Avoid These Bad Faith Tactics from Auto Insurance Companies
Car Accident Lawyer
Getting into any auto accident can really set your life back personally and financially. Many car accident victims go through insurance companies to receive compensation for their losses stemming from the accident. However, while it may seem as if the insurer wants to help you, it’s important to remember that the insurer is primarily focused on what is the most beneficial outcome for them and not you.
Sometimes, insurance companies engage in what is known as “bad faith” tactics. These are tactics they try to employ to avoid paying you the entire amount of your valid claim.
Delaying at every turn
The insurance company may delay sending payment or even making offers. The idea here is to frustrate you so you accept a lower offer later because you are paying out-of-pocket medical bills and other costs and need the money.
Failing to conduct a proper investigation
An insurer may only look into some of the accident and use those partial factors to determine how much money to offer you. In reality, they should conduct a thorough investigation to determine what a complete and reasonable settlement offer would be. Without all the facts and elements of the accident examined, the insurer will not have a complete picture of what happened and cannot set a proper value for your damages.
Offering a low-ball offer
After the car accident, an adjuster will work on your claim to determine how much the insurer will offer. Often, this first offer is a “low ball” that is far less than what you should receive to fully recover from the accident financially.
What to look out for
You need to be aware of the red flags that may indicate the insurer you are dealing with is acting in bad faith. They may press you for a written or recorded statement or try to have you sign documents that are necessary to start your claim. These documents can harm your rights. Be aware that any statement you make to an insurer could be used to damage your claim, so never give a statement unless your attorney is present.
You will need to look for signs that the insurance company is acting in bad faith. The adjuster may press for a recorded or written statement or even prompt you to sign certain documents that are not necessary to process the claim. Some of these documents involve waiving the right to sue or pursue more compensation based on all factors of the claim. If you sign a blanket medical authorization, for example, the insurer can get your medical history and try to say your injuries were from something else.
Never give a statement to the insurer without your attorney present. What you say can be used against you later to damage your claim. If you do not have an attorney yet, contact one as soon as you can. Your car accident lawyer in Denver, CO will be prepared to handle an insurer who is acting in bad faith when it comes to your claim.
Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injuries and dealing with insurance companies after a car accident.