In 2020, there were nearly 137,000 active injury cases on the civil docket of Texas district courts. Plaintiffs injured at the hands of a negligent party were seeking just compensation for their damages under the law. Behind nearly every case filed against an individual, entity, or both was an insurance company defending their insureds and hoping to pay as little as possible if anything at all.
Every insurance company is driven by profits, but some operate in bad faith to increase their profit margins. Both policyholders and injured parties asserting claims against those policies can be harmed by unfair practices.
At K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law, I have witnessed bad faith practices insurance companies and their attorneys have used to deny my clients the compensation they deserve. I am dedicated to helping injury victims in Missouri City, Sugar Land, Katy, Friendswood, Pearland, and Fresno, Texas, understand the bad faith tactics commonly employed by insurance companies.
LOWBALLING FIRST SETTLEMENT OFFER
The initial settlement offer tendered by the insurer of the party liable for your injuries and damages will be minimal. It is also likely to be offered shortly after you file your personal injury claim; however, the low sum and the speed with which it is offered are intentional.
The period between being injured and settling your claim or receiving a jury verdict (if you need to take your case to court) can be long. It can also be arduous and stressful as medical bills pile up and you may be unable to work due to your injuries. Insurance companies rely on that stress, hoping you will accept the first offer out of the gate because you need the money.
The fact is that you will not know the full extent of the damages until you have fully recovered, or you have reached maximum medical improvement, and understand any future medical expenses you will incur due to your injuries or disability. You simply will not know what your cumulative expenses will be early in the process and without documentation of those expenses, the insurance company will not add them to the value of your claim.
Once an insurance company makes that first lowball offer and you refuse, it may then switch tactics and use long delays designed to make you panic. You may communicate with them and receive no response for long periods which makes you unsure of where your claim stands. As the two-year statute of limitations nears for a bodily injury claim, the insurer may use the delays to try and force you to take an insufficient settlement to avoid going to court. Even if you accept a sum in full and final settlement of your claim, the insurer may delay the delivery of payment.
NOT CONDUCTING A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION
Of course, an insurance company has the right to investigate claims and to require the submission of documents and other evidence that support a claim. If you are documenting your claim without an attorney, you may be unaware of everything you should submit so a fair value can be assigned to your claim. Even your own insurance company may not fully investigate a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits.
MISREPRESENTING THE POLICY’S COVERAGE
If you have ever attempted to read an insurance policy, you will know that they state what is and is not covered and then proceed to make exceptions to every rule. If an insurance company can misrepresent the coverage, such as by telling you that your claim is exempted for some reason, it will do so to avoid compensating you. They tend to offer less than the value of your claim and the limits of the policy by obscuring that information. Even your own insurance company can deny you the full benefits of your policy.
WHAT IS MY ATTORNEY’S ROLE IN AN INSURANCE SETTLEMENT?
You may wonder if you can save yourself the expense of attorney’s fees and tackle a personal injury claim on your own. Of course, you can, but the investment will be well worth it. An experienced personal injury attorney is fully aware of the bad faith tactics insurers use. I know how to conduct all the investigations and use my clients’ rights under personal injury law to fight back.
This may be the first personal injury claim you have ever made, but it is not mine.
PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY IN MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS
At K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law, I bring my experience and knowledge of working with insurance companies to each and every client’s case in Missouri City, Texas, and the surrounding communities. The best defense you can have for unscrupulous insurer practices is the best offense possible.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t face their insurance company or yours on your own. Call my office today.