Category: Insurance lawyers

fraud

Is the Insurance Company Insinuating Fraud Due to Your Financial Issues?

One of the worst parts about dealing with an accident that brings on an insurance claim is the element of surprise—and for sure, it’s not a good one–especially if you find an insurer is acting in bad faith or even accusing you of something like fraud. A car wreck is a perfect example. For most of us, any day is busy, and as we travel along our neighborhood streets or city highways, our usual goal is to get to work and then come home, along with completing errands, and getting children wherever they need to go, safely. Dealing with a car accident is much more than an inconvenience. It could even be catastrophic, resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.

Most of us are aware of the basic steps to take after a car accident, from seeking medical care to calling the police and sharing contact information so that we can file an insurance claim in a streamlined manner and with evidence—including everything from photos of the damage to the details of the police report to contact information for witnesses who were on the scene at the time; or, you may have endured some other type of disaster such as damage to your home. Homeowners’ claims are particularly devastating not only because as they say, home is where the heart is, but also because this is where you want to live and need to rest. To be uncomfortable in your own home or forced to leave in the case of damage can be incredibly stressful. To have unreasonable delays from the insurance company in the face of such distress can be extremely frustrating too, leaving you at your wits end.

While you may have done everything just right from beginning to end, from researching your insurance needs and finding an insurance agent, to paying your premiums, keeping up with your policies, and filing any claims in a timely manner and in good faith, the insurance company may not respond how you would expect or want, and especially if they are in the habit of practicing bad faith. This is often demonstrated with outright denials, unreasonable delays, and lowball offers, but there are many other forms of bad faith.

Unfortunately, intimidation of policyholders is all too common too, and you may be experiencing one of the most aggressive tactics, which is to accuse you of fraud. While just asking for excessive documentation or delaying indefinitely could be enough to cause some policyholders to get sick of the process and walk away—giving up thousands of dollars in the process—accusing someone of fraud (which could be a felony) takes the process to a new level.

The insurer bringing in a fraud investigation unit means more delays, plus the opportunity to put you in the hot seat. In the beginning, your claim may have seemed very straightforward, but in the face of such aggressive action, you may wonder if it was worth filing a claim when you are suddenly being asked to give tape recorded interviews, submit to many questions, and perhaps even give an examination under oath. This is when the process becomes scary, and you should not be navigating it alone. Consult with a bad faith insurance attorney who knows how to handle large insurance companies and will act in your best interest when they are not.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

legal representation

Insurers Behave Much Differently When You Have Legal Representation

After a car accident, no matter how mild or severe, you expect your insurance company to be there to help without having to enlist legal representation. This is exactly what they are paid to do, after all—and paid well according to ongoing statistics that show billions of dollars of profits pouring into the insurance industry annually. You are probably already aware that the insurance industry is definitely set in the favor of massive corporations living off consumers who many times are living paycheck to paycheck but still invest in insurance for the peace of mind in having protection of assets, even if that just means one or two cars.

The point is that we would all like to see everyone treated fairly by insurance companies, but that is not always the case—and without a skilled injury attorney or insurance lawyer, you may not receive the same level of respect from the insurance adjuster, who has a lot of power in the claims process.

Most of us are aware of our responsibilities before a car accident occurs. As policyholders, we are expected to pay our premiums, keep up with the details in our policies and uphold what we promised, and we are supposed to act in good faith, being honest and factual in the case of a claim. Most policyholders are very good about this from beginning to end, but unfortunately, insurance companies have become famous for giving the average consumer the short end of the stick.

On receiving a claim, the general idea is that the insurance company will act in good faith, take all the information into consideration, and generate a fair payment for any damage that is covered under a policy, settling a claim expediently. Sadly, even the best insurance agencies may drag their feet or delay or even treat a policyholder poorly if there is a substantial claim at hand and no legal representation. This is because insurance companies are fixated on the bottom line—not your best interests. If you are out there operating on your own—hoping to beat an insurance company in the legal system—you may be in for a very rude awakening, and especially if there is a substantial claim hanging in the balance. Remember: an insurance adjuster’s goal is to open and shut the case as soon as possible, with as little time and money expended on you as possible.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

policyholders

Insurance Claims: Policyholders Usually Have a Sense of Urgency

In nearly every case for policyholders, the insurer will have a great sense of urgency about getting a policy set up quickly—connecting customers with an insurance agent, finding out what lines of insurance are required, and then waiting for that check—often a hefty one! And while you are being offered a ‘product,’ and an important one in terms of risk protection, the process is mainly about the insurer getting your money. Nothing happens without your payment, and nothing stays in effect without you getting those payments in right on time—and we all know how quick an insurer is to cancel due to lack of payment or lack of action on the part of the policyholder.

