One of the most common problems when injured accident victims attempt handling their own insurance claim is bad faith tactics employed by the insurer. Insurance claims adjusters are keen to the possibility of ending a claim quickly with a low settlement offer shortly after receiving a claim. Once the paper work is signed by the claimant, the process is over. And, the settlement will typically include a waiver for future medical issues that may arise if an injury worsens later. A settlement is exactly what the word implicates, and the injured party has no other future recourse for financial compensation in most cases. Understanding when an insurance company is bargaining is bad faith is important for all injured claimants, and any one of the following issues will be a red flag to call an experienced Arizona auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
1. Unreasonable Denial
Insurance companies cannot deny a claim without a valid reason. Even though technicalities can matter in some instances, there still must a valid counter-claim to avoid paying a submission. Denying a claim outright is also a clear indication the coverage provider may be preparing to take a claim to court. They understand the claimant will either go away or consult with an accident attorney, and the latter is more often the response.
2. Purposely Delaying a Claim
This action happens more often than an outright denial. All insurance companies are focused on increasing company profit margins, and a delay can often influence the claimant toward accepting a lowered claim settlement offer instead of retaining an attorney to represent the claim comprehensively. This can be difficult to prove because insurance providers can defend against a claim using the comparative negligence defense, which essentially will force a case into court for a jury determination on fault percentage unless the claimant accepts the lowered offer.
3. Refusing to Pay Obviously Valid Claims
Some claims are clear cut cases of responsibility, but insurance claims adjusters will still attempt to deny the claims on a frivolous technicality. The key to winning a bad faith legal action is proving the benefits provider knows the claim is valid and is purposely being difficult in hopes of a lowered settlement agreement. Their objective is always reducing the total payout. An auto accident attorney can often prove the denial is premeditated or part of a bad faith claims protocol by the company that can result in additional legal action.
These are just a few examples of how insurance companies can act in bad faith when processing claims. It is also why it is imperative to retain an aggressive Arizona auto accident attorney who understands what to look for and how to maximize a claim settlement value.