Most of us carry insurance–on our homes, our cars, our lives. The insurance company that sold you the policy probably tried to tell you that it was selling peace of mind. You make your payments every month, and then when you finally do have a claim–surprise–it is denied. Sometimes, the denial is proper because the claim truly is not covered. Sometimes, however, the denial is improper, and the claim you have made really should be covered by the insurer. What then? If the denial stems form a car accident a New York Injury lawyer can help
The answer is that you may have a claim against your insurer for an improper claims practice, or a “bad-faith” claim as it is commonly called. Bad faith by an insurance company can occur any time an insurance company refuses to honor a legitimate claim by someone it insures. Examples of bad faith include misrepresenting facts regarding coverage, not attempting to come to a prompt and fair settlement of a claim, forcing an insured to sue by making “lowball” offers, and neglecting to investigate the facts to determine whether a claim is covered or not.
This can happen after a car accident with regard to damage of the car or an SUM claim if you are injured. Stephen Bilkis & Assoc. will be glad to direct you to a competent New York Criminal Attorney if one is called for.
There are laws that prohibit improper claims practices by an insurer, but, like all laws, they are not always followed. In fact, insurance companies test the limit of the law every day, counting on the fact that the person with insurance is unlikely to go talk to a lawyer and find out his or her rights. The reason for this is simple: Every time that the insurer does not pay a claim it should have covered, the insurer profits.
So how do you protect yourself? First of all, an insurance adjustor is not your friend. Once you make a claim that could subject the insurer to liability, the adjustor is usually focused on keeping the size of the payout as small as possible. Be aware that most insurance adjustors are not lawyers, and even the ones who are lawyers are not always correct when they say a claim is not covered.
No matter what the adjustor tells you, talking to a lawyer is a good idea. A lawyer works for you, and he or she will be able to tell you whether the claim is covered or not and whether the settlement offered is fair. Adjustors may tell you that the expense of consulting a lawyer and the time it takes to pursue a case through the courts mean that you should take what is being offered right now. Remember: The adjustor is not looking out for your best interests, and the “advice” not to talk to a lawyer is intended to discourage you from finding out the facts.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates, with convenient locations throughout the New York Metropolitan area, including Long Island, can provide you advice relative to vehicle accidents and personal injury. Without a New York injury lawyer, you may not be protecting you and your loved ones or know all your rights.