Once a claim has been filed, you will also have a sense of urgency to see action and payment—but on your part, the overall situation could be dire due to a recent accident, extensive property damage, or an issue that may have been considered catastrophic. An insurance settlement will normally help cover all the bills caused by such an unexpected event. As a homeowner, if damage occurred at your home, it could have been so bad that you were forced to leave and stay elsewhere. No matter what your accommodations are outside of your home though, it is extremely stressful—and often extremely expensive—to have to leave. You may also be extremely worried about rebuilding if there was a fire or flood or other devastating problem.

In most cases, we do expect the insurance company to be on the up and up and to be expedient about paying the claim; after all, they expect fairly perfect behavior from us—so why can’t we have that in return? If you are experiencing unreasonable delays, a complete lack of investigation of your claim, or an over investigation of your claim where an insurer may even be accusing you of fraud, consult with an attorney from the Bolender Law Firm right away. Other signs that you are dealing with bad faith include intimidation tactics toward you and witness, lowball offers that the insurer is aggressive about, and of course, outright—and unfair—denials.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Insurance Claim Issues: When a Hit-and-Run is Involved

When an insurance claim erupts, you may be worried about how smoothly everything will get ironed out; after all, there have probably been piles of bills stacking up during the interim, with more to come. This can be especially true if you were injured. A car or motorcycle crash is an example of a typical accident where a payout is required from another party’s insurer if the driver is found to be negligent—and significant sums can be required. Automobile insurance is supposed to be there to pay out regarding liability if you cause a car accident that hurts someone else or damages their car—and vice versa. In the case of a hit and run, you may be confused and very worried about how the claim will be paid.

After an accident, other motorists may have stopped to help you, and the police may have been called. This means you may have much-needed assistance and attention after the incident, but the other motorist has fled. In most cases, a hit-and-run driver is never found, which means their insurance company (assuming there might be one), is never found either. The responsibility falls on you—and your own car insurance policy. This type of scenario outlines clearly why it is so important to always call the police and file a report, because that is the only evidence you have of the hit-and-run, so that your own car insurance policy and your insurance agency should have no problem providing payment for your property damage.

Not only that, there could be extensive medical expenses. You may not be able to go back to work, and you may need restitution for lost wages too. Often, a hit-and-run driver may take off when they realize the severity of the accident, meaning that they could be leaving you behind in significant physical pain. They may also leave you in financial pain as you are responsible for paying your deductible and perhaps some parts of the claim that are not covered in your policy.

The situation can worsen if your insurer is not quick to respond and honor your own policy for paying the claim. While this is the last type of stress that you need, it is all too common, and immediate ‘bad faith’ red flags should erupt if there are strange delays or little communication. While an extensive investigation could be worrisome regarding bad faith, no investigation at all usually indicates a problem too, along with any suggestions of fraud.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

insurance lawyer

Your Insurance Lawyer Should Be Skilled in the Courtroom

Even without an insurance lawyer explaining it to you, chances are you understand how the basics of an insurance claim work, and are hoping to stay out of the courtroom. If you have been in a car accident, the police are called, a report is made, and you may have been taken to the hospital for injuries or were treated otherwise. Many of these types of incidents end up leaving you with a sigh of relief as they are fender benders resulting in little need for action, while another could be a full-blown car crash that results in multiple injuries due to the negligence of another party, and could escalate into a full-blown lawsuit against the other party’s insurance company.

If you have been injured or experienced serious property damage, you probably feel a sense of urgency to see the claim settled so you can get your finances and your life back in order—and understandably so. This can also be a very difficult time if you are trying to heal or adapt to what could be long-lasting or permanent damage physically – not to mention emotionally.

The best scenario in such a situation is always to hope that the insurance company is going to pay the claim as quickly as possible and everyone can go on their way; however, claim situations can get complicated at times. There is a difference though between complicated and an insurance company that is attempting to get out of paying your claim and practicing bad faith. Know the signs. Are they delaying the process of dealing with your claim? Has an investigation begun? Or, have you already been outright denied?

You may also be the victim of intimidation tactics from your insurance company. This could include requests for so much documentation you don’t even know where to start – along with asking for information that may seem completely irrelevant. The insurer could even go so far as to insinuate that your claim is fraudulent, delaying payment even further as they send out a fraud investigation team. They may try to intimidate witnesses with aggressive questioning—and you as well. In the end, you may receive a lowball offer that they want you to believe is all you will get, and that you should accept it quickly (which you should not!).

