The following blog article was updated in January 2022.
Insurance companies might try to delay or just refuse to give you the settlement you deserve after a serious injury. When insurance companies refuse to cooperate, you may need to consider filing an official lawsuit and possibly taking that case to court.
You might feel as though you have hit a wall and will never finalize your injury claim, but you still have options. Even when insurance companies refuse to settle or purposely delay, the law allows for victims to seek compensation in other ways and prevent insurers from trying to delay paying out on valid claims.
Anyone trying to recover damages from an insurance company knows how tiring, frustrating, and time-consuming the process can be. Insurers often try to delay and sometimes refuse outright to settle an injury case. When negotiations are not moving or you feel like an insurance company is purposely stalling, you have options.
The next step is typically filing a personal injury lawsuit against the insurance company. Usually, the second an official lawsuit starts or you hire an attorney, the insurance company will come back to the table. However, you must first know why the insurance company is refusing to settle, the common tactics they use, and then explore your options.
Reasons Why Insurers Don’t Settle Injury Claims
An insurance company is a business. Settling a claim means that they will tap into their reserves and possibly harm their annual revenue report that year. No business wants to pay more than they should – or even what they should. The entire goal is to pay as little as possible and limit their liabilities so that they can walk away unharmed.
Therefore, the biggest reason insurers refuse to settle is because they want to try to minimize how much they pay or work in a way to pay nothing.
Insurance companies try to delay first. They figure if they delay you enough, you will give up out of frustration and no longer pursue a claim. Likewise, they know that the longer they put off settling the harder it will be for you to prove that they owe you anything in court.
Just a few reasons the insurer will try to delay your claim include:
- Statute of Limitations – They are hoping that you will give in and not fight back and eventually the statute of limitations passes. Once this does, which is two years from the date of the accident, you cannot legally pursue compensation. This means, even if you had a case, you no longer qualify.
- Evidence is Lost – The longer you wait to file a lawsuit, the easier it is for evidence to be misplaced, lost, or even destroyed. Likewise, any witness statements you have are harder to use, especially because witnesses continue to forget key details as time passes on. Think about it yourself. Can you remember the exact details of any event that happened last week? How about three weeks ago? