Crash victims often have trouble recovering compensation from the insurance company after a crash. Victims may experience unnecessary delays, have trouble getting an adjuster on the phone, be asked to complete unnecessary paperwork, or wait a significant amount of time to get return phone calls.
What many crash victims may not realize is there are times when insurance companies are breaking the law in their handling of claims. Insurance companies are required to handle claims in good faith and acting in bad faith is prohibited by law.
Pennsylvania’s Unfair Insurance Practices Act prohibits various actions by car insurance companies when policyholders and third parties file claims.
Below, learn more about insurance company actions that are prohibited by law and what to do if you think the insurance company is breaking the law in how it is handling your claim.
Schmidt Kramer’s experienced attorneys are ready to help you pursue compensation for the damages you suffered. There are no upfront fees, and the initial consultation is free of charge.
Unfair, Deceptive Practices Prohibited by Law
You have the right to be treated in good faith when you file an insurance claim. This is stated in Pennsylvania’s Unfair Insurance Practices Act, which bars insurance companies from using unfair or deceptive practices when they are handling a claim.
The law lists numerous unfair or deceptive acts or practices, including:
- Failing to act promptly when notified of a claim
- Misrepresenting aspects of the insurance policy
- Denying a claim even though a reasonable investigation was not conducted
- Misrepresenting the terms of the policy
- Failing to start processing a claim within a reasonable time after the claimant has submitted proof of loss
- Failing to promptly offer a fair settlement when the insurance company’s liability is fairly clear
- Attempting to compel the claimant to file a lawsuit to recover compensation by offering substantially less than what is in the policy
- Trying to settle a claim for less than what a reasonable person would believe he or she should receive after seeing the insurance company’s written or printed advertising material
If you think the insurance company has broken the law in its handling of your claim, you can file a claim with the state insurance department. The department can investigate and potentially take action against the insurance company.
However, while this may penalize the insurance company, you still need help recovering compensation for your claim. That is why you should strongly consider seeking experienced legal representation.
Our firm has helped many crash victims secure full compensation from insurance companies. We are prepared to go to court if necessary – even though most cases do not make it to court, you need an attorney who is ready to do so; otherwise, the insurance company may be less likely to make a fair offer of compensation.
Why Insurance Companies Often act in Bad Faith
Unfortunately, crash victims often let insurance companies act in bad faith, which allows them to keep doing it. Insurance companies also have their own reasons for delaying or unreasonably denying claims. They are committed to their bottom line, which means they are looking for any way to deny or undervalue your claim.
What many people may not realize is insurance companies invest your premium payments, and the longer they can hold onto that money, the more money they make in interest. This gives them great incentive to delay your claim, such as by making you complete unnecessary paperwork or waiting an unreasonably long time to respond to your phone calls or emails.
They are also hoping to run out the clock on the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. If the statute of limitations passes, you may be unable to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation. Fortunately, you have the option of calling a lawyer to help you seek compensation from the insurance company.
Contact Us Today for Assistance with Your Accident Claim
Crash victims often do not know the benefits of legal representation. Unfortunately, they may listen to the insurance company when they say attorneys are expensive and will only make the process more difficult.
It is important to know the insurance company is not focused on your best interests. They will do whatever they can to avoid paying full compensation.
However, our Harrisburg auto accident lawyers work on contingency. That means there are no upfront fees or legal obligations. We are not paid unless you get paid. Our goal is the same as yours: recovering maximum compensation.
Give us a call today to learn more. Phone: (717) 727-1403.