Accidents are expensive, and many victims naturally hope to receive compensation for their injuries. They collect medical bills and records, fill out insurance forms, and then wait for the insurer to make a reasonable settlement offer. Unfortunately, many victims discover that they will be waiting for a very long time.
Insurers have little incentive to quickly investigate a claim and then offer fair compensation. Instead, they have discovered over the past 20 years that it pays to drag their feet. Injured accident victims who cannot work and have high bills are desperate for money. Their natural temptation is to accept the first offer on the table—no matter how low it might be.
Please contact Roger Varner Injury Law if you were hurt in a car accident, slip and fall, truck accident or other accident. We will handle your claim and make sure insurers treat you fairly. Never agree to accept a settlement until you meet with our firm to review the terms of the offer.
Delay, Deny, Defend
Insurance companies have adopted this motto:
- Delay—delay investigation into who is at fault for an accident and delay any and all communication with injured victims.
- Deny—deny that their insured was liable for the accident no matter how obvious the proof.
- Defend—force an accident victim to go to court to obtain compensation even when fault is clear.
This strategy has been very lucrative for insurers, many of whom are some of the largest businesses in Alabama.
Sadly, the “delay, deny, defend” strategy does not work for injured victims, who need compensation. For example, if you were hurt in a car accident, you might need to get your car fixed and pay hospital and other medical bills. You also might have missed months of work, so there is no income coming into your home.
Insurers know you are feeling financial distress. That’s why they delay. After two months, you might just grab whatever offer they give you. They also are confident you cannot properly file a lawsuit in court and represent your interests. For example, if you wait too long, you will go past the Alabama statute of limitations and miss out on the ability to sue.
Examples of Insurance Bad Faith Tactics
Alabama has bad faith insurance laws that prohibit certain insurance company tactics. Most insurers are hoping you don’t know about these laws, which is why they often encourage victims not to hire a lawyer.
- Alabama’s bad faith laws prohibit certain tactics, such as:
- Intentionally misrepresenting the insurance policy
- Refusing to perform a diligent investigation into a claim
- Denying a claim without any investigation
- Delaying payment on a claim
- Offering less than the value of a claim
- Failing to provide a written explanation for a claim denial
- Refusing to provide requested information or documentation
- Making threats against a policyholder
How We Fight Back
If an insurer commits any of these acts, we might sue them. Depending on the claim, we might also seek punitive damages as a form of punishment. That would make more money available to a victim and light a fire under the insurer not to do this again.
We can also file a complaint with the Alabama Department of Insurance, who can open an investigation. An insurer needs permission before they can operate in Alabama, and the state has an incentive to prohibit shady insurance companies from preying on our residents.
Often, simply reminding an insurer of their obligation to use good faith is enough to spur them to act. We also do the following to strengthen your claim:
- Gather as much evidence as possible to show fault. The fault is often disputed, which can delay the settlement of any claim. We can interview witnesses and review all physical evidence. We might also find the video of the accident.
- Properly document your injuries. Insurers also like to claim that victims are exaggerating their injuries. We fully support your claim with medical records, doctor statements, and medical bills.
- Negotiate effectively. We won’t get sidetracked by irrelevant disputes. We stay focused on getting you the compensation you need.
Our firm also isn’t afraid to bring a lawsuit on your behalf if the insurance company won’t come forward with a reasonable settlement offer.
Are Insurers Giving You the Runaround?
Demand that insurers treat you with respect. Call Roger Varner Injury Law today to begin discussing your case. It is possible to get the money you need to pay bills and compensate you for your pain, but you’ll benefit from legal help. You can reach our personal injury lawyer by calling (833) 482-7637.