If you are a licensed driver in Alabama, you are required to be protected by a minimum amount of auto insurance. When another driver negligently causes an accident and you become injured, you have the right to pursue compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If the driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your expenses, you can pursue a claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with your own insurance policy.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always process claims ethically. If you have lost trust that your insurance company is processing your claim correctly, your insurance company may be acting in bad faith. If you have noticed that any of the following signs are occurring in your case, it is time to reach out to an experienced attorney.
1. Unreasonable Demands for Documentation
After a car accident, the insurance provider will probably begin demanding documentation. They will need to receive some documents to properly investigate whether your claim is legitimate. However, if you are finding their demands to be unreasonable, it is possible they are trying to intentionally make the process of obtaining compensation more difficult for you than it should be. For example, if the insurance company is demanding documents that are not related to your claim, they may be acting in bad faith.
2. Lack of Communication
Timing is crucial when it comes to auto insurance coverage. Sometimes auto insurance companies try to stall and delay processing a claim, hoping that the claimant will give up. If it is difficult or impossible to get in touch with a representative from the insurance company, there is a good chance they are not taking your claim seriously and acting in bad faith. Lack of communication is a red flag for bad faith practices.
They may be trying to put off paying your plan so your financial burdens intensify. Insurance companies know that the more desperate a person is to recover compensation, the more likely they are to accept a settlement offer that is far too low.
3. Delays in Investigation
Delaying the investigation into your claim is another tactic used by bad faith insurance companies. Under Alabama Law, you have a right to receive a fair payment from the insurance company within a reasonable amount of time as long as your claim is legitimate. This guarantee is part of your contract with the insurance company. If you are pursuing compensation through the negligent parties insurance company, there will not be a contractual agreement, but they still have a legal duty to investigate your claim in a timely manner and pay out a settlement when necessary.
Anytime an insurance company fails to investigate your claim within a reasonable amount of time, you may be dealing with a bad faith insurance company. Some insurance adjusters will delay the investigation, including delaying the inspection done on the damage. Delaying the investigation makes it easier for them to delay paying your claim.
4. Low Settlement Offers
We do not recommend accepting an insurance company’s first settlement offer. It has become common for auto insurance companies to offer settlements that are far too low. You have the right to negotiate the settlement amount through your attorney. If the initial offer from the insurance company is extremely low, it may be a red flag indicating that the insurance company is acting in bad faith.
5. Failure to Pay Your Claim
In egregious cases, an insurance company may fail to pay your claim. They may know that they have a legal and contractual obligation to pay your claim, but simply fail to pay your claim. In other cases, they will keep making excuses as to why they are not paying out your claim. In other cases, they may pay you less than what you deserve. If you have been waiting an unreasonable amount of time to receive your settlement, it is important that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
Contact an Alabama Bad Faith Insurance Company
Have you experienced one or more of the signs mentioned above? If so, your insurance company may be acting in bad faith. If you are having difficulty getting the settlement you deserve, the attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis are here to help. You may be entitled to compensation above the amount of your auto insurance claim. Contact the experienced insurance attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis to learn more about your legal options and obtain assistance in settling your claim.