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“Just Sign This…”

Posted by Jeffrey P. Jacobs | Mar 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Your insurance company sends you an innocent-looking form in the mail, asking you to just sign and return it. It's your own insurance company, and you've been a customer for years. They wouldn't have you sign something that's against your interest, would they?

Just-sign-this

… Or would they?

Just last week we read of an insured here in Washington who received a form in the mail from his insurance company, to be signed and returned. It was an undated PIP waiver form. What's wrong with that?

Well, this insured had recently been injured in an automobile accident and was incurring bills for medical treatment. In Washington, all automobile insurance policies include Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage to pay medical bills, unless the insured signed a waiver declining PIP when the policy was purchased. If the insurance company does not have a signed waiver in its file, PIP coverage applies. In this case the insurance company attempted to cover its tracks and avoid paying the claim for medical expenses, by having its insured sign an undated waiver, after the fact — clearly improper conduct on the part of the insurance company.

If you're injured in an accident, remember that insurance companies are in business to collect premiums, not to pay claims. They know the law, and they know what your rights are, but you can't count on them to tell you. You can level the playing field, however, by consulting with an attorney experienced in dealing with insurance companies, who will be on your side.

Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards represents injured people who unfortunately find themselves involved in insurance claims, whether it be with an adverse party's insurance company, or with their own. Call us if you're concerned whether you're being unfairly treated by an insurance company.

About the Author

Jeffrey P. Jacobs

Retired Effective January 2, 2017 Licensed in Washington. Partner. Location: Vancouver, Washington Phone: 360-695-4244 Fax: 360-696-0583 Contact Jeffrey Jacobs Emphasis: Jeff, an experienced personal injury attorney has litigated and tried personal injury cases on behalf of injured victims and their families since 1976. Professional Qualifications & Education: Bachelor's degree, Classics (Greek emphasis) University of California at Irvine; Juris Doctor, UCLA School of Law. Professional Experience: Jeff has served clients in private practice since 1976. He joined what was then the partnership of Schauermann & Thayer in 1999. Professional Affiliation: Member of the Clark County Bar Association; Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association; Sustaining member of the Washington State Association for Justice. Served as a court appointed arbitrator in personal injury cases for the Los Angeles County Municipal Court and Clark County Superior Court. Served on Clark County Superior Court Bench-Bar committee and Washington State Association for Justice Judicial Relations Committee. Personal: Jeff and his wife have been married for 43 years and have two grown sons. A licensed pilot since 1968, Jeff worked as a flight instructor and charter pilot before attending law school. He holds a commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating for single and multi-engine airplanes and is certified as an advanced ground instructor. Jeff has often been able to combine his love for the law with his love of flying to the advantage of his clients. Some of Jeff's clients have been surprised and pleased to learn that their attorney could get to them and to court appearances quickly, even in outlying areas, by airplane. Year Joined Firm 1999 Areas of Practice Personal Injury Bar Admissions Washington, 1995 Education University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, Los Angeles, CaliforniaJ.D. University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CaliforniaBachelor's DegreeMajor: Classics (Greek Emphasis) Professional Associations and Memberships Clark County Bar Association, Member Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Member Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Sustaining Member Los Angeles County Municipal Court, Arbitrator Clark County Superior Court, Bench-Bar Committee

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