What to Do if Your Insurance Company is Stalling
Insurance is protection. Regardless of the type of accident you’re in, and even whether you’re filing a claim with your own insurer or someone else’s, it’s not uncommon for insurers to stall on claims. They do this because they’re more interested in retaining their profits than they are in helping accident victims.
If an insurance company is stalling on your claim, it’s important to know there is action you can take. A personal injury lawyer in New York can hold the insurance company accountable so you recover the fair settlement you deserve.
Why Do Insurance Companies Stall on Claims?
Insurance companies sometimes stall on claims because they’re hoping that you’ll become frustrated and impatient and ultimately drop the claim. This is known as acting in bad faith.
However, there are sometimes legitimate reasons why your insurer may stall on a claim:
- The insurer may require additional information from you. Perhaps they’re waiting for a medical report or an accident report the police filled out after a car crash. It’s important to always ask your insurer what information they need from you, so you can provide the necessary documentation and help your claim move along at a faster pace.
- They believe the claim is fraudulent and need time to investigate it further. When this is the case, it’s critical that you work with a New York personal injury lawyer that can protect your rights and fight back against the insurer’s claims, when necessary.
Determine if the Insurance Company is Actually Stalling
After an accident, it’s natural to want your settlement from the insurance company right away. Due to this, you may think the insurance company is stalling simply because you haven’t heard back from them for a couple of days. However, that may not be true.
Insurance companies are given a certain amount of time to respond to claims:
- Acknowledging a claim. Insurance companies have 15 business days to acknowledge your claim and send you instructions and paperwork. The paperwork they send will include a proof-of-loss form. This is a sworn statement from you about the extent of the damage and injuries you sustained.
- Deciding on a claim. Insurance companies have only 15 business days to make a final decision on your claim. It’s important to note that these 15 days start after the insurer has received your completed proof-of-loss forms.
- Final payment. After the insurance company has made a decision on your claim, they have only five business days to make the final payment if they’ve approved it.
Many factors can affect the amount of time it takes for an insurance company to settle your claim. Still, you’re entitled to a fair settlement that you should receive fairly quickly after the accident.
If you think your insurer has violated the law, you can file a bad faith lawsuit, which can help you recover the damages you need. A bad faith lawsuit is necessary when your insurance company refuses to settle a liability claim against the policyholder. Through a lawsuit, you can hold insurers accountable for paying the full amount through a court order.
What to Do When Your Claim is Delayed
If you want to file a bad faith lawsuit against the insurance company, it’s strongly recommended that you work with a personal injury lawyer in New York when doing so. The insurance company will have teams of lawyers prepared to defend their case, and you should also have a legal professional on your side. Still, in the meantime, there are things you can do yourself to help expedite your claim and your ultimate settlement.
The documents pertaining to your claim will give you the best chance of fighting an insurance company that is stalling on your claim. Keep all of the photographs, medical records, quotes, estimates, and reports from the insurance adjuster together in a safe place. That way, when the insurance company argues that they don’t have the proper documents, you can send them off right away and help avoid further delays.
When an insurance company is stalling or trying to deny your claim, you have already likely spoken to them two or three times. It’s important to keep detailed notes every time you speak with them. Write down who you spoke to at the company, what was said, and what date you spoke to them. Insurance companies will often redirect you to a number of different people, in the hopes that you become tired or confused and hurt your own claim. Keep any notes, emails, or text messages from the insurance company stored with the other documents important to your claim so it’s easy to reference them.
Lastly, it’s important that you cooperate with the insurance company as best you can. If you’re dealing with your own insurance company, this is a legal obligation. If you’re working with someone else’s insurance company, you do not have the same obligation. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with your own insurance company or another, it’s important to work with a personal injury lawyer in New York that can protect your rights.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers in New York Will Hold Insurers Accountable
We hope you now know what to do if your insurance company is stalling. If you need assistance, our New York personal injury lawyers at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., will hold insurers accountable for paying the settlement you deserve. Call us today at 1-877-ASK4SAM or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.