If you’re hurt in a New York car accident, you’re right to expect your insurance policy, which you’ve paid for with expensive premiums every month, will compensate you for your damages at least up to the coverage limit. Inherent in insurance contracts is the covenant that your insurer will act with good faith and fair dealing with their policyholders, and this is no different in New York state.
Despite their obligations to you, insurance companies often try underhanded tactics and strategic maneuvers to stall, low-ball, and either avoid their duty to pay you altogether or settle your claims for pennies on the dollar. These are clear signs of an insurer acting in bad faith – their goal is to dispute and ultimately deny insurance claims, purposely avoid looking for solutions that benefit you, and preventing you and other insured drivers from getting the compensation you may rightfully be owed.
What are Signs of Bad Faith by an Insurance Company?
Some behaviors are understood as good indicators of bad faith on the part of your insurance company. These are a few of the more common signs that your insurer is trying to avoid paying you money that you deserve:
- Stalling – despite an obligation to process claims in a timely manner, some insurers will intentionally try to delay until the statute of limitations runs and you can’t file a claim. They may also wait until you’re in a financial bind from lack of payment and will settle for a very low offer.
- Offering quick settlements – other companies will offer a settlement right away in the hope you won’t have time to investigate, discover the full extent of damages, and ask for a larger amount.
- Disputing bills and expenses – insurers will ask for substantiation of medical treatment and other expenses from your accident. However, they may try telling you certain expenses won’t be covered or to stop taking certain medications, only to claim your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim because you discontinued treatment.
- Denying liability – it’s common for insurance companies to partially or totally deny liability for the accident, or even blame you to make the claim disappear or devalue it substantially.
- Underhanded tactics – sometimes companies will try to manipulate you into settling cheaply, admitting fault, or waiving your rights through a variety of tactics. Arbitrarily requesting an unlimited medical authorization (which gives them access to your entire medical history and can inform them about prior conditions or injuries), soliciting recorded statements to later twist your words and use them against you, and telling you not to hire an attorney should all be viewed with suspicion.
Contact a Long Island Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is never enjoyable, but you don’t deserve an additional headache from your insurance company when you’re just trying to get just compensation for your injuries. If you were injured in a car accident, contact the experienced Long Island Car Accident Attorneys at the Falkowitz Law Firm, PLLC. Let us deal with the insurance companies and fight for your best interests so you don’t get short-changed. Contact us at (844)-385-4279 or through our online Contact Page to schedule your free, no-risk initial consultation today. Let us do the heavy lifting so you can focus on your recovery. We deliver personalized, aggressive representation to get you the compensation you deserve.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.