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!