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Glendale Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys

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Combatting Bad-Faith Insurance Companies

When you file a claim, you do so because premiums have been paid to an insurance company in exchange for coverage. The insurance company may be your provider, or the at-fault party’s provider, but in either case, you should get the settlement that you deserve.

Sadly, most insurance companies put their own interests above yours. This means they will do everything they can to ensure you get as little compensation as possible. The company may even deny your claim outright.

This is considered bad faith. When insurance companies are presented with a legitimate claim, they are required by law to offer a settlement that matches the needs of the claim. Of course, many of these companies consider themselves above the law. That is why, if an insurance company is acting in bad faith, you need to speak with one of our experienced attorneys at Aghabegian & Associates, PC. To find out your legal options, call (818) 507-4311 today.

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What Is Bad Faith?

When you open an account with an insurer, the assumption is that the company will pay out compensation in the event of a covered accident. That is, after all, why people have insurance policies to begin with. However, what many don’t realize is that insurance companies aren’t in the business of providing fair compensation: they are in the business of making money.

When you file a claim against an insurance company, whether your own or someone else’s, you are hurting that company’s bottom line. The longer you go on paying into a policy and not using its benefits, the more money the company makes. The moment you try to use a policy, however, the company risks losing money. While one claim may not drain the insurance company’s pockets that much, too many can have a serious impact. This means that insurance companies will try to deny as many claims as they can.

Don’t feel sympathy for these companies, however. The point of insurance is to provide you with a safety net in the event of an accident. When the people in charge of that safety net take it away just because it costs them money, that leaves you in a precarious situation.

When you file a claim, you should always be on the alert for bad-faith tactics, as chances are high that the insurance company will try to keep you from getting as much money as possible.

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Bad-Faith Tactics

There are many forms of bad faith when it comes to insurance companies. It may not always look like an outright steal -- insurance companies do their best to hide their tracks. An accusation of bad-faith tactics can cost them with the CA Department of Insurance, so they will try to appear as though they are doing their due diligence, when they are actually trying to give you far less compensation that you are owed. Some of the more common forms of bad faith include:

  • Misrepresenting facts or a policy
  • Refusing to investigate a claim
  • Refusing to process a claim
  • Delaying a claim
  • Denying policy benefits
  • Lowballing a client
  • Denying a claim without justification
  • Threatening to take the claim to an arbitration board
  • Misleading a policyholder on facts in the claim or policy
  • Forcing a policyholder to go through unnecessary medical tests

If the insurance company feels that it will not get away with an outright denial, it will try to drag the claims process as much as possible. Meanwhile, your medical bills are growing day by day, and you are still unable to work due to your injuries. This will put you in a situation where you may decide to accept the first settlement they offer, even if it’s much lower than what you actually need. What you need to keep in mind, however, if that none of this is legal.

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The Legality of Bad Faith

In California, it is illegal for insurance companies to act in bad faith when presented with a legitimate claim. All of the examples we listed above are illegal acts. When you encounter an act of bad faith, you have the legal right to file a bad-faith claim against the responsible insurance company. There are two different kinds of bad-faith claims:

First-party bad faith: This applies when it is your own insurance company that is acting in bad faith. You may turn to your own insurance company for compensation if you were involved in a hit-and-run, or in an accident with an underinsured motorist. How you proceed with this kind of claim will depend on the language in your policy, and it may be best to consult with an attorney before moving forward.

Third-party bad faith: When someone else’s insurance company denies you -- for example, if you were a victim in a car accident and filed a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider -- then you should file a third-party claim. In such a case, the insurance company is legally required to launch an investigation in order to uncover any acts of bad faith that may have taken place. While these investigations are supposed to be fair, the insurance company will always put its own interests before yours. That is why you should always seek help from an experienced attorney.

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We Aren’t Afraid of Insurance Companies

As top Glendale personal injury attorneys, we go up against insurance companies on almost a daily basis. We have experienced more than our fair share of bad-faith tactics. We know exactly what to expect, and how to combat it. If your claim is being delayed or denied due to bad-faith actions on the part of the insurance company, then you need strong legal help. To speak with a firm that can give you skilled advice and representation, call Aghabegian & Associates, PC, at (818) 507-4311 today.

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