Does the Insurer’s Handling of Your Claim Break the Law?
June 9, 2021
If you have ever had to file a car insurance claim, you probably know insurance companies are often looking for ways to get out of paying compensation. Many policyholders face delays, unnecessary paperwork and misleading statements. Sometimes policyholders cannot even find out why their claim was denied.
Unfortunately, these kinds of things are often par for the course when dealing with insurance companies. However, these types of practices may be against the law, as insurance companies are prohibited from acting in bad faith.
Unsure if the insurance company has been breaking the law in its handling of your claim? The experienced Phoenix-based auto accident lawyers at Phillips Law Group are ready to help. We have decades of experience dealing with insurance companies that look for any way to deny or undervalue claims, and have helped numerous crash victims secure compensation for damages.
Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about our services.
Insurance Companies are Required to Act in Good Faith
When a driver purchases insurance, he or she is entering a contract with the insurance company agreeing to pay the insurance company so it will cover damages caused by an accident.
As Arizona is an at-fault state, crash victims typically file claims against the liability insurance of the at-fault driver. These can also be referred to as third-party claims. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is still required to act in good faith when you file a claim.
Acting in good faith means treating you fairly. The insurer should attempt to resolve things promptly, answer your questions and not create unreasonable delays.
Arizona’s Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act prohibits insurance companies from engaging in a variety of bad faith practices such as:
- Misrepresenting the terms of the insurance policy
- Misrepresenting the facts of the case
- Failing to offer a settlement if liability for the accident is reasonably clear
- Offering a settlement for far less than should be expected based on the insurer’s advertisements
- Failing to explain why a claim was denied
- Failing to explain the reasons behind a settlement offer
- Denying a claim when a denial is unreasonable based on an adequate investigation
- Concealing evidence
- Failing to finish an investigation within 30 days of the claim being filed
- Denying a claim without investigating
Even if you have good reason to suspect an insurance company is acting in bad faith, it can be difficult to try to manage the situation alone. Insurance companies are not concerned about crash victims filing lawsuits on their own.
By bringing in an experienced attorney with a track record of success, the insurance company may be more likely to take your claim seriously. Insurance companies often want to avoid the courtroom, as there is no telling how much a jury may award. The insurance company is likely to pay out less in a settlement than they would have to pay out because of a jury verdict.
Why Do Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith?
It all boils down to money. Insurance companies do not want to pay out compensation. If they can find a way to avoid paying compensation or find a way to pay much less than a claim may be worth, they will do it.
Insurance companies know you need money during this difficult time. If they delay the resolution of your claim, you may accept whatever lowball offer they make. They also know delaying a settlement helps run out the clock on the statute of limitations, giving you less time to try to file a lawsuit if the insurance company denies the claim or makes a lowball offer you do not want to accept.
Insurance companies also know most crash victims do not know their rights, particularly as it pertains to insurance companies acting in good faith. Which is why having an experienced attorney on your side is important to help protect your rights.
Will I Need to File a Bad Faith Claim?
This is a question best answered by a licensed attorney. However, once you bring an attorney on board, it may not be necessary to file a bad faith claim to get the money you need for your crash claim.
If the insurance company tells you hiring a lawyer is a bad idea, consider the reasons why they may be saying that. They probably know injury victims represented by attorneys often recover more compensation compared to those who go it alone.
Having Trouble with the Insurance Company? Call Phillips Law Group
There is often a lot of uncertainty after a car crash. There is one thing you can be sure of: the insurance company will be looking for some way to avoid paying fair compensation.
Seeking legal representation can be one of the most important things to do after a crash. An experienced lawyer from Phillips Law Group is ready to deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Our firm has obtained millions on behalf of crash victims, and we know how to deal with insurance companies.
We do not charge upfront fees for our services and the initial consultation is free of charge.
Contact us today for help with your claim: 1-800-706-3000 .
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Kathy Hudson and Donato Giovanatto. Continues to go above and beyond the call of duty. Reaching out to the insurance company about the damage to the vehicle. Forcing them to take responsibility.
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Phillips Law Group does so much for the community!!! I especially enjoy seeing Juan Roque out there. This gentle giant always has a smile on his face and is a part of a caring and giving team.
My paralegal , Caroline , was on top of her game - very responsive and always answered any questions I had and in a timely manner . My attorney Rob ,was the best attorney I ever had . He explained everything in great detail and had a great sense or humor . He really knows how to bring light To tough , unfortunate situations - I would absolutely recommend them at anyone -
I would have no hesitation at all recommending Phillips Law Group. In particular, Juan Roque has impressed me with his professionalism, his integrity and his heart for the community!
I have been with Phillips Law Group for a little over a year and I have learned what teamwork and family in a workplace looks like. There is always someone around to lend a helping hand, which is something I appreciate and cherish. I feel a sense of joy coming to work every day because of my co-workers as well as being able to help people in what can be a scary and stressful situation. I currently work as a Litigation Legal Assistant with an amazing team. When I started here, I was not very knowledgeable in personal injury. I was lucky to have been placed with an amazing team who was willing to take time to teach and pass on some great skills that have been a huge aid in helping me be successful in my position. I would recommend working here at Phillips Law Group, because they care about their employees and there is so much room for growth.
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They knew exactly how to explain the case to me in a way that I would understand it. They gave me hope that my life wasn’t over.
Phillips Law Group has a proven track record of success. Juan Roque, in particular, is integral to that. He works with integrity, compassion, and an undefeated optimism that makes him a valuable asset.