If you are being treated this way, do not try to go it alone! Consult with an attorney from the Bolender Law Firm as soon as possible if you suspect bad faith practices. There is the chance that your insurance attorney could contact the insurance company by phone or by written communication and resolve everything quickly for you. If not, however, it is vital to your case to have an attorney who is skilled in the courtroom, has experience in the courtroom, and will fight to protect you and your best interests.

Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. The Bolender Law Firm is here to help you!

claim

Why Insurance Companies Are So Reluctant to Pay that Claim

Buying insurance from a company you consider to be reputable is important, especially if you hope to have any claims in the future paid out expediently. And if you have filed a claim with your insurance company recently, chances are you are hoping to hear from them quickly as you must pay medical bills, take care of property that needs to be repaired, or resolve a serious situation where you are being sued or held negligent.

Nothing can be worse than finding out that the insurer you have paid thousands of dollars in premiums to is trying to give you the runaround. And although you may be gravely disappointed, try not to take it personally; after all, if they are being unreasonable with you, most likely that is just how they do business. That may be of little consolation, however, if you have been out of work due to a car or motorcycle crash that resulted in serious injuries and escalation of financial distress after you could not go back to work, or if your home suffered a fire and you have not been able to live there in the interim, or other devastating issues. In most cases where an insurance claim is filed, the policyholder’s finances are affected deeply. You may be extremely worried about your financial future if the insurance company does not come through as you would have expected.

If you suspect bad faith on the part of the insurer when you have filed what you are certain is a valid claim, most likely the insurer is reluctant to pay for one reason: they want to keep their money. And although in many cases, it is obvious they are not doing the right thing, profits, the bottom line, and greed take over. Many red flags may pop up to alert you that something is wrong, beginning with delays that seem to have no explanation. There may be other tactics, however, like investigations that never seem to get underway, or excessive requests for documentation—or even intimidation tactics such as suggesting you should take a lowball offer or you won’t receive anything at all.

If you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm. If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

denial

Understanding Your Options When a Denial Needs to Be Challenged

No matter what type of insurance claim you may have filed, chances are you are hoping to have it settled quickly, and fairly, without any worrying about a denial. And while many cases are open and shut, black and white, and present no trouble at all, all too often, trying to get your settlement paid can be a massive headache. Consumers in the US should not have to live in fear of large corporations like insurance companies when something has gone wrong and their finances are deeply at risk, but sadly, insurers do hold much of the power due to their massive financial resources, with billions of profits pouring into their businesses each year.

For many policyholders, anxiety and panic set in quickly as bills start piling up due to an issue like a car accident due to the negligence of others that may have resulted in serious injuries; or, if you have experienced a huge homeowners claim, you may have nowhere to live during the interim. Insurance companies are aware of their power, however, and they use it to their advantage. And while they do not have your best interest in mind, a skilled bad faith insurance attorney from the Bolender Law Firm will.

You may have been worried from the beginning, after filing a claim and then not getting much response. Most adjusters are very quick to begin calling and asking questions (all of which should be referred to your attorney) so it can be discouraging when a claim is not being followed up on, and there does not seem to be any initial investigation. While delays are concerning, if you have received an outright denial that seems completely unreasonable, you may want to take legal action, but it is critical to understand your options first.

Having all the evidence in hand will be very important to your case, so save all documents and communications with the insurer to pass on to your attorney. Often, the best option is to start by having your insurance lawyer call the insurance company. You may be amazed at how quickly matters are resolved; however, if that does not work, letters may need to be written, reviews may need to be requested—and all the while you may be dealing with repair bills, medical bills, and you could even be healing from an accident while waiting. Do not attempt to go it alone against the insurer, especially if the only recourse is serious legal action requiring you to take the insurer to court for bad faith processes and an unfair denial.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Before Buying that Insurance Policy: Know What to Ask Your Agent

Although you may be excited about making a large purchase such as a car or a home, the dream and the concept of doing so could be much more exciting than the actual process as there are many details to take care of, whether you are buying a piece of property, opening a business, or taking on a new profession. Most of these endeavors require risk protection, in the form of insurance. As a consumer, you may require multiple lines of insurance, but no matter what, you will need to work with an experienced, ethical insurance agent.

