Some auto insurance companies will use fair practices and offer sufficient compensation after a car accident. Other auto insurance companies will use bad faith insurance practices to delay claims and confuse customers about their eligibility for compensation. This leaves some drivers without compensation after an accident. Do not let this happen to you by asking a Kansas City car accident attorney about your options.
How to Recognize Bad Faith Insurance Tactics
Recognizing bad faith insurance tactics is not always easy but essential when you are in need of compensation. The expenses of a car accident can add up fast and become overwhelming. Bad faith insurance tactics can prevent you from receiving the car accident compensation needed to cover these expenses.
First, be wary of any contracts or forms the auto insurance agent asks you to sign. Avoid signing anything until consulting with a car accident lawyer first. A common tactic is to have you sign away your option to file a lawsuit or to receive compensation from the insurance company. This could mean no compensation at all.
Auto insurance companies also use confusing words and phrases to deceive customers into agreeing to unfair deals. In some cases, this may involve bad faith practices that deny you the compensation you need. This can also lead to accepting an unfair deal, settlement, or policy.
A good strategy is to not accept the first settlement offered by the auto insurance company. First, calculate all the financial losses you suffered from the car accident and then consider consulting with a lawyer to determine your eligibility for additional compensation. Depending on the damages you suffered from the car accident, you could be eligible for additional compensation.
Additional compensation might be offered for pain and suffering or emotional distress. A lawyer can look over the wording and negotiate with the insurance agent to maximize your chances of a fair deal. This means maximizing the compensation you could be eligible for based on the damages you suffered. You may not have to settle for less compensation than you need.
Some insurance companies delay claims until the statute of limitations is up for your personal injury claim. Once this happens, you may not have access to taking legal action for compensation. Other insurance companies will outright deny a car accident claim for insufficient reasons. Signs of bad faith practices like this include:
- Refusing to take additional evidence
- Denying claims for unknown reasons
- Denying claims for insufficient reasons
- Not communicating about your claim
Depending on what happened, you could be eligible to receive compensation for damages caused by bad faith insurance practices. These damages may include the original car accident damages you suffered and punitive damages. Punitive damages are usually only offered in situations of severe misconduct. Unlike other damages, punitive damages are designed to punish the party responsible for damages.
Legal Options for Bad Faith Insurance
You do not have to put up with bad faith insurance practices. Understanding the way auto insurance companies usually investigate car accident claims may help you detect bad faith tactics. A car accident claim is investigated with evidence, documents, and interviews.
When there are pictures, videos, and legal papers that support the damages you suffered in the accident, you could be eligible for compensation. If you have submitted all the requested documents and you know you submitted evidence, and your claim is still denied, then this might be a sign of bad faith. At this point, you have legal options like:
- Hiring a lawyer to negotiate a settlement
- Small claims court
Knowing when to hire a lawyer can be helpful. A personal injury lawyer can help you detect bad faith insurance tactics, take action against them, and increase your chances of substantial compensation. Not only can an experienced lawyer help you when the insurance agent refuses to pay your claim, but a lawyer can help you solve:
- Disputed car accident claims
- Delayed car accident claims
- Requesting additional compensation for severe injuries
Try contacting a Kansas City car accident lawyer to explore these legal options. A lawyer can help you determine the best options for your unique situation. Once hired, your lawyer will be able to conduct many activities on your behalf like:
- Collection of evidence
- Building and organizing a strong car accident claim
- Helping you answer questions from the auto insurance company
- Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company
- Following up with the insurance company on document requests
- Taking the next legal steps when you are offered an unfair deal
These next legal steps vary based on how much the auto insurance representative cooperates. Some insurance companies will refuse negotiations, arbitration, and mediation. When all this fails, you may be left with taking your car accident claim to trial in court. Many people will try to avoid going to trial due to the length and tedious nature of this process.
However, going to trial might become the only way left to obtain the compensation you need to fully recover from the car accident. Do not hesitate to bring up any of your concerns or questions about this process to your lawyer. A lawyer can advise you about your legal options and what to expect when going to trial. running through the costs and benefits of going to trial can be helpful for deciding.
Choosing the right lawyer for you is also important. Some lawyers provide free case consultations that can help you decide whether to work with them. Take advantage of this opportunity by asking burning questions and finding out about the lawyer’s experience and caseload. Make sure the lawyer you choose has experience with car accidents and personal injury cases.
Kansas City Accident Attorney
You may not have to settle for little to no compensation if bad faith insurance is involved. Take action by calling Peterson & Associates, P.C. today by dialing (816) 888-8888 to speak with a Kansas City car accident lawyer for a free consultation about your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to help you secure compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.