What is your experience with legal insurance?

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I'm currently in the process of suing someone for fraud. Unfortunately, the criminal courts in Berlin are too overwhelmed and declined to file criminal charges because the damages were too small. Nonetheless, I have all the paperwork, evidence, and witness statements I need to secure a judgement.

 

Surprisingly, the defendant chose to contest the Mahnbescheid and retained an attorney. I looked the attorney up to get a feel for who I'd be going up against in court and noted that despite having his office openly listed, he had absolutely no ratings or reviews on Google whatsoever. His single paged website (sporting a portrait of someone who looked like he was fresh out of high school) looked like it was put together by an amateur and generally only outlined the type of cases he specialized in.

 

He notably surpassed two deadlines in the court procedures, and when I submitted a full written statement detailing how I'd been defrauded and explaining the evidence I had, his written defense response was "I am seeking to have this complaint dismissed. The plaintiff is not entitled to anything. The defendant denies all accusations as presented by the plaintiff." Signature, stamp. No counter explanation, no attempted alibi, no rebuttal, no loophole maneuvers, zero effort--didn't even bother to get a copy the criminal case.

 

Clearly, this isn't someone who has been paid their 300 euros or so to invest their best effort into seriously representing a client needing legal defense--and I'm thinking it's because he's overworked with numerous other clients handed to him by the insurance provider.

 

It has me worried because I myself have been paying for legal insurance for the past 4 years. I am quite sure that if someone were suing me and I asked for legal defense, I would be pretty livid if they sent Joe Schmoe who passed the bar last July to defend me by saying "My client didn't do it. Motion to dismiss the case!"

 

Has anyone here used a lawyer provided by legal insurance? And would you recommend using that, or simply paying for a decent attorney out of pocket?

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We are using legal insurance right now because my husband is suing our former landlord.  Dealing with the insurance itself has been easy.  My husband called the Schadennummer and spoke to a lawyer who determined we had a case.  
 

Next, he contacted the insurance provider and told them our story.  They approved our request for legal help and sent us a letter recommending a local attorney.  We could have used the one they suggested for a 100 euro deductible, but he had poor reviews.  We found another lawyer who had better ratings and will eventually pay a 250 euro deductible for her services.  She handles communications with the insurance company, though we haven’t yet been billed for the deductible.

 

The lawyer has so far sent a demand letter, but the response we got back from the ex landlord’s lawyer was so over the top and ridiculous that she recommended that my husband sue.  So he gave her permission to file.  She says she has, and now we’re waiting for a court date.

 

Although I am not the one communicating with the lawyer or the insurance company, I have been pleasantly surprised by the process.  The insurance company didn’t hesitate to back our claim.  I don’t look forward to the drama of the suit, because our former landlords are apparently convinced we’re dirtbags and have falsely accused us of theft.  But it’s nice to have the insurance company helping us.  I would recommend using it.

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I didn't full-on use mine but I was fairly impressed with the support for an international case (me in Germany, issue in the US)

 

I had an issue with a shady home repair service provider in Boston who did a bunch of extra work in my house without my consent, then of course billed me for it.  I contacted my legal insurance, they said this was definitely not kosher and confirmed they would cover the cost of a lawyer in the US (one purely of my choosing) for the standard 150 euro deductible. 

 

in the end I didn't go that route simply because the lawyers I spoke with didn't trust this concept of "legal insurance" and were afraid they would not get paid :/  I should have followed up to see if paying the lawyer myself, then getting reimbursed from the insurance was an option, but at the time I didn't think of it as I was more focused on selling that house.

 

Overall though I think coverage and personal experiences can vary quite a bit between insurers.  

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1 hour ago, razorsandroses said:

his written defense response was "I am seeking to have this complaint dismissed. The plaintiff is not entitled to anything. The defendant denies all accusations as presented by the plaintiff." Signature, stamp. No counter explanation, no attempted alibi, no rebuttal, zero effort--didn't even bother to get a copy the criminal case.

 

 

to be fair, this just sounds...German :)  Especially when they got nothing', the standard response is often to simply deny culpability.  

 

I'm not sure why you assume this lawyer was appointed by a legal insurer, though, and either way it sounds to me as if he simply has no defense to present.  No matter who is paying the lawyer, he has to pretend he's doing his job, even if it's utterly hopeless.  That's the way your description strikes me - lawyer going through the motions on a hopeless case.

