UNDERSTANDING INSURANCE BAD FAITH TACTICS
Jan. 31, 2022
When a policyholder files an injury claim, the insurance company has a duty to fully investigate, negotiate, and settle the claim in good faith. Unfortunately, some insurance carriers employ various bad faith tactics, including denying valid claims, creating unreasonable delays, misrepresenting their policy, or offering less money than a claim is worth.
According to a Martindale-Nolo 2017 personal injury study, claimants who accepted the insurer's first settlement offer received compensation amounts that were, on average, $30,700 lower than plaintiffs who held out for an improved offer.
If an insurer has denied your valid injury claim or is negotiating using bad faith tactics, you need to speak with an experienced Nebraska personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights.
At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we are committed to offering experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to clients in their injury claims. Our trusted team will investigate the insurer's conduct and determine whether your claim was affected by bad faith tactics. As your legal counsel, we will fight diligently to protect your rights, hold the insurance company liable for their bad faith actions, and help you recover the maximum possible compensation.
We're proud to serve clients in Omaha, Nebraska, and surrounding counties, including Dodge, Sarpy, Douglas, and Lancaster.
COMMON BAD FAITH TACTICS
Filing claims and trying to recover damages after a personal injury can present different challenges. The hard truth is that insurance companies are in business to make more money. The insurance adjusters or claims specialists who are making decisions about your case are only there to protect the insurance company's best interests.
Unfortunately, the majority of plaintiffs often suffer and are left to bear the burden of their personal injuries. Bad faith tactics involve the dishonest, unethical, or unfair practices used by insurance companies to reduce, deny, or delay payments for valid injury claims. Some common bad faith tactics that are often used by insurance carriers include:
LOWBALL FIRST OFFER
Lowballing – offering a ridiculously low amount than the true worth of an injury claim – is a bad faith act often used by insurers. As a result of accumulated medical expenses and financial instability caused by the injury, many claimants are pressured into taking the insurer's first settlement offer.
From experience, we know it is never advisable to settle your injury claims unless you have attained the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). This is the stage at which your condition can't be improved any further. A skilled personal injury attorney can help determine the full extent of your injuries, property damages, and other losses.
LONG AND UNNECESSARY DELAYS
Another bad faith tactic used by insurance companies is long and unnecessary delays. Under Nebraska laws, insurance companies are required to accept or deny claims within a reasonable timeframe. Unfortunately, some insurers try to delay injury claims unnecessarily by not investigating, not responding, or not offering any settlement. Their aim is to frustrate you, test your resolve, and see if you'll give up on pursuing your injury claim.
FAILING TO CONDUCT A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION
As mentioned earlier, insurance companies are required to fully investigate injury claims for benefits before denying them. However, a lot of insurers fail to conduct in-depth investigations. Without due diligence, the insurance carriers are quick to cite comparative fault in order to deny or reduce the plaintiff's compensation amount.
Acting in good faith warrants the insurance provider to be completely transparent and honest in their statements about the policy, what it covers, and its legal terms. Conversely, some insurers intentionally misrepresent the coverage under the insurance policy or interpret the policy language against the claimant or in a way that favors the insurer. This is a bad faith practice.
Some other insurance bad faith tactics include:
Refusing to pay a valid claim
Denying valid claims without giving any tangible reason
Making threatening statements
Declining reasonable requests for documentation from policyholders
Offering considerably less money than the true value of a claim
Using deceptive practices or hiding important details to avoid paying the claimant
If you believe that the insurance provider is acting in bad faith, you should speak to an experienced attorney right away. Your attorney can investigate the insurance carrier's conduct and determine the best course of action.
WHAT IS YOUR ATTORNEY'S ROLE IN SETTLEMENT?
Getting hurt or suffering property damages can be an overwhelming and emotional experience. It can even become more difficult if the insurer fails to honor their end of the agreement. If the insurance provider has denied your injury claim or negotiated in bad faith, you may take legal action against them. A skilled personal injury attorney can fight to protect your rights and help you seek your rightful compensation.
At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we have the experience and resources to handle issues with personal injury claims involving denied claims and bad faith insurance tactics. As your legal counsel, we will:
Review all of the surrounding facts of your case thoroughly
Investigate the insurance company's conduct and actions
Gather necessary evidence to establish that the insurer acted in bad faith
Take additional legal action to hold the insurance carrier liable for their bad faith actions
Never leave your fate in the hands of insurance companies and claims adjusters who wouldn't protect your best interests. Our trusted team will fight vigorously to advocate for your legal rights and help you seek the financial justice that you deserve.
Contact Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O. today to schedule a simple case assessment with a knowledgeable bad faith insurance attorney. Our dedicated team can fight compassionately on your side and offer you the reliable representation you need to pursue your deserved compensation. We're proud to serve clients in Omaha, Nebraska, and surrounding counties, including Dodge, Sarpy, Douglas, and Lancaster.