Car Accident Lawyer Maricopa County AZ
When Your Insurers Don’t Properly Adjust Your Motor Vehicle Damage Claim
Because we pay for insurance, we expect it to be there for us when we need it. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always live up to their responsibilities. So what options do you have if your vehicle was badly damaged/destroyed in a car accident but your insurer tries to significantly underpay the claim? and your insurance company’s failure to properly adjust property damage to automobiles.
Discrepancies Between Adjusters and Mechanics
One common problem is that adjusters will offer an amount to fix your car despite knowing that the actual costs are significantly higher. Let’s say that your car is badly damaged in an accident. It is not considered a total loss, but a mechanic estimates the repairs at $8,000. Based on a cursory look at your car, your insurance adjuster offers to settle your claim for just $4,000. He won’t change his mind despite you providing a written estimate showing that the repair costs are twice as high.
Now you’re stuck. Repair shops need to know they are getting paid, either by you or the insurance company. But you can’t pay the difference out of pocket and your insurer won’t cut you a check until you agree to settle for less.
Hiring Your Own Attorney
Insurance companies have attorneys working for them, and you should, too. In many cases, simply being represented by your own attorney can be enough to make your insurance company take you seriously. They may pay a claim they would otherwise deny or pay the full value of a claim they would otherwise lowball. In such cases, hiring an attorney may be well worth the cost even if the case doesn’t escalate to litigation. If it does escalate, however, your attorney will already be familiar with the case and ready to aggressively advocate for you in court.
Filing an Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit
If your insurance company continues to behave unethically and unreasonably, you can file what’s known as an insurance bad faith claim. This litigation alleges that your insurer owed you a duty to act in good faith due to your relationship as a policyholder, yet acted in bad faith when investigating or paying your claim.
Examples of bad-faith actions could include:
- Failing to conduct a proper investigation into your claim (including accurately assessing damage to your vehicle)
- Low-balling your claim (offering far less than the claim is worth despite evidence of its actual value)
- Unreasonably delaying payment on a valid claim
- Rejecting your claim but not giving a reason for doing so
- Admitting that your claim is valid but refusing to pay it
- Canceling your policy just because you filed a claim
- Refusing to comply when you reasonably request documentation relevant to your claim or policy
Insurance companies are powerful, but they are not invincible. And by fighting back with the help of your own lawyer, you are advocating for yourself and for others who may have been ripped off by bad-faith practices
Contact an Attorney Today