The Harper Law Blog

The Harper Law Blog offers news, announcements, thoughts and articles on life, law and our practice areas of emphasis.

Timing Is Everything: How Immediately Seeking Legal Counsel Can Make A Difference

Posted Friday, March 25, 2016 by Ed Harper

Do you know someone who has been injured due to an accident, or someone else’s mistake? Have you thought this would not happen to you or a loved one? If it has happened, don’t wait another day and call Ed Harper at Harper Law.

Why does it matter?

In short, timing is everything.

The person who has been injured has the burden of proof. Acquiring evidence is the injured person’s responsibility and is necessary to prove your case. Evidence will disappear or could be lost forever if you don’t collect the information right away. This is why it is essential to get the right attorney on your side as soon as possible.

At Harper Law, we know how important it is to make sure you are treated with care and compassion throughout this process. Ed Harper will provide trustworthy, honest, and compassionate legal counsel, and we will take the load off of all the legal worries following a wreck. We will strive to ensure your bills get paid, your car gets fixed, and we will do our best to get you the best possible settlement at the end of your case. All you have to do is focus on your recovery.

Far too often, we see the negative effects of waiting too long before seeking legal counsel after a wreck. We want to help you through this process, and we will do so with the utmost integrity. Don’t wait another day to call - Harper Law is here for you.

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DELAY, DENY, DEFEND: How Auto Accident Claims Drive up Profits for Insurance Companies

Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2016 by Ed Harper

This blog was originally written in September 2007 in regard to the CNN investigative report on the big-box insurance practice of delay, deny, and defend. A former client recently emailed me saying he had forwarded this often to friends, finding the facts extremely useful and informative. With many clients additionally expressing concern over dealing with insurance companies, my hope is this edited and updated repost provides additional help and insight.

In 2007, CNN’s investigation into auto accident claims proved there are several insurance companies who abuse the claims process. In 2011, the Huffington Post conducted a similar investigation on delayed claims by the same insurance companies. The result has been massive profits to the insurance industry at the expense of shorting companies.

By both denying and refusing to pay legitimate claims for medical bills and wage loss, State Farm Insurance and Allstate Insurance have forced many injured people to go to court to litigate and contest their own claims. Despite the insurance industry being bound by law to act in good faith, “claims have been converted into a money-making process,” according to Russ Roberts, a New Mexico-based management consultant and former business professor at Northwestern University.

Since 2012, Allstate’s gross profit has been holding steady, and the stocks display they are making boatloads of money averaging $4.25 billion over the last 3 years. Gross Profit Data

Additionally, over the course of this same time period, the national average for insurance rates rose an average of 3.8%. Insurance Rates Data

Allstate’s 2014 gross profit: $4.63 Billion

Allstate’s 2013 gross profit: $4.45 Billion

Allstate’s 2012 gross profit: $3.66 Billion.

Corporate greed should be discouraged and watched closely. The insurance company wants to prove a point and drive claims down.

They will set subjective financial thresholds for the amount of property damage. In other words, if the property damage estimate is below this subjective amount, or if the property damage does not look “bad” in a photo, they will force you to court.

The CNN story points out it is not a question of profit for insurance companies, but how much profit.

According to Anderson Cooper, you may think all the savings from these thresholds would mean lower premiums for drivers. Well, guess again. The Insurance Information Institute says auto insurance rates have actually gone up 30% over the 10 years since this went into effect.

Roberts also relayed to Huffington Post that, by his estimate, companies that take in 70% of their total insurance profits in the United States now abuse their obligations to their policyholders. And they are certainly gaining from this process; Allstate made $4.6 billion in profits in 2007. This was double its earnings in the 1990s. They are profiting off many consumers at their most valuable, and it is not just fluke occurrences, as they would like you to believe.

Jim Mathis, a former Washington claims adjuster in Washington was asked to describe this denial strategy in the claims process to the CNN reporter:

JIM MATHIS: It really came down to three basic elements. A position of delay. A position of denying a claim. And then ultimately, of course, defending that claim that you denied.

GRIFFEN (CNN Reporter): The three D’s?

JIM MATHIS: Exactly.

GRIFFIN: Jim Mathis is a former insurance company insider who now testifies against insurance companies in court.

JIM MATHIS: And the profits are huge. Profits are good. And as long as the public allows this to occur, the insurance companies will get richer and people will not get a fair and reasonable settlement, period.

See Anderson Cooper’s blog and the Huffington Post article on this topic:

Anderson Cooper’s Blog & CNN Investigation

Huffington Post Investigation

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Car Accident Tips: Injuries and Liability - LISTEN

Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016 by Ed Harper

Check out the latest Conversation with Ed on Spirit 105.3 for Car Accident Tips on Injuries and Liability.

Perhaps someone you know has recently suffered an injury from an auto accident, but it’s absolutely clear the collision was not their fault… What’s the next step? Should they attempt to settle the claim on their own?

Hear from Ed Harper by clicking the link below for his advice on this subject:

Conversations With Ed: Injuries and Liability

Thank you Spirit 105.3 for this Conversation with Ed!

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10 False Assumptions Made After an Auto Accident

Posted Thursday, January 28, 2016 by Ed Harper

What would you do after being involved in an auto accident? Would you call the police? Would you document the scene? Would you schedule an appointment with your doctor right away?

These are all things to consider after being involved in an auto accident. With 25 years of legal experience, these are the steps to take should you ever find yourself in one.

Here are 10 False Assumptions that some people make when following a car accident:

  1. Insurance company and insurance company representatives are on your side.

  2. The other driver admitted fault for the accident, so I don’t think I need to call the police.

  3. The property damage estimate is accurate because a professional adjuster looked at my car.

  4. I had prior injuries, but the insurance company will believe those injuries were fully resolved at the time of this accident.

  5. My injuries are not that bad and will probably just go away with time.

  6. The insurance company for the at-fault driver will believe me when I tell them how much my bodily injury hurts and how it has affected my life.

  7. The pain has gone away for the most part, so I really don’t have to follow my health care provider’s instructions.

  8. All my medical bills will be covered because someone admitted they were at fault for the auto accident.

  9. My neighbor settled their claim by themselves and obtained a good settlement, so I can too.

  10. I can expect to receive full compensation, including my lost income, because I will be treated fairly.

Hear more about these steps in the latest Conversation with Ed at Spirit 105.3.

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Resolving a Personal Injury Claim - LISTEN

Posted Thursday, January 28, 2016 by Ed Harper

Spirit 105.3’s Conversation with Ed

Have you been injured in a work-related injury, auto accident, medical malpractice? Hear from Ed Harper by clicking the link above on how resolving a personal injury claim doesn’t have to be a long battle you have to deal with alone. Thank you Spirit 105.3 for this Conversation with Ed!

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