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Just What is an ‘EUO’, and Why are They So Confrontational?

Posted by Scot D. Goldberg | Jan 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

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this simple formThe legal world, and the insurance world, are full of an unending acronyms and abbreviations that can be overwhelming and difficult to understand.

One of the more common ones is Examination Under Oath, or EUO. This is a tool used by insurance companies to evaluate and deny claims. If you've been involved in a motor vehicle crash and you have filed a claim with your insurance company, your insurance company may have the right to have you examined under oath. The event involves an insured person having to attend a court reporter's office to sit through a question and answer session.

I'm going to tell the truth, so what could go wrong?

Well, the examiner the insurance company sends to interview you often goes out of his way to frustrate, intimidate and even frighten you for filing your insurance claim.

He may require you to sit there for hours, asking you questions he knows is not reasonably related to investigating the claim, and he may even disparage you or accuse you of exaggerating your injuries.

But this is my own insurance company, the one I have been paying premiums to every month for years. Why would they treat me so unfairly?

As we've often pointed out, the insurance industry is a mega-money maker. These huge corporate conglomerates don't become so profitable by being fair to their policy holders. In fact, insurance carriers and their shareholders expect that their armies of adjusters and lawyers will fight tooth and nail to deny your claim, or at the very least, pay out as little as they possibly can. They will use intimidation tactics, stall and stonewall as much as they can to keep from paying you a fair and reasonable settlement on your claim.

The EUO is a prime example of that.

A lot of our clients are shocked by how dramatic and confrontational an EUO with their own insurance company can become. You should assume that a business you pay would conduct themselves in a completely professional manner, but we've found that insurance companies don't always follow the same moral code.

Things that often happen regarding an EUO that you may not anticipate:

  • Providing very short notice about attending
  • Scheduling at an inconvenient time, like during the work day
  • Holding them at a location that is difficult for you to get to
  • Attempting to have the EUO videotaped
  • Trying to void coverage by finding an inconsequential error they claim is a misrepresentation
  • Referring to the insurance carrier's examiner as the ‘special investigation unit'
  • Aggressively demanding you to withdraw your claim

If you've ever watched a TV cop drama where the suspect is being interrogated in a small, dingy room by an aggressive, in-your-face detective, you have an idea of how some insurance carriers try to conduct their EUO's.

All this is done for one reason – they want you to drop your claim.

Who Controls What's Happening?

When you hire the Goldberg Noone law firm in any type of injury case, you have the right to have your attorney attend this Examination Under Oath with you. We will be by your side throughout the entire process and will ensure the insurance company's examiner does not abuse its privilege.

Unlike a deposition in a lawsuit, which is governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, an EUO has very few rules or case law governing the conduct of the attendees… which can sometimes be a double-edged sword.  This does mean you and your attorney are allowed to interact and confer more freely during the Examination, and your attorney will be able to determine if it's appropriate to terminate the Examination early if it appears the examiner has crossed any lines.

Fortunately, there are court cases demonstrating instances where an insurance carrier has been found to have conducted an EUO in such an intimidating and unprofessional way that the Insured person was allowed to walk out without fear of losing their insurance benefits.

While it is true that not all insurance companies are guilty of inappropriate or improper EUO tactics, we have encountered quite a number of them. Hiring a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney following a serious injury can be critical to receiving fair treatment and reasonable compensation you deserve.

The attorneys at Goldberg Noone LLC fight aggressively to ensure not only that your legal rights are fully protected, but also that you are not subjected to unnecessary bullying or intimidation tactics by an insurance company.

It never costs a penny to call our office at 239-461-5508 to speak with an attorney about any concerns you may have following a crash, or you can just complete this simple form and we'll reach out to you immediately.

About the Author

Scot D. Goldberg

Scot Goldberg is a founding partner of the Goldberg Law Firm. See his attorney profile for more information.

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