5 Things You Need to Know About Insurance Companies After an Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Pius Joseph with Law Offices of Pius Joseph.
Following any motor vehicle accident, one of the first places an injured party looks for recovery is with theirs or the other party’s insurance provider. However, whenever you find yourself dealing with an insurance company, it’s important to keep in mind how those companies operate; for example, their entire business model revolves around accepting monthly payments from policyholders and holding on to as much of that money as possible to increase their profits. This means that despite what commercials and advertising would have consumers believe, insurance companies are not solely focused on helping accident victims make a financial recovery.
While dealing with even reasonable insurance adjusters can be a headache, when an accident victim finds themselves dealing with an unscrupulous one, the consequences can be serious. The good news is that policyholders are somewhat protected by state and federal laws prohibiting insurance companies from dealing in bad faith.
Insurance bad faith occurs when an insurance company deals unjustly with someone to avoid paying the full value of a claim.
If you suspect an insurance adjuster is trying to trap you into saying something that could reduce or eliminate the value of your claim, this could indicate insurance bad faith is at play. Similarly, if an adjuster appears to be intentionally misinterpreting your records or policy language, they may be attempting to avoid paying the full value of your claim by creating a non-existent technicality. Other markers of insurance bad faith can include arbitrary demands for unnecessary proof, repeated delays in resolving or paying a claim, and even failing to conduct an adequate investigation into the situation.
Insurance bad faith is a serious allegation; if you suspect an insurance company is dealing with you in bad faith, it’s important to reach out to an insurance bad faith attorney to discuss your options for holding them accountable and pursuing the claim you are owed.
5 things to keep in mind when dealing with insurance companies after an accident include:
- Insurance companies make money by holding on to policyholders’ monthly premiums.
- Insurance adjusters are trained to look for ways to poke holes in an otherwise valid claim in order to save their company money.
- Insurance adjusters can use anything you say to them to reduce or deny a claim.
- Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company, not the policyholder.
- Insurance adjusters may not properly translate the policy language to you if it means a more expensive claim.
A good way to protect yourself after an accident is to let an attorney do all the talking.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from insurance bad faith as well as from accidentally admitting liability for an accident that might not have been completely your fault is to contact a car accident attorney right away. The sooner you contact a car accident attorney following a collision, the sooner important evidence can be collected, preserved, and analyzed to determine which party was truly at fault and to what degree.
Additionally, these attorneys know exactly how to deal with insurance providers to ensure that they receive only the information they need and nothing they can use to try to minimize or deny your claim. If hiring an attorney sounds like a good idea but financially not quite feasible, it may help to note that most car accident attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency, which means clients don’t pay unless they win. Letting a car accident handle any and all communications regarding the accident is one of the best ways you can protect yourself from unfair accusations and underhanded insurance practices.
To learn more about insurance bad faith, or for help filing a claim against a dishonest insurance company, reach out to an insurance bad faith attorney in your area.