When insurance companies delay accident claims, there is a good chance are they are doing so intentionally. Because of that, Indiana car accident victims need to know which steps to take to protect their right to compensatory damages from a stubborn insurance company.
If an at-fault driver’s insurance company is delaying your accident claim, the best thing you can do is to hire an attorney. Without a lawyer in your corner, an Indiana insurance company may delay your claim indefinitely or refuse to offer you the full settlement amount you deserve. Because there is no specific time limit for insurance companies to resolve claims in Indiana, a significant delay could impede your ability to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. Hiring an attorney can help victims speed up the claims process or sue a responsible driver for compensatory damages.
At Wruck Paupore, our lawyers fight against insurance companies on behalf of Indiana victims. Call us today for a free case evaluation with the Indiana car accident lawyers at Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166.
Insurance companies are notorious for making it difficult for Indiana accident victims to get the compensation they deserve. There are numerous media reports and even books that have been written about insurance company’s “delay, deny, defend” strategy. This is a tactic through which insurers first use tactics to needlessly lengthen the claims process, before ultimately denying your claim or failing to pay a fair amount in settlement, and then defending the case in court even if there are little grounds to do so.
In some cases, these tactics are illegal. Indiana, like many states, has an Unfair Claims Settlement Practises law contained at Indiana Code 27-4-1-4.5. Under this law, insurers are required to act reasonably promptly on communications regarding claims, promptly investigate claims, and may not refuse to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation. Insurers are required to attempt in good faith to make a prompt, fair and equitable settlement of your claim once liability is reasonably clear to it.
If your own insurer fails to act consistent with this law, you may have legal rights directly against your insurer for a breach of its duty of good faith and fair dealing. It the other party’s insurer acts unfairly, you cannot file a claim against the insurer directly, but there are methods to report them to the Indiana Insurance Commissioner which may impose civil penalties against the insurer.
If an at-fault driver’s insurance company is delaying your accident claim, there are a few things you can do, like keep careful records and be persistent. That being said, the best thing to do is hire an attorney. A lawyer can usually follow up with an insurance company, demand that they meet their requirements under the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, and take action to hold them accountable if they don’t.
Dealing with an insurance company after a car accident can be frustrating. If an insurance company delays your claim, the ideal route is to hire an Indiana car accident lawyer. Victims should hire an attorney before filing a claim with an insurance company. Your lawyer can stay on top of the claims process and take the necessary steps to hasten it.
Indiana car accident victims that don’t have an attorney may be more likely to run into a claims delay. Insurance companies often take advantage of victims without representation, as they will have less experience dealing with the insurance claim process than the insurance company or an experienced attorney. Victims that don’t have an attorney may not understand the expected timeline for the claims process and not question delays and ultimately they may not know the true value of their case.
While Indiana car accident victims can respond to an insurance company delaying their accident claims by being persistent and keeping careful records, often times recourse is limited unless you know how to file a lawsuit and seek available legal remedies. In our experience, hiring an Indianapolis car accident attorney is the best way for victims to respond when an insurance company delays their accident claim and to ensure that you receive the best recovery.
Victims have other options to explore if an Indiana insurance company delays their accident claim. For example, Indiana car accident victims can file a lawsuit against a responsible party if the claims process takes too long.
Unrepresented Indiana victims may be more likely to accept a bad settlement when an insurance company delays their claim. Unfortunately, a long delay can severely impact your finances. If you require expensive medical treatment for your injuries and cannot work, you need fast access to compensatory damages. Even in less serious cases, there may be financial realities which require that you consider a settlement to obtain money now. When an insurance company delays, they know that this puts pressure on you to settle for less than your case is worth.
Fortunately, there are many avenues to combat these tactics. First, we have relationships with companies that may be willing to advance you the money you need now, and this money will only need to be paid back out of any eventual settlement you reach. There are advantages and disadvantages to this which we can discuss with you, but it is a definite option. Other options include working with health care offices under what’s called a Letter of Protection, by which a medical provider agrees to provide your medical treatment without charging you until your lawsuit settles. There are a variety of other options to relieve financial pressure which a Hammond car accident lawyer at our firm would be glad to discuss with you.
In addition to these financial tools, we frequently recommend immediately filing a lawsuit when the insurer is engaged in delay. Car accident victims have just two years to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver in Indiana. On top of that, there is no specific time limit for insurance companies to resolve claims in Indiana beyond what is “reasonable.” Depending on how long an insurance company delays your accident claim, you may lose your opportunity to sue.
When Indiana car accident victims hire an attorney to represent their interests, they don’t have to worry about losing access to compensatory damages. Suppose it appears that an insurance company is intentionally stalling and has no plans to accept your claim soon. In that case, an experienced lawyer will likely advise you to pursue litigation. In doing so, victims can protect their right to compensatory damages against a responsible party and move the process forward.
There’s no reason Indiana victims should wait around and find themselves under increasing financial pressure while an insurance company is delaying a claim. Instead, victims can retain counsel, file a lawsuit against a negligent driver, and recover the economic and non-economic damages they deserve.
There’s one significant reason insurance companies may delay accident claims in Indiana: to avoid paying victims they deserve. Insurance companies can rely on the fact unrepresented car accident victims won’t understand the claims process and may accept a settlement amount that is less than what they are due if a claim is delayed long enough.
This delay may include being unresponsive or poorly communicating with victims. Without an Indiana car accident attorney by your side, an insurance company may succeed in mispresenting a policy or delaying proceedings. As noted above, this is illegal under the Indiana Unfair Claims Practices Act, but it is behavior we see far too often.
The motive for insurance companies to engage in this conduct is powerful if it allows them to force victims to accept the lowest settlement amount possible. Unfortunately, insurance companies may achieve their goal if victims do not seek legal representation.
Indiana victims should expect their claim to be delayed when filing an accident claim with an at-fault driver’s insurance company. Enlisting help from a Milwaukee car accident attorney can reduce that likelihood and help you recover the compensatory damages you deserve.
Indiana victims shouldn’t have to wait to get the compensatory damages they need because of an insurance company’s delay tactics. Call us today for a free case evaluation with the Fort Wayne car accident lawyers at Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.