November 10, 2023 at 11:46 am

A Lawyer Taught An Insurance Attorney A Lesson After They Tried To Pull A Fast One On A Client Who Had Been In An Accident

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA/Pexels

Source: Reddit,Pexels

Here we go with another great story of “Malicious Compliance” from the pages of Reddit!

It comes to us from a lawyer who thought this would be a simple interaction with a client…but it didn’t turn out that way.

You won’t settle until I send a file type your computer will open? Ok.

“Client comes in with a seemingly simple auto collision.

Client was hit, other driver got out and said something like “Ohmygod are you ok? I’m so sorry, I dropped my phone and reached to get it…”. Client had a dashcam which recorded the whole thing including the admission of guilt. Easy client right?

But things are never as easy as they seem.

Turns out the admission was really important, because the type of accident didn’t make a ‘determination of fault’ easy (imagine a rear end collision at a red light as an easy determination, but a collision at a four way stop sign as a hard determination). When the cops showed up, the police report found both drivers at fault AND did not mention any statements from the other driver.

But we have our admission and my client’s damages were above the other guy’s policy limit. So I send a demand to the insurance company for policy limits. Note that the insurance company has an obligation to negotiate in good faith, which becomes important later.

The other lawyer was trying to get one over on them.

Lawyer from insurance reaches out and says (basically) – “Look, my client says they were driving safely, and the police report says shared fault.”

The initial offer is like 10 grand.

I replied “Yeah but my client had a dashcam and it recorded your client admitting fault.”

It’s important to understand that this was before dashcams were common. It wasn’t my first case with a dashcam, but it might have been my third or fourth. No mention of the dashcam was made on the police report.

Insurance attorney says (I imagine while twirling a dumb mustache) “Interesting, can you send me a copy of the video?” I say sure and send it over. He replies “I can’t open this!” So I send him a link to vlc media player “It’s a weird extension, and windows media player won’t play it. But VLC will, just follow the installer instructions and it should play no problem.”

The other lawyer became even more difficult.

He says “I’m not installing something to watch your alleged dash cam video. Send me a file I can play if you want me to consider it.”

This makes me unhappy, but I tried again “It will take less than a few minutes to install, you can watch the video and listen to your client admit fault.” He say “We are done here until you send something I can play.”

And then it was malicious compliance time!

Cue malicious compliance

Start super cool montage of me going through other client files

Stop montage as I open a file and my face is bathed in a golden light radiating from an old memorex CD

So I found a DIFFERENT dashcam video (which did not contain any sound) BUT it could be played with windows media player AND it was close enough to my current client’s facts that if you weren’t paying attention it could pass. Other attorney just asked for a file he could play, right?

And this other lawyer was really asking for it.

I sent it over.

He says “Wow no sound. Guess you’re done buddy.”

So I sued.

During discovery I sent a CD over which included the ORIGINAL video AND a copy of VLC.

He must have ignored it because he didn’t say anything about it.

During a pretrial motion hearing, I played the video for the judge.

The judge might have heard the other lawyer’s jaw hit his desk.

The insurance attorney says “Your honor this is not the video he sent to me!”

In my mind’s eye I see the malicious compliance ***** star preparing to fire.

And it was sweet, indeed!

“Judge I thought he might say that. Here is a copy of our emails where I described the video, provided the video, and sent instructions on how to play it. Here is a copy of the CD I sent with discovery which ALSO has the video and a copy of VLC. Finally, here is a copy of the unrelated video which I sent to fulfill his request of something he could play”.

Other attorney asks for a recess.

Because he refused the initial demand of policy limits I told him I would argue he did not negotiate in good faith.

We settled for well above policy limits.

Client was very happy.”

Let’s see what people had to say about this.

One person said it best about lawyers!

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual talked about their own waitress story.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This individual knows how snarky lawyers can be.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another Reddit user was impressed with this story.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And one reader said being a lawyer can be pretty boring…

Source: Reddit/AITA

Lesson learned, huh?

You better believe it!