How to Know If an Insurance Company Is Acting in Bad FaithPublished: May 12, 2017 in Bad Faith Insurance Claims, Personal Injury
An insurance company is required by law to treat you fairly, whether you are its direct client or you are third-party making a claim against its customer’s policy. Whether you have filed a first- or third-party claim, the insurer must:
- Properly investigate the claim,
- Correspond with you,
- Reasonably approve or deny your claim with a written explanation, and
- If it is liable, reasonably negotiate a fair settlement.
However, insurance companies are businesses that want to maintain a certain level of profit. This incentive can lead them to behave unlawfully toward you. When the insurer acts in bad faith and does not uphold its duties under the policy and law, then you may have a separate cause of action against it.
If you believe an insurer is treating you unfairly and you need help, contact the Alabama personal injury attorneys of Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. as soon as possible. We know the law and signs of bad faith. If you are being taken advantage of, we will fight for you to recover compensation for your injuries and hold the insurer responsible for its misdeeds.
Call us today at (205) 933-1500to schedule a free case evaluation.
Signs of Insurance Bad Faith
It is not enough to know that an insurer can act in bad faith. You need to be able to identify when it is happening to protect your rights and if necessary, take legal action against the insurer. When an insurer is anything other than prompt, responsive, polite, and fair, then you should be wary of what is going on behind the scenes. An insurer may be looking for ways to deny your claim or pay out as little as possible.
Some of the most common signs of bad faith by an insurance company include:
- Delaying the processing of your claim in some way, including demanding additional documents or duplicates of information you have already provided or transferring your claim among many different adjusters
- Intentionally lying about or unreasonably misrepresenting the policy language or other records to avoid liability
- Canceling or changing the policy after you file a claim
- Unjustifiably delaying investigating your claim
- Using improper investigative methods in relation to your claim
- Unreasonably accusing you of committing fraud
- Denying your claim without providing a reasonable explanation in writing and refusing to provide one
- Denying your claim without investigating it at all
- Failing to approve or deny your claim within a reasonable amount of time upon receiving necessary documentation
- Offering an unreasonably low settlement and refusing to negotiate
- Pressuring, harassing, or bullying you to accept an unreasonably low settlement offer
- Failing to keep up reasonable communication with you
If the insurer is taking any of these actions or has behaved in some other way that is unfair or unreasonable, contact our Alabama injury attorneys immediately to determine if you are a victim of insurance bad faith.
You May Have a Bad Faith Legal Claim
If an insurer treats you unlawfully during the claims process, you may have the right to bring a legal claim against it and recover compensation. If you are a first- or third-party claimant, you may be able to seek compensation for the financial losses you incurred due to the insurer’s bad faith and punitive damages, in addition to compensation for your initial claim.
How Our Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you believe you have a claim based on bad faith, you need to contact an attorney experienced in these types of cases. Proving that an insurer has acted unreasonably and unlawfully can be difficult. A lawyer will review the situation and insurer’s behavior, gather evidence for your allegations, and represent you in your legal claim.
Without experienced and skilled legal help, you are unlikely to resolve your initial claim or bad faith claim in your favor. At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., we will aggressively fight for you to obtain the maximum compensation possible for both your original and bad faith claim.
Call our personal injury attorneys at (205) 933-1500 to learn more about how we can help. We are happy to provide free case consultations. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our lawyers can help you at a location nearest you.