When another driver causes a car accident in New Orleans, you might have a personal injury claim against the driver for damages and losses. The driver’s car insurance carrier typically handles your injury claim. Many insurance companies act in good faith when handling an injury claim, even though they may attempt to pay as little as possible to settle an accident claim. However, what happens when an insurance company acts in bad faith?
If an insurance company refuses to pay a valid injury claim or significantly undervalues a claim, it may be acting in bad faith. The best way to determine if the insurance company for the other driver is acting in bad faith is to contact a New Orleans car accident attorney for a free case review to discuss your claim.
Why Do Car Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith?
Insurance companies deny claims for a variety of reasons. Many of the reasons an insurance company gives for refusing to pay an accident claim may be valid. For example, legitimate reasons that an insurance company may have for denying an accident claim include:
- The insurance coverage lapsed;
- The insurance policy did not cover the driver or vehicle;
- The event was not a covered event under the insurance contract; and,
- The driver was not responsible for causing the collision.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies act in bad faith when denying an accident claim. The reason for bad faith insurance tactics is simple. An insurance company does not make money by paying insurance claims. Therefore, some companies go to great lengths to avoid paying an injury claim. Some companies cross the line in the attempt to save money and protect their profit margins.
Examples of Bad Faith Insurance Tactics
There are many ways an insurance company can act in bad faith. The acts may take place during any phase of the claims process.
Examples of bad faith insurance tactics include, but are not limited to:
- Failing to initiate a prompt and impartial investigation into the cause of the car accident.
- Intentionally misrepresenting the terms of the insurance contract.
- Intentionally concealing evidence that proves the insured caused the accident.
- Failing to provide a valid reason for denying an insurance claim.
- Offering a settlement amount that is much lower than the actual value of the claim.
- Aggressively pressuring an accident victim to accept a low settlement offer that does not compensate the person for his or her losses and damages.
- Requiring unnecessary steps or documentation in an attempt to delay the settlement of the claim.
- Failing to disclose all coverage under the insurance contract that could provide compensation for the accident victim.
- Intentionally misrepresenting personal injury, insurance, or contract laws.
- Making threatening or harassing statements.
- Refusing to pay a valid claim.
If the insurance company is not treating you fairly, it is in your best interest to consult with a NOLA car accident attorney immediately.
Contact a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer for Help
It can be challenging to identify acts of bad faith if you are not an attorney. If you suspect that the insurance company may not be treating you fairly, it could be an instance of bad faith insurance tactics. Bad faith claims are separate and apart from your insurance claim. You may be entitled to additional compensation if the insurance company has engaged in bad faith practices.
Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm to discuss your car accident and insurance claim. Call (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free consultation with a New Orleans insurance claims attorney.