How to Tell if the Insurance Company is Giving You the Runaround for Your Motor Vehicle Accident Claim
Insurance companies are fundamentally opposed to their policyholders. Though pernicious advertising has sold insurance companies as “allies,” the truth is quite a bit different from the marketed fantasy. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyer knows that insurance companies benefit when they take a position that is adverse to claimants. When legitimate claimants are denied coverage, paid out less than expected, or choose not to pursue their claims, then the insurance company gets to keep money that they would have otherwise been required to hand-over to the policyholder.
Given this dynamic, insurance companies are incentivized to act (in sometimes devious ways) so that they can avoid having to payout legitimate claims, or at the very least, to reduce the amount they have to payout.
Fortunately, the law shields policyholders. Insurance companies have a duty to act in good faith towards their policyholders, and that duty is broadly applicable — if your insurer fails to act responsively (with respect to your accident claim), loses important documentation, or has made an adverse decision on your claim without proper justification, then you may have an actionable bad faith claim against them for damages.
So, how can you tell that if an insurance company is giving you the runaround on your motor vehicle accident claim? Let’s take a look at some common tactics utilized by insurance companies.
Active Investigation of Your Claim
When an insurance company communicates to you that they are actively investigating the claim at-issue, then there is a high likelihood that they are doing whatever they can to find weaknesses in your claim — in the wake of a motor vehicle accident, many insurers conduct an independent factual investigation, of course, but an extended investigation may be indicative that the insurance company smells “blood in the water” and is looking aggressively for a justification to deny or undervalue the claim.
Refusal to Cover Immediate Expenses
In the wake of a motor vehicle accident, our Phoenix personal injury lawyer knows that chances are that you have immediate expenses associated with your losses: medical expenses, wage loss, and property damage, among other things. If your insurer refuses to provide a small, advance payment to cover at least a portion of these immediate losses, then that may be indicative of their intent to undermine your overall claim.
Refusal to Approve Medical Treatment
If the insurer believes that your injuries fall under a coverage exclusion, or that you simply do not qualify for coverage, then they are very likely to refuse to approve medical treatment. In fact, they may even refuse to approve medical treatment if they believe that you are entitled to coverage, but that your injuries are being exaggerated or that the treatment sought is unnecessary.
Confusion, Missing Documentation, and Delays
If you sense that the insurer is acting in a confused manner — in other words, if they are asking for documentation that you already submitted or are “messing up” the submission process so as to create administrative headaches for you — then they may be engaging in a stalling tactic designed to intimidate you and wear you down mentally. If you are exhausted by claim submission and processing, then you are more likely to accept an undervalued payout. You may even decide that it is not worth the effort and emotional burden to challenge an adverse decision, such as a claim denial.
Contact a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon for Legal Assistance
If you have had your insurance claim denied, undervalued, or are in preparations to submit an insurance claim, we can help. After a motor vehicle accident, it’s important that you secure the guidance of a Phoenix personal injury lawyer with a track record of success in navigating the challenges of the insurance claims process.
Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our team has over 65 years of combined experience advocating for plaintiffs and motor vehicle insurance claimants. Quite simply, we have “seen it all” — we understand the unethical tactics employed by insurance companies and how to effectively overcome them.
Ready to move forward? Send us a case evaluation form through our website to request a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We are available 24/7 to respond to any inquiries that you may have concerning your claims.