Waiting for an insurance settlement can try anyone’s patience. You’ve filed a claim. You’ve even made follow-up calls. Nothing happens. What Can You Do?
How Insurance Companies Work
First, you and the insurance company are not on the same page. You want the largest settlement possible. The insurance company wants the smallest. That statement may sound uncaring, but insurance companies are businesses, which means they have to show a profit to survive. Every time the company pays a claim, it loses money.
That doesn’t mean the insurance company can dismiss claims without cause. At the same time, they have the right to investigate claims before paying a settlement. Most insurance companies approach the settlement process in good faith. Sadly, some do not; instead, they try to stall.
Stalling tactics help insurance companies in the following ways:
- Statute of Limitations. The clock starts the moment the accident happened. Depending on where and how the accident occurred, you may have anywhere from one to six years to file a lawsuit.
- Loss of Momentum. You may give up and let the statute of limitations come into effect.
- Lack of Evidence. With time, witnesses disappear or their memories fade. They are no longer as sure as they were. Similar things happen with physical evidence. Evidence gets lost, misplaced, or the quality degrades. The lack of credible documentation weakens your case, which may result in a lower settlement amount.
If you feel the insurance company is not operating in good faith, it’s time to see an attorney.
How Attorneys Work
You don’t have to wait until you think the insurance company is stalling before you speak with an attorney. If you believe your claim was wrongly denied or the company was unjustified in denying your claim, you should contact an attorney.
Personal injury attorneys can help navigate the claim and settlement process by:
- Evaluating Your Claim
- Collecting Evidence, including witness statements
- Filing the Claim before the Statute of Limitations takes effect
- Negotiating a Settlement
- Filing a Lawsuit, if necessary
- Participating in Arbitration
- Representing You in Court
Feel free to use the contact form on the right if you feel you have a case.