After a car accident, many injured drivers are often left confused and uncertain about what to do next. This concern is heightened when the insurance company is not willing to settle a claim.
You may be wondering why this happens and whether you may still be eligible to obtain compensation to help cover your medical bills, loss of income and other related damages. You may even be unsure if the insurance company has a valid reason for delaying payment or refusing to settle.
When this happens, it is important to know that there are potentially other options for pursuing compensation. An experienced lawyer would be able to help discuss your next steps. Our Oshkosh car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping accident injury victims fight for their right to fair and just compensation.
Reasons Why Insurers Refuse to Settle Claims
Insurance companies are businesses. Settling a claim often means paying out more than they want to. Their goal is paying as little as possible and limiting their liability in the event of an accident. For this reason, insurers may refuse to settle because they want to try to lessen how much they pay, if anything.
The insurance company will first try to delay the process. This is done in hopes that you will give up out of frustration and no longer pursue a claim. Insurers know that the longer they put off settling, the harder it may be for you to prove they owe you compensation.
Some reasons why insurers refuse to settle claims include:
- Insufficient evidence – The insurance company may say that there is not enough evidence to suggest their policyholder is to blame or that you were injured in the accident. Fortunately, a lawyer could help ensure that you have the supportive evidence you need.
- Pre-existing injuries – If you have sustained a back injury in an unrelated incident and then start to experience pain in the same spot after a car accident, the insurer may argue that it is a pre-existing injury that was not caused by the crash. That is why it is best to work with a lawyer who could help prove that your injury is new and not related to an injury you previously sustained.
- Lack of coverage – The insurance company may say that you were not covered at the time of the accident or the policy has lapsed. A lawyer could review your policy in detail to verify your coverage limits to make sure that the insurer is not misinterpreting the policy language.
Signs Your Insurer May Be Acting in Bad Faith
Delaying payments and refusing to settle a valid claim may be examples of acting in bad faith. These actions often result in accident victims being unable to obtain the compensation they need.
Another sign of insurance bad faith is when an insurer fails to conduct an adequate investigation into what happened. This may include not conducting the assessment in a timely manner, delaying the investigation, or failing to communicate with all involved parties.
Other deceptive practices include requiring unreasonable or unnecessary paperwork to process a claim, refusing to pay a claim and failing to promptly settle claims if the settlement is appropriate.
Insurance companies are legally required to operate in good faith. If not, they are breaking the law.
Your Legal Rights to Settle a Claim Dispute
Regardless of why an insurance company refuses to settle, it is important to know your options for pursuing compensation.
One option to consider is suing the insurance company. Filing an official lawsuit with the possibility of heading to court is sometimes what it takes to get them to negotiate.
Aside from filing a lawsuit, mediation could allow you to reach a settlement. Mediation is where a neutral, third-party known as the mediator, attempts to helps both parties resolve the claim dispute.
Another option could be arbitration, which is like mediation. An arbitrator would review the evidence, listen to both parties, and then make a binding or non-binding decision about the claim.
It is important to note that the deadline to file a lawsuit in Wisconsin is generally three years from the date of the accident. However, this deadline can be shortened depending on the circumstances.
Contact Our Firm to Learn More
At Sigman Janssen, we know how insurance companies think and the ways they try to mislead car accident victims. We have successfully recovered millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.
There is no risk in calling us to learn more about your options and no cost for an initial consultation with a licensed lawyer from our firm. You are under no obligation to retain our services after meeting with us. We are also not paid up front. You only pay us if we help you obtain compensation.
Get started today by calling (877) 888-5201.