If you have been injured and are filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company, you need to know some of the bad-faith insurance practices that some insurers use to avoid paying out on claims. These unethical practices can range from denying a valid claim outright to delaying the claims process in hopes that a claimant will simply give up.
Contact our Santa Fe personal injury lawyer at Slate Stern Law to get the guidance you need when filing an injury claim for compensation. We can help you protect your rights when dealing with the insurance company and ensure that the insurer does not take advantage of you during your most vulnerable time.
Bad-Faith Insurance Practices
Here are some of the common bad-faith insurance practices to look out for when filing a personal injury claim.
1. Failing to Conduct a Thorough or Prompt Investigation
Insurance companies are obligated to investigate any claims thoroughly and in a timely manner. If your insurance company fails to do so, they may be acting in bad faith. Look out for a lack of communication, missed deadlines, or delayed investigations.
2. Delaying the Claims Process
If your insurance company is dragging its feet and delaying your claim indefinitely, this may be a sign of bad faith. Be aware of excessive delays in communication or payment, and do not hesitate to follow up with your adjuster if you feel like your case isn’t being handled properly.
The problem with unreasonable delays in the claims process is that you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after getting injured. New Mexico law gives injured victims three years from the date of the accident to sue the negligent party (New Mexico Statutes § 37-1-8).
3. Making a Lowball Offer
Insurance companies may attempt to settle a claim quickly with a lowball offer in an attempt to save money. Be aware of this tactic, and always consult a personal injury attorney to make sure you are getting a fair settlement.
4. Misrepresenting the Policy
If your insurance company is misrepresenting your policy or the amount of coverage you have available, this is a red flag. Make sure you understand your policy and be wary of any tactics that may limit your coverage.
5. Refusing to Pay a Valid Claim
If your insurance company is refusing to pay a valid claim, this is a clear indication of bad faith. Consult a personal injury attorney to discuss your options and fight for your rights.
6. Denying a Claim with No Reasonable Basis
If your insurance company denies your claim without a reasonable basis, this may be a sign of bad faith. Be sure to ask questions and request a detailed explanation if your claim is denied.
7. Making Threatening Statements
If your insurance company is making threatening statements or engaging in other intimidation tactics, this is a clear sign of bad faith. Do not let the insurance company bully you into accepting an unfair settlement. Consult with an attorney to protect your rights and hold the insurance company accountable.
Your Insurer Acting in Bad Faith? Contact Slate Stern Law
Filing a personal injury claim can be overwhelming, and dealing with an insurance company that engages in bad-faith practices only adds to the stress. By understanding how insurers operate, you can be better equipped to recognize when an insurance company is acting unethically.
If you suspect that your insurance company is not acting in your best interest, contact a lawyer immediately. Our lawyer at Slate Stern Law can help you hold the insurance company accountable for their actions while helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call (505) 814-1517 for a case evaluation.