 

it's really not in an insurer's best interest to use shoddy or overburdened lawyers as they won't recoup their costs. For hopeless defense cases though, they may be inclined to cut their losses by putting in the minimum effort.  No idea but it sounds like you're case is in the bag :)

 

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7 hours ago, razorsandroses said:

The defendant denies all accusations as presented by the plaintiff

At this point this may be enough for him to write. After all, the burden of proof is on you. You might make a mistake if you think he´s incompetent. He may simply have chosen to wait for your evidence before showing his cards / making a bigger effort.

 

 

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@knotheadusc if your case does go to court and you win with costs awarded in your favour, then you are entitled to your Selbstbeteiligung back before your insurance company gets their share from the other side.

 

It's a common misconception that this money is just gone. That's only the case if you lose with all costs awarded against you. Even a partial awarding of costs in your favour can mean you're entitled to your 250 back.

 

We are also in a court dispute and had to pay the 250 up front with the insurance company paying subsequent lawyer's bills.

 

In our case our wonderful insurance initially declined liability. Our lawyer successfully argued that they had to cover the costs and they conceded. I would never use the suggested lawyer unless I had independent reviews. You can always choose your own who will have no conflict of interests.

 

I find the telephone lawyers the insurance companies provide are really hit and miss. I have had completely contradictory advice from them (if you call back you usually get someone different every time).

 

 

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On 12/20/2019, 5:26:17, murphaph said:

@knotheadusc if your case does go to court and you win with costs awarded in your favour, then you are entitled to your Selbstbeteiligung back before your insurance company gets their share from the other side.

 

It's a common misconception that this money is just gone. That's only the case if you lose with all costs awarded against you. Even a partial awarding of costs in your favour can mean you're entitled to your 250 back.

 

We are also in a court dispute and had to pay the 250 up front with the insurance company paying subsequent lawyer's bills.

 

In our case our wonderful insurance initially declined liability. Our lawyer successfully argued that they had to cover the costs and they conceded. I would never use the suggested lawyer unless I had independent reviews. You can always choose your own who will have no conflict of interests.

 

I find the telephone lawyers the insurance companies provide are really hit and miss. I have had completely contradictory advice from them (if you call back you usually get someone different every time).

 

 

 Thank you for that information.  We still haven’t been billed, nor do we have a court date yet.  The lawyer says the court is backed up because of people being out due to illness.  I am eager to get this over with and put the whole unpleasant chapter behind me.  Our ex landlady withheld 80% of our Kaution, listing things that were out of statute.  She accused us of trashing her house, stealing a refrigerator, and she’s trying to force us to pay for an awning that collapsed after her husband failed to fix it and for which she has already gotten an insurance settlement.  She never made these claims of severe damage until my husband asked her for the Kaution and he disagreed with her decision to keep 2500 euros (about what she claims a new awning would cost, less the 300 she got from the insurance).

 

Adding to this, she never did a check in with us, nor did she ever provide us with annual Rechnungs for the Nebenkosten over the four years we lived in her house.  Yet supposedly we’re irresponsible and negligent.  I look forward to hearing how she intends to explain how we stole a refrigerator, especially since she never reported it to the police.  


On the positive side, our current landlord is awesome.  He lives next door, yet respects our privacy and doesn’t treat us like children while ripping us off.
 

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On 10/23/2019, 10:56:57, razorsandroses said:

I'm currently in the process of suing someone for fraud. Unfortunately, the criminal courts in Berlin are too overwhelmed and declined to file criminal charges because the damages were too small.

 

 

Reminds me of a case when some thief stole 200 euro from me in a bank under surveillance camera and police refused to look at the video because 200 euro is too small of a sum ...

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Attention thieves and con artists!

 

If you are looking to make a few dishonest euros, Berlin is your number 1 place of choice! Just make sure you keep your ill gotten gains under €500.

 

I just got back from a mediating session where I am suing someone who clearly defrauded me for €300 by signing a fake signature to pick up a delivery and then schlepping it off for cash. The crininal court declined to prosecute because they felt the amount was too small to bother with. The judge told me that she could not award damages as this is not a criminal court, but a civil court. I tried to show her my evidence, but she constantly closed her eyes and said "Yes! Yes! Yes! I've seen the evidence, I know you are extremely angry, but we can't help you! The criminal court closed this case! It's over! We can't give you damages!"

 

She gave me an opportunity to go home and talk to a lawyer about my further option before proceeding with an official judgement.

 

I accepted the offer and will be talking to an attorney. But this is the German legal system.

 

UN  FUCKING  BELIEVABLE!!!!

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