While you may have found a suitable agent online or even nailed down all the details without leaving your desk and computer or phone, it is also common to meet an insurance agent through networking with friends and family. Many insurance agents work for the same companies throughout long and profitable careers and have knowledge of the insurance industry and products that can be extremely valuable to you. If you are getting ready to buy one or more insurance policies, know what to ask your prospective agent:

  • Ask what types of coverage they think you need. While you may be aware that you need insurance for your car, home, or business, there are many different facets of insurance, and items that need to be covered. Your insurance agent may shed light on many details you are not aware of.
  • Ask if the agent can help you find the best rates. If a prospective insurance agent does not work for a competitive company, you may find yourself throwing money into an unnecessarily unexpected policy.
  • Understand what the ramifications are of carrying minimum limits. While you may want the cheapest policy, that could get you into trouble later if you must file a claim.
  • Inquire about the claims process. What type of reputation does the company have? Would there ever be a reason to worry about bad faith? Try to avoid problems from the beginning.
  • Are there exclusions or added types of coverage that you should purchase? For instance, will you be covered if there is a bad storm or an earthquake?
  • What happens if you are sued by another party? Your insurance policy should cover you in terms of liability, but it is critical to understand how far those limits will extend.

If you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm. If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Insurers: The Differences Between Good & Bad Faith

When you buy an insurance policy, it is more than implied that the insurers will act in good faith if you must file a claim – it is expected! Consumers today spend a substantial amount of their income on protecting their property and livelihoods, often purchasing multiple lines of insurance. You may have a simple portfolio and only require car insurance for one or two cars, or you could be a business owner ensuring a fleet of vehicles, several different facilities for your business, along with multiple different types of liability insurance. No matter how you slice it, for most of us, insurance is not cheap, and we would all rather be putting that money somewhere else.

If an unexpected event such as a car accident or damage to your home, perhaps after a fire or a storm, has occurred, your first thought is probably to be glad you have insurance, and begin wondering what will be involved in filing a claim. Once you have done so, you probably expect to hear from the insurance company quickly, and for your claim to be processed efficiently, with a settlement received so that you can recoup your loss.

An insurance company acting in good faith will contact you quickly, and open an investigation so they can determine what type of settlement is in order. If red flags erupt, you may begin to worry about bad faith, especially if they are slow to handle the claim, delay without obvious reasons, deny you, or try to intimidate you into taking a lowball offer. Duplicitous insurance companies have countless ways to try and discredit a claim (or even you), making accusations about fraud or tearing down witnesses who could have been on the scene when damage or an accident occurred.

A bad faith insurer may delay your case by asking for excessive amounts of documentation – even to include tax returns. They may even go so far as to request interviews that are tape-recorded or ask you to participate in an examination under oath, which can be an extremely stressful process. As soon as you suspect bad faith, consult with a skilled insurance attorney from an office like the Bolender Law Firm.

If you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm. If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Understanding the Examination Under Oath (EUO)

For most of your adult life, buying insurance has probably been pretty cut and dry, black and white, consisting of the insurer helping you protect your property—and you writing checks in exchange for such services, never expecting to be subjected to something like an examination under oath. This is often the case with car insurance, and even homeowner’s insurance, if you have been lucky enough never to have damage or to have to file a claim. And while no one enjoys making endless payments to protect a risk that in the end never had a claim filed on it, the bottom line is that you never know what could happen. If the worst does occur, it means everything to know that you are dealing with an insurer who will handle a claim expediently and honestly. It also means everything to know you will not lose your property or business or medical care.

If you are concerned that you are running into trouble with an insurer though, it is time to get out the insurance policy and read it from beginning to end, if you have not done so previously— along with making an appointment to meet with a skilled insurance attorney from an office like the Bolender Law Firm.

There can be much more to an insurance policy than you may realize, which is why it is critical to read every word, although realistically that may be a long and boring endeavor. You are protecting yourself in understanding everything the insurance company could ask of you in the event of a claim, along with what provisions they have in place to protect themselves.

If you have been handling a claim on your own, you may be surprised to find that the insurance company has asked you to participate in an examination under oath (EUO). This could seem very intimidating, and the insurance company may be putting you through aggressive motions so that they can get out of paying a claim; however, most insurance policies do outline the possibility of such measures, also making it clear that your claim could be denied if you do not agree.

Unfortunately, the EUO usually emerges as part of the claim process when the insurance company is investing fraud. During the EUO, which can be a formal proceeding, there is usually someone responsible for transcription, recording the process, and all your answers to what intricate legal questions. At this point you need strong legal expertise to guide you, and especially if a large insurance claim is at stake.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!