If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you will look to the at-fault party’s insurance provider to compensate you for your physical, financial, and emotional losses. When the insurance company, however, denies a claim outright (or the insurers refuse to settle a claim in good faith), it makes the road forward toward recovery that much more challenging. If this is the difficult situation you find yourself in, you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer in Austin in your corner.
What’s in This Guide
- The Insurance Company
- Health Insurer Disputes
- Complicating the Claims Process
- Denying the Severity of Your Injuries
- Shifting Fault
- Protecting Your Personal Injury Claim
The Insurance Company
The insurance company that is handling your claim is in the business of making money, and their primary mechanism for doing so involves settling claims like yours for as little as possible. Sometimes, insurers refuse to settle a claim outright in the hope that the claimant will simply give up, and those claimants who don’t have solid legal representation are far more likely to do so. After all, accident victims are facing the uphill battle of regaining their health and well-being while dealing with mounting medical costs and lost wages. The insurance company recognizes your vulnerability and is not above exploiting it.
Health Insurer Disputes
Obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled from the insurance company that is covering your claim can be exceptionally challenging for a variety of reasons, but some of these reasons include the insurance company’s own tactics, which are designed to bolster its own profits. In fact, the Texas Department of Insurance reports that disputes related to when insurers refuse to settle a claim tend to focus on the following:
- Unsatisfactory settlement offers
- Denial of claims outright
- Delays in handling claims
- Rule violations
- Failure to pay prompt-pay penalties
In other words, insurance companies have a variety of techniques that are designed to keep their settlements low – and even to refuse settlements altogether.
Complicating the Claims Process
As mentioned, the insurance company handling your claim is well aware of your vulnerability at this challenging juncture in your life, and if it chooses to artificially complicate and/or protract the claims process at this point, it can amount to refusing to settle overall. When the claims process feels endless and overly complicated, it can leave claimants like you feeling helpless and more inclined to simply give up (after all, you have your recovery to focus on). The longer the insurance company takes to settle your claim, the more desperate you are likely to become, which can make refusing to accept a paltry settlement offer far more difficult – and this is exactly what the insurance company is going for. There are Texas laws on the books that are designed to thwart such practices, and when you have a focused personal injury attorney on your side, you’ll be far better positioned to help keep the insurance company honest and working toward a fair settlement.
Denying the Severity of Your Injuries
The insurance company is required to compensate you for your covered losses (called damages in legal terms), which can include all of the following:
- Your medical bills, which can be extensive even for relatively minor injuries and may be ongoing
- Your lost earnings, which can reflect an altered career trajectory and a decrease in earning potential overall
- Your physical and psychological pain and suffering
Ensuring that your compensation covers your unique damages in their entirety is very likely essential to your ability to recover to the fullest extent possible. If, however, the insurance company casts doubt on the severity of your injuries and attendant losses, it can make obtaining a fair settlement far more challenging. Your skilled personal injury attorney will carefully address your complete damages in your accident claim and will back this up with the evidence necessary to establish exactly how serious your injuries are.
The insurance company may attempt to shift fault in your personal injury claim. This amounts to nudging fault away from its policyholder (the at-fault party) and toward you. The fact that accident victims often blame themselves – regardless of how legal fault plays out – only serves to bolster the insurance company’s efforts in this arena. Your knowledgeable personal injury attorney will evaluate the facts of your case in the establishment of fault, which amounts to proving the other party’s negligence in the matter. An important point to keep in mind is that in the State of Texas – even if you were partially at fault for the accident that leaves you injured – you can seek compensation for the percentage of fault the other party is responsible for (as long as you are not more than 50 percent responsible). For example, let’s say you were exceeding the speed limit when a drunk driver who jumped a green light plowed into you in the intersection. If you are deemed 10 percent responsible for the accident, your total compensation will be reduced by that 10 percent.
Protecting Your Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, your claim will be unique to the circumstances at play, but there are several universal tips for helping to protect your claim from the outset, including:
- Seek the medical attention that you need as soon as you are able to do so and follow your doctor’s instructions and advice carefully.
- Seek the legal guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon after the accident as possible.
- Refrain from talking about the accident and make it your policy never to post about it on social media.
- Leave the insurance rep in the capable hands of your personal injury attorney.
Insurers Refuse to Settle a Claim? An Experienced Austin Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If someone else’s negligence causes you to be injured, the accomplished personal injury attorneys at The Patel Firm in Austin have a wealth of experience successfully handling those cases in which insurers refuse to settle a claim, and we’re here to help you. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 361-400-2036 today.