Most automobile insurance claims follow a very predictable road to a fair conclusion after a car accident, with a few hiccups along the way. However, in some rare circumstances, your or the other driver’s auto insurance provider fails to honor its legal requirement to bargain in good faith. What does it mean for a car insurance provider to act in “bad faith,” and how can you protect yourself?
Insurance companies that cross the line and engage in dishonest behavior are guilty of engaging in bad faith, which is illegal. You may have grounds to sue the insurance company, and the company may be obliged to pay punitive penalties if you win a bad faith action. These are damages in excess of what they should have paid in the first place for your claim.
Check out this article to know the tricks insurance companies will use in your claim and how to protect yourself against bad faith tactics.
Tricks Car Insurance Companies Will Use in Your Claim
Many policyholders are utterly unaware that the law requires these firms to treat them with good faith and fair dealing. As a result, when an insurance company participates in bad faith claim handling procedures, consumers may believe the firm is free to do whatever it wants to save money, which is not the case.
However, once you know what to look for, they’re surprisingly easy to spot—and even easier to deny if you work with the appropriate advocate. Keep a lookout for the following negative techniques as you proceed with your vehicle insurance claim:
Misrepresenting Important Facts With Intent
When filing a claim on your policy, the insurer is required by law to inform you of all possible coverages. If another person caused the collision, it’s illegal for the insurer to inform you that you don’t have coverage. Similarly, if you’re filing a third-party claim against the other vehicle’s insurance coverage, the adjuster must be truthful.
Without the insured’s authorization, the insurer is not obligated to disclose the policy limits. On the other hand, the insurer cannot lie about the insurance coverage.
Fine Print That Is Impossible to Understand
How thoroughly have you read the fine print in your auto insurance policy? If you’re like most policyholders, you either skimmed or ignored these tiny font bits of text.
Even if you read the small print, you’re unlikely to grasp it; insurers appear to make the conditions of the policy far too complicated to comprehend. The insurance provider will then say “no coverage” in terminology that a regular person will not comprehend when someone files a claim.
Delayed Payment of a Valid Claim
Insurance companies are required to pay claims in a reasonable amount of time. Your phone calls, emails, and letters may receive a slow or no response. In effect, the insurer may employ these stalling techniques to make it as difficult as possible for you to receive reasonable compensation.
If your insurer has approved the vehicle accident claim but delayed payment excessively, you may have a cause for bad faith against the insurance carrier.
Failure to Protect the Insured’s Interests
Even if the collision was your mistake, your auto insurance provider must defend you after a crash. To protect you from further legal proceedings, your insurer should compel the other party to sign a release at the time of settlement. You may have evidence for a bad faith case if your insurance provider fails to safeguard your interests per your policy terms.
If You or a Loved One Have Been Injured in a Car Wreck in Texas, Call Auto Accident Attorney Joe Stephens Now
If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another, you could hire any local attorney, or you can hire West Houston car collision injury lawyers. Joe Stephens has been defending injury victims in Texas for over 3 decades from negligent individuals, companies, and greedy insurance companies. As an experienced injury lawyer in Katy, TX, Joe handles all cases personally, and his staff is always available to answer questions.
If you’ve been the victim of the above bad faith practices, you require legal representation from an auto insurance bad faith lawyer. Call Joe Stephens for a seasoned attorney looking out for your best interests.
The Stephens Law Firm, Car Accident Lawyers handles auto accident lawsuits across Texas, including these Houston cities.