Connecticut Citizens Fight for Justice From Auto Insurers

HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Recent and upcoming reports on CNN illustrate how difficult it can be for auto accident victims to get fair compensation from insurance companies, even in seemingly straightforward and minor cases.

The network’s 18-month investigation which aired this week on “Anderson Cooper 360” found that tactics to “delay, deny and defend” form the strategy of many auto insurance companies.

The story outlined how insurances companies will offer to pay a fraction of actual expenses from an accident. If you are in a minor impact crash and get hurt, former insurance industry insiders told CNN, insurance companies will most likely try doing the same thing to you: delay handling your claim, deny you were hurt and defend their decision in drawn-out court battles.

Connecticut citizens do not escape these maneuvers.

“I believe that insurance companies count on the fact that eight times out of 10, the claimant will either simply go away or hire an attorney who won’t try the case,” said Joe Mirrione, a New Haven attorney who has plenty of “horror stories” about insurance companies. “They figure that even if they lose those two other claims, they come out ahead in the end.”

In fact, according to the Consumer Federation of America, many insurers now employ programs designed to systematically underpay claims. Computer-directed programs like “Colossus” and “Claims Outcome Advisor” allow insurers to determine the amount of overall claims’ savings they want to achieve before claims are assessed for legitimacy.

If you are interested in writing or producing a story on this issue, please contact one of our member attorneys listed below, or Dr. Michael D. Freeman, the Forensic Epidemiologist from the CNN story. We’ve also included links to CNN’s coverage and resulting Web Log, and to statistics from the Consumer Federation of America.

BridgeportDouglas Mahoney, Tremont & Sheldon, 203- 335-5145HartfordMichael Walsh, Moukawsher & Walsh, 860-549-8440David Cooney, RisCassi & Davis, 860-522-1196New HavenMichael Stratton, Stratton Faxon 203-624-9500Joseph Mirrione, L/O Joseph Mirrione 203-562-4386John Kennedy, Kennedy Johnson D’Elia & Gillooly 203-865-8430StamfordStewart Casper, Casper & deToledo, 203-325-8600New LondonBert Polito, Polito & Quinn, 860-447-3300 (Waterford)Robert I. Reardon, The Reardon Law Firm, 860-442-0444Dr. Michael Freeman PhD DC MPH, [email protected]

CNN Transcript from Feb. 7, 2007 show: (You will need to scroll down 1/3 of page)

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0702/07/acd.02.html

CNN’s Summary and Blog: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2007/02/insurance- companies-fight-paying.html

Consumer Federation of America: http://www.consumerfed.org/pdfs/White_Paper_Releaseupdate010807.pdf

NOTE: CNN is set to air lengthier reporting on this subject at 9:30 p.m. (CST) on Sunday, Feb. 18.

Contact: Neil H. Ferstand, executive director of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, 860-522-4345

Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association

CONTACT: Neil H. Ferstand of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association,+1-860-522-4345