Monday, June 27, 2016

When Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith After Your Accident

Many insurance companies actively resist approving claims. They do so because they want to minimize the amounts they have to pay out. In cases in which a person is injured in automobile accidents, insurance companies may be especially hard to work with. Personal injury and car crash cases can be more difficult when all of the different versions of what happened are collected by the insurance companies. They will try to use these competing stories to argue that might reduce their insured's negligence level.

Some insurance companies will act in bad faith as the standard way in which they deal with all claims. These companies will either try to force plaintiffs to settle for very low amounts or to go to court. In these types of situations, an experienced personal injury attorney may prove that the insurance companies are acting in bad faith.

Understanding What is Bad Faith

Different insurance companies follow different approaches to how they settle claims. Some of these approaches depend on how large the companies are and how they are managed. When you know what general approach a particular insurance company takes to claims, it can be helpful when you are filing your own claim. For example, if you are dealing with an adjuster who is seemingly unworkable, it may be a tactic that their supervisor ordered them to use. This is one reason that trying to handle your personal injury claim without getting legal help is normally a bad idea.

An experienced Phoenix injury lawyer will be familiar with the different approaches companies use. They may then adjust their own approaches when trying to get reasonable settlements. When an adjuster learns that there are no lawyers involved, they may then negotiate with you in bad faith. You may be unaware of how much you should be able to recover, and the adjuster may try to "lowball" you. When you retain legal counsel, he or she can investigate actions that appear to be in bad faith. Laws in Arizona regulate how insurance claims should be handled. If your insurance company violates these rules, its actions could constitute bad faith.

Additional Damages

A big issue when you are dealing with an insurance company that is acting in bad faith is trying to avoid a separate legal claim for bad faith negotiation. Insurance adjusters are professionals who are trained in negotiation. Sometimes, they may use tactics that may almost be illegal. While adjusters may not give you all of your policy information in the beginning of your claim, they are required to answer any questions you have honestly. They are also required to document all of the communications between both you and them.

When an insurance adjuster is dishonest or fails to document your communications, it can result in an additional lawsuit against the insurance company. This lawsuit would be for bad faith in the process of your insurance claim. Since it is a separate legal claim, it is not simply an addendum to your original claim. Bad faith by an insurance company can lead to a significant enhancement of punitive damages that might be assessed.

Signs that an Insurance Company is Acting in Dad Faith

A major sign that an insurance company will be hard to reach a settlement with is the amount of time they take to respond to your initial claim contact. It not a good sign when the company tries to push you into a settlement while they are also requesting that you sign a full future medical authorization. While this might seem as if the company is acting with compassion for you, it could also be a sign that the company's insured has a high level of coverage. They may want to complete the negotiation quickly. The primary duty of an insurance adjuster is to his or her employer in order to reduce the total payout to you.

Another sign of insurance company bad faith actions is when the company stops benefits while you are recovering from your injury if the company cannot provide justification for doing so. In most cases, claimants quickly realize that having legal help for their injury claims is needed so that they can recover fair compensation amounts for their injuries.

Getting Legal Help

Insurance companies that routinely act in bad faith are major reasons that it is not a good idea for injured victims to try to negotiate on their own. Personal injury cases are often very complicated, and insurance companies work hard to deny the level of fault their insureds have in causing the accidents. It is thus important that you seek help from experienced bad faith insurance claim attorneys such as the lawyers at Cantor Crane. They would be able to recognize when a company is acting in bad faith. This may help them to decide when your claim may be enhanced by filing an additional bad faith legal claim against the insurance company who is using bad faith in its dealings with you.
To learn more about your recovery rights and your accident claim, call Cantor Crane to schedule your appointment with a lawyer today. We will be happy to give you an honest assessment of your case.

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