The Dirty Little Secret at the Courthouse!

Over the past three years working in the personal injury field, I have met many fine folks in the Middle Tennessee area. Tennesseans care about their fellow neighbor. This value is engrained in our DNA. It has been passed down through the ages. When Texas’ freedom was in jeopardy, it pleaded for 500 volunteers to fight Santa Anna. Tennessee sent that, plus 10,000 more.

Whenever I meet with a new client, one question/statement ALWAYS comes up. “I’m not the suing type/I don’t believe in suing….it was just an accident anyway, why do I have to sue the other guy, why not sue the insurance company who won’t pay my medical bills?”

The civil justice system in Tennessee favors insurance companies and the scales of justice tilt in their favor; by all appearances it seems to be rigged. Tennessee does not allow for a direct action against an insurance company. Simply put, when you are hit by little “Cindy Lou Who” and her insurance company decides in its infinite wisdom that they should not have to pay your medical bills, you cannot sue the Grinch (the insurance company.) Oddly enough, you must sue little Cindy Lou Who. It’s all a game ladies and gentlemen. A game the insurance companies know all too well.

Think about this example. You are a juror sitting in a courtroom watching this game unfold. Sure, the plaintiff’s injuries are terrible. Sure, the plaintiff had to miss time away from her job. Sure, the plaintiff’s credit rating is obliterated because her medical bills went to collections. But, how in the world is Cindy Lou Who going to pay for all of this out of her own pocket? Why make a bad situation even worse?

This is a scene that takes place in courtrooms all over the state of Tennessee. Why is this the case? In Tennessee, evidence of insurance is deemed to be irrelevant. It’s almost like it does not even exist. Big money insurers and their lobbyists have created a hundred-billion-dollar charade in our civil justice system. Stay safe. Stay informed.

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