Most of the time after a car accident, you’ll be dealing with your insurance company. You’ll need to review your policy, determine if the other person’s policy can pay for any of your damages, and calculate what you believe you’re owed for your damages—which could involve medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Unfortunately, insurance policies are complex and it’s not uncommon for drivers to be unaware of aspects of their policy and what their rights or obligations are. Adjusters may try to take advantage of that to reduce what their company pays out. But what happens if the adjuster makes an error? Let’s take a look at how you know if your insurance company made a mistake with your claim after an accident.
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Common Auto Insurance Company Mistakes
As a defensive-minded, responsible driver with well-maintained auto insurance, you expect the claims process to go smoothly; however, that’s not always the case. There are a number of mistakes that an insurance company or their counsel can make. Because of that, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of your policy before an accident—this way, you’ll be able to recognize mistakes before they jeopardize your claim.
Some of the more common mistakes insurance companies make include the following:
- Delaying a claim with no explanation
- Failing to notify underlying plaintiffs in claims involving bodily injury
- Moving all claims activity to the attorneys
- Denying a claim that’s advertised as covered
- Neglecting rules regarding the right to independent counsel
No matter the type of mistake your insurance company makes, it’s important to be able to recognize the error and take the necessary steps to ensure it doesn’t affect your right to recovery.
When an Insurance Company Error Affects Your Claim
If you believe your insurance company made a mistake after your auto accident, you’ll want to first focus on gathering evidence of the error. Review your policy before and after you speak with the adjuster. Make notes of any discrepancies or errors—regardless of how minor. When you do speak with the adjuster, take notes during the conversation and ensure you keep them in a safe place.
Remember that insurance companies cannot misrepresent your insurance policy, meaning you have a valid complaint if the policy you signed is different from what you’re dealing with after a crash. It’s also important to note that insurance companies cannot change your coverage without informing you in writing.
If the error cannot be resolved by your agent, you’ll have to make a written request to your insurance company. The letter should state the problem clearly and how you want it resolved. Your lawyer can help you with formatting and ensure nothing is left out.
If the insurance company does not resolve the mistake, you have the option of filing a complaint with the state. The state’s department of insurance will investigate the incident and you should have a resolution within a matter of months.
Insurance Company Mistakes and Bad Faith
If your insurance company’s mistake results in a failure to pay out on your valid claim, the company may be acting in bad faith. Bad faith happens when an insurance company wrongfully denies a claim without a reasonable basis. It’s important to note that bad faith has not been committed if the insurance company made a mistake but had a reasonable basis to do so.
If you think you’re dealing with a potential bad faith claim, it’s important to consult a lawyer—as proving bad faith is often challenging. In the event bad faith is found, damages will typically be based on the initial claim and any consequential damages that arose because of the denial.
Get Full and Fair Compensation With Thomas Law Offices
Trying to deal with an insurance company after a car accident is challenging, especially when you’re in the midst of physically and emotionally recovering. That’s why it’s best to work with an experienced law firm that can handle the paperwork, conversations, and negotiations for you.
When you work with Thomas Law Offices, we’ll thoroughly review your auto insurance policy and ensure that all documents given to you by your insurance adjuster are correct. In the event of a discrepancy or error, we’ll be sure it’s addressed and doesn’t jeopardize your right to full and fair compensation.
To get started on your claim, contact us today. We’ll review your situation and help you determine how best to proceed to secure your recovery and future.