There Is No Excuse for Insurer Bad Faith — Call a Really Good Lawyer
The law firm of Rodriguez & Associates is primarily a personal injury firm, so our handling of bad faith insurance claims might seem to be a small part of our practice. Most personal injury cases are though, in truth, insurance disputes, in that the injured person wants (and almost always deserves) more compensation than the insurance company wishes to pay. Our Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyers are highly experienced in handling insurance bad faith claims and other insurance disputes.
Has your insurance company refused to pay you for damages following a car accident or other insured incident? Do you face unpaid medical bills that your insurer says it is not responsible for following an accident? Has your insurer refused to defend you in a lawsuit?
We are the Bakersfield insurance bad faith attorneys of Rodriguez & Associates. We believe strongly that, when an insurance company fails to do for a consumer what it as paid to do, it should be held responsible.
Insurance companies’ interests are served when you accept their decisions at face value. If you have questions regarding whether your insurer is acting in bad faith, contact us. We can provide knowledgeable counsel and a recommendation at no charge. We have handled hundreds of legal cases involving whether or not insurers are liable for damages, and to what degree.
We are also highly experienced in litigating against insurers in courts. Insurers know that when we disagree with their coverage claims, they will face us in court. They’re often willing to back down and to compromise rather than “test” their opinions in front of a judge and jury. For more information, please contact our firm.
Contact One of Our Bakersfield Bad Faith Litigation Attorneys
Rodriguez & Associates is conveniently located in downtown Bakersfield, California, in the oldest free-standing brick building in the county. We are available for weekend and evening appointments, charge no fee consultations and speak both English and Spanish. To contact us, please call 661-323-1400 or 800-585-9262 Toll Free to schedule a free consultation with one of our Bakersfield insurance bad faith attorneys today.
You’ve taken steps to guarantee vehicle coverage under the state’s requirements – and maybe you’re even paying for some extra coverage. So, when a rock cracks your windshield, you’re in a fender bender, or a semi-truck hits your car on the highway, you expect compensation and to be back on the road in as little time as possible. That’s the service you’ve been paying for, isn’t it?
The truth is that the relationship between insurers and their clients isn’t exactly straightforward. Insurance companies must be as thorough as possible to ensure claims are accurate, and customers need to know their rights to make sure they receive adequate compensation for any damages. Sometimes, these goals don’t align. Your insurer may deny your claim, a client may not receive the amount he or she needs, and other hurdles may pop up along the way.
Insurance Nightmares – And How You Can Avoid Them
Depending on the incident and damage, insurance claims often involve far more than upfront costs. Imagine, for example, that you’re involved in a high-speed collision and you total your vehicle, but otherwise, everyone seems okay. You don’t feel the need to go to a doctor, and the other driver’s insurance company makes an offer that covers your vehicle completely. Later, however, you start to notice dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. You go to the hospital and need treatment for a concussion.
Many people who accept initial settlement offers unknowingly waive important rights. In this case, a victim’s long-term pain and suffering as well as any ongoing treatments may not be covered. Luckily, there are some red flags you can watch for and steps to take to avoid these pitfalls:
- Unrealistic promises: The adjuster or agent you speak to won’t say, “Hello friend, we’re going to pay you the minimum amount possible to protect our interests.” Expect what seems like a positive customer experience at first. These professionals will sympathize with you, claim to understand your situation, and assure you that you’ll receive a fair settlement. Don’t let your guard down.
- Acting too fast – or taking too long: Insurance companies may minimize payouts by responding immediately with an insufficient amount or hold out until you’re desperate for any payout.
- Encouraging you to work without an attorney: Though some minor insurance claims may not be worth attorney’s fees and a drawn-out dispute, an insurance company should never advise you go it alone. The best decision in the event of a denied insurance claim is to hire an experienced insurance bad faith lawyer.
- Trying to twist your words (or actions): You must be careful what you say when you’re working with an insurance company. If medical damages are involved, for example, saying that you’re “doing well” when you answer the phone may be leveraged against you. Similarly, if they start asking for medical authorization to access your records, contact an attorney for help.
This is just a brief overview – insurers have many more tricks up their sleeves. Though your situation likely won’t lead to long-term litigation, you should still know what you can do to steer clear of these traps.
How Can I Avoid These Situations?
When you’re in any situation where you may want to file an insurance claim, be thorough (and honest – insurers will scrutinize your claim for any excuse to throw it out) and don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. If you provide inadequate or inconsistent documentation, adjusters will use that to lower your payout or pressure you to settle for a token payout. This becomes even more complicated when you’re dealing with another person’s insurance company. These parties aren’t representing you, so don’t expect to simply sit back and collect.
If you encounter any of the red flags outlined above, reach out to a lawyer for more information. Simply knowing a personal injury lawyer has your back is often enough to keep adjusters in check. For more information on insurance laws in California, contact the compassionate legal team at Rodriguez & Associates today.