a 140-lb. woman.

But why would anyone push the envelope with so many sober ride services throughout North Carolina, including Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, Fayetteville and surrounding communities.

Most of these sober ride services make it very convenient by taking you and your car home.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation From NC Personal Injury Lawyers

Drunk driving accidents are cases of negligence plain and simple, and we will try to pursue every avenue for compensation for you. If you or a loved one was injured by a drunk driver contact us or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

Damages may include:

  • Medical costs, lost wages, disability, and pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages for reckless disregard for life
  • Liability of the bar, restaurant, or person that served an inebriated person
  • Liability of a party host who served alcohol, particularly to a minor

 

*Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer's or a law firm's past results.

I Got Fired After I Filed for Workers’ Comp. Now What?

Employees in North Carolina are considered “at will” employees. What this means is that your employer can fire you at any time for any reason unless that reason is against the law.

Rightly or wrongly some employees are fired because they file a workers’ compensation claim. This is illegal.

Even so, what we have experienced is that many employers are crafty enough to come up with another explanation for why they are terminating an injured worker that coincidentally filed for a workers’ comp claim. Unless you have a contract of employment, such as through a union, your employer can terminate you even while you are out of work recovering from a work injury. But they won’t admit they are firing you because you filed for a workers’ comp claim.

Based on my nearly 15 years litigating workers’ compensation cases, I have seen some employers make up all kinds of “reasons” why they had to fire an employee.

One employer actually told an employee that he was being fired because he “took too long to heal.” Click here to find out how that employee turned this situation into an inspiring story after he contacted us for help.

You Can Still Get Workers’ Comp Checks if You Were Fired

Even if you are terminated, and you are receiving workers’ compensation, you will still be entitled to receive weekly wage loss checks from workers’ compensation until your doctor says you are able to return to work.

File a Complaint if You’ve Been Fired

If you believe that you have been terminated, suspended, or demoted solely because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, you may file a written complaint with the Commissioner of Labor under the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA). Your complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged violation. Click here for more information.

You can also contact us. If we believe you have a case, we will handle nearly everything for you, so you can focus on trying to heal and go back to work.

Contact James Scott Farrin if You Think You May Have a Claim

If you believe you may have a claim contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin to see if one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help. We will discuss your case with you initially for free. We strive to listen patiently and intently to what has happened to you. We investigate and try to find the facts. We use the skills of our remarkable and caring staff to follow up. If we join forces, we advise you on what we believe is the best course for you. Our firm fights for a fair recovery and for the benefits you may deserve. We fight for you and your family’s future. We don’t back down and we don’t frighten. We stay with it.

If you have the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin on your side, the other side had better be prepared.

6 NC Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Comp Law

More than half of our workers’ comp attorneys are North Carolina Board Certified in workers’ compensation law. That’s a pretty big deal. Of the more than 28,000 attorneys licensed in North Carolina, less than 1% (148) of them are North Carolina board certified specialists in workers’ compensation law*. What does it mean to be board certified? It means you have an attorney who shows special knowledge and proficiency in their specific area of law, having undergone additional training and other intense analysis to become certified as a specialist.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation from NC Workers’ Comp Lawyers

Some employers know their way around the law and may be betting that you do not. Maybe you don’t (why should you?). But we do know the law – we know how to try to make sure your employer keeps it legal so that you are not caught on the defensive just because you were injured on the job.

We strongly urge anyone who has been injured on the job to contact us or call 1-866-900-7078 immediately after their injury. If we can help, we will try to ensure that you get the compensation and benefits you may be entitled to – despite what your employer may try to pull.

 

*Figures provided by the N.C. State Bar as of December 31, 2017.

 

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078