You or a loved one gets hurt. In Texas, it might be completely legal for the big insurer to screw you out of your money. But there is help.
Abraham Lincoln said in his famous Gettysburg Address:
“…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Well, our government’s certainly remained intact. So those words have held true.
But a government of, by, and for the people – that part certainly isn’t true at all times today.
States differ in how much protection they give insurers and consumers. In Texas, the scales are tipped in favor of the insurance companies:
- For example, one guard at the Giddings State School won her worker’s compensation claim against the Texas Office of Risk Management. It took her 4 years to file and win her claim. But, Texas law currently exempts state agencies from paying attorney’s fees in certain situations. This is one of those situations. So the Texas Office of Risk Management appealed this worker’s decision, knowing this school employee would have a difficult time finding any attorney willing to take her case on.
- In many cases, attorneys don’t take on small worker’s comp injury claims, which still amount to thousands for the victims, because attorneys’ fees would eat up the whole value of the claim.
- Claims adjusters can say they will fairly address your situation, with no real intention of doing so. For example, they might try to settle your claim in just a few days so they don’t have to pay you for future medical conditions.
- Certain damages are capped in Texas including damages in medical malpractice claims. The idea is this keeps the costs of medical care down. Medical expense costs continue to rise, however, and consumers like you have been barred from recovering fair damages.
How Did Insurance Companies Get So Much Power to Take Advantage of Texas Consumers?
It all stems from a number of Texas Supreme Court decisions in the 1990s. Prior to that, Texans had reasonably fair legal rights versus insurance companies.
But in the 1990s, the Texas Supreme Court was heavily Republican. So many voting decisions took the side of the insurance companies.
For example, 132 insurance cases were decided by the Texas Supreme Court in the 1990s. Of those, insurance companies won a whopping 71%!
Nice batting average there, isn’t it?
Think the System is Rigged and Unfair? In Texas, You’d Be Right!
We could bore you with all the legal intricacies and details. But you don’t want to spend your time reading that.
Just know that if you’re involved in a disagreement with an insurance company, they have more power than you do and will utilize that power to limit your recovery – even for immoral reasons. But Texas law may make it completely legal.
So whenever you interact with an insurance company, it’s wise to have a skilled injury attorney on your side.
Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years. Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.