Scott P. Landry
Understanding Insurance Bad Faith Tactics
According to a Lawyers.com survey, personal injury victims who accepted the first settlement offer received nearly $31,000 less than those who negotiated. When an individual files an injury claim, all insurers are required to investigate, negotiate, and settle the claims in good faith. Unfortunately, some of these insurance providers use bad faith tactics such as lowballing, denying valid claims, misrepresenting the law, or offering significantly low first settlement offers.
If the insurance company has denied your injury claim or is negotiating in bad faith, consulting with a knowledgeable Colorado personal injury attorney is crucial to protect your rights. Our attorneys at Landry Law, P.C., can determine whether your claims have been affected by bad faith tactics. We will fight passionately to represent your best interests and help you recover your rightful compensation. We are proud to serve clients throughout Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Denver, Lone Tree, and Trinidad, Colorado.
Common Bad Faith Tactics
Being involved in an accident is often painful and overwhelming. This is made worse when the insurance company fails to honor its contract. Dishonest or unfair practices by the insurance provider are referred to as bad faith tactics. Some common bad faith tactics include:
Lowball First Offer
Most insurance companies have a policy of lowballing or offering relatively low first settlement offers. Offering lower than the real worth of an injury claim is an act of bad faith. The same also applies to settling an injury claim for an unreasonable amount. Insurers know that most people will take the first offer they receive because they are feeling pressured for money to pay bills for damages to their vehicle and for injuries.
Long or Unreasonable Delays
Colorado law stipulates that a valid injury claim should be accepted or denied within 60 days. Some insurance companies may cause unreasonable delays by failing to respond to communications or not investigating the claims. These unnecessary delay tactics are often employed to see whether the policyholder will stop pursuing the claims.
Failing to Conduct a Thorough Investigation
Insurance companies are required to carry out prompt and thorough investigations once a policyholder files an injury claim. Failing to conduct a thorough investigation is an act of bad faith.
Furthermore, Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state meaning that if the injured party is determined to have been 50 percent or more liable for the accident then they forfeit the right to receive compensation for their injuries. To claim liability requires a thorough and comprehensive investigation that insurance companies often fail to perform. Yet, they will cite modified comparative negligence as a means for avoiding paying for injuries.
Misrepresentation of the Law
The insurance provider may also intentionally misrepresent the policy’s coverage or interpret policy language against the plaintiff. As part of their duty of good faith and fair dealing, insurance providers must be truthful and honest in their statements about the insurance policy and the law.
Making Threatening Statements
Insurance companies are required to treat policyholders in a professional and respectful manner. Making threatening statements to policyholders or third parties who make injury claims is an act of bad faith.
- Denying valid claims without giving any reason
- Refusing to pay a valid claim
- Offering considerably less money than the true worth of a claim
- Refusing reasonable requests for documentation from policyholders
- Using deceptive practices or hiding crucial information in order not to pay the claimant
What is Your Attorney’s Role in Settlement?
Dealing with an insurance company after an auto accident can be difficult and frustrating. If the insurer has denied your injury claim or if you believe that they are using bad faith tactics, you can have legal counsel negotiate on your behalf. Hiring an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney is important to protect your rights and for proper guidance.
Our attorneys at Landry Law, P.C., have dedicated their careers to handling matters of denied claims and bad faith insurance tactics. As your legal counsel, we will review your case and investigate the insurance company’s conduct. Using our years of experience and in-depth knowledge of Colorado insurance law, we will negotiate to recover fair compensation for your injuries.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Lone Tree, Colorado
If you were hurt in a negligent auto accident and believe that an insurance company is negotiating in bad faith with respect to your injury claims, call the Landry Law, P.C. today to schedule a free one-on-one case assessment. Our experienced team will fight compassionately to protect your rights and help you recover your deserved compensation. We proudly serve clients throughout Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Denver, Lone Tree, and Trinidad, Colorado.