– Unfair Settlement Tactics By An Insurance Adjuster? –
– Contact Matthew Pillado –
Our law office can get you medical treatment with no upfront cost.
Are you dealing with an unfair insurance claims adjuster?
We can help. Insurance adjusters only care about their bottom-line. Insurance adjusters grossly underprice the value of your vehicle and bodily injury claims in hopes that you will accept their low offer. It is not abnormal for an insurance adjuster to immediately offer an amount in the neighborhood of $250.00 to settle your bodily injury claim and this is even before you even seek medical treatment.
How does an insurance claims adjuster calculate a bodily injury claim without medical records? The quick answer is that they cannot properly evaluate a bodily injury claim without medical records. Your medical records will prove your injuries, the pain you feel, your physical limitations, your job limitations, and any permanent disfigurement such as scarring. Our office can get you medical treatment with no upfront cost to you. We work with professional medical providers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to ensure that you get the treatment that you need to prove your bodily injury claim.
Who are Claims Adjusters?
Claims adjusters are employed by insurance companies to process claims. Their job is:
- Investigate personal injury claims against their insured.
- Formulate plausible reasons to deny claims.
- Determine if their insured’s actions caused the accident, and if so:
- Decide the maximum amount they’ll pay to settle the claim.
- Offer to settle for the lowest amount they can justify.
Some claims adjusters will do just about anything to avoid paying a claim. Adjusters receive education in claim evaluation techniques. For victims, “claim evaluation techniques.” translated to “minimizing payment and denying claims.” Only when their insured’s fault is undeniable do adjusters negotiate with a victim in earnest.
While investigating personal injury claims and negotiating settlements, insurance companies and their representatives are required by law to act in good faith toward policy holders and third-party claimants. The term good faith generally describes honest and fair dealing. This means that insurance companies must refrain from engaging in unfair dealing or fraud.
When an insurance company acts in bad faith toward its own insured, the insured have the right to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. This type of lawsuit is separate and distinct from a personal injury lawsuit, which is filed directly against a party at fault for an injury-causing accident. Because filing a bad faith lawsuit against an insurance company requires special skill and training, as well as a thorough knowledge of the law and legal system, you should never file a bad faith insurance lawsuit without assistance from a qualified lawyer.
What is Negociating in Bad Faith?
In personal injury claims, there’s a fine line between negotiating in good faith and bad faith. Bad faith denial of claims is illegal. It’s punishable by substantial fines and punitive damages. These amounts can run into the hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars.
Bad faith negotiating occurs:
- When the adjuster denies a claim for no apparent reason.
- When the adjuster refuses to settle for an amount consistent with other claims based on similar circumstances, and does so based on wrongful manipulation of the relevant facts or law.
Every state has laws addressing bad faith insurance practices. These laws are found in the state insurance codes and regulations. You can find a copy of your state’s insurance codes in your county court’s law library. Some states now publish their insurance codes online.
How to Identify Unfair Settlement Tactics
There’s no checklist you can use to determine if your adjuster is acting in bad faith, but reviewing some common bad faith tactics may help you understand what to look out for.
Examples of Unfair Settlement tactics:
- Automatically denying coverage for their insured without first investigating your claim
- Taking an unreasonable amount of time to confirm or deny whether their insured was covered at the time you were injured
- Refusing to negotiate with you after you’ve filed a legitimate claim
- Failing to pay or deny your claim within a reasonable period of time
- Refusing to investigate your claim
- Refusing to negotiate a fair settlement when their insured’s liability is obvious
- Failing to provide a clear written explanation of the reasons for denying your claim
- Citing laws improperly in an attempt to minimize or deny your claim
- Changing adjusters solely for the purpose of delay once you’ve entered into negotiations
- Failing to provide you with information in their possession which is obviously relevant to your claim
- Purposely withholding information or failing to continue negotiations in an attempt to let the statute of limitations expire
- Misquoting the correct statute of limitations period to delay or deny your claim
- Using false or deliberately improper medical or legal terms to deny or minimize your claim
Protect you rights, in Dallas & Fort Worth, hire a Trustwothy, Aggressive Attorney, Contact the Law Firm of Matthew Pillado 1-800-672-3911