Insurance companies almost always try to delay or even refuse to offer you the settlement you are owed after a serious injury. And if they offer to pay right away—be on alert. That usually means they are trying to settle cheaply before you know the full facts of your injuries or their liability.
When insurance companies blow you off, you should consider legal action to protect your rights. You have options available to you, and you have legal rights available when the insurance company tries to take advantage of you to protect their profits. Dealing with an insurance company is time-consuming, frustrating, and tiring.This is intentional conduct by the insurance company. The tactic of delay and deny is designed to wear you out and cause you to give up. Nothing will change unless a lawyer gets involved to stop this pattern of stalling.
Insurance Companies Make More Money When They Screw You
Never forget that an insurance company is a business set up to make money. Fairness, or doing the right thing, is not their mission. When an insurance company pays a claim, it is spending money that would otherwise go to their profits. This means that insurance adjusters are criticized, disciplined, or even terminated if they pay claims. The number one reason an insurance adjuster strings you along without settling is to get away with paying nothing or, if that is not possible, to pay you less than the claim is worth.
Unless the insurance adjuster believes you are a sucker who will settle your claim cheap, the insurance company will always try to delay payment. Adjusters know that if they delay people long enough, they often give up and abandon their claim. They also know that the longer they delay, the harder it will be for you to prove your claim and make a recovery.
Why Do Insurance Companies Delay Payment?
- You might give up. Insurance adjusters know that if they wait long enough, you might become desperate as medical bills go past due at the same time that you miss work because of your injuries. These factors put financial pressure on you that the adjuster is ready to exploit for the benefit of the insurance company. The goal for the insurance company is to delay until you are so desperate, you will take whatever crumbs they throw at you.
- You might blow the statute of limitations. Legal claims in Texas are controlled by statutes of limitations that restrict the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. Once that time passes, you have lost your opportunity to force the company to pay. Even if you have a very strong case, you can lose it through delay.
You might lose evidence. Legal claims require evidence, and evidence can be lost through delay. You may have a statement from a witness, but you will need that witness to testify at trial. Years after the crash, can you even find the witness? And if you do, will they remember the event? What is they have moved out of state or even passed away? This also applies to police officers, who are often good witnesses but not if they are no longer available to testify.
What Are Your Rights When An Insurance Company Denies Your Claim?
Many people, including lawyers who don’t handle many car crashes, like to talk about an insurance company acting in “bad faith.” That just a bunch of B.S. The other driver’s insurance company doesn’t owe you any duty to act in good faith. Refer back to the beginning of this article. Insurance is a business. Your rights are actually against the driver who hit you, not the insurance company. In Texas, you have no right to sue the insurance company until after you have sued the driver and gotten a judgment.
Speak With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Right Away
The other driver’s insurance company is your enemy and is not your friend. You certainly have the right to handle the case yourself and can even file your own lawsuit. But unless you are willing to do that and have the experience to do that, get a lawyer. Even if you file a lawsuit on your own, the insurance adjuster may think you will just give up, but they will not think that once a lawyer is handling the case.
Any lawyer licensed in Texas can file a lawsuit. But a lot of them shouldn’t do that. When selecting a lawyer, ask if that firm is managed by a lawyer who is board certified in personal injury trial law. That means that at least 25% of that lawyer’s practice is personal injury, and your case is not handled by someone with fifty divorce cases and one car crash.
Ask how many lawsuits they have filed in the last few years and—most importantly—how many they have taken to trial. Ask if they actually handle the claim, or if they pass it off to non-lawyers in the firm. Ask how many cases the firm handles per lawyer. Eighty cases per lawyer is too many, even if the facts are straightforward. And with complex cases, more than a couple of dozen per lawyer is too many. If a firm has a thousand cases and 30 lawyers, the cases are being handled by legal assistants.
Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here To Protect You
If you are getting jerked around by the insurance company, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We are happy to talk with you about your case. There’s no downside to getting a no-cost consultation from a firm run by a board certified personal injury attorney. To request a consultation, complete the contact form or call/text us at 469-466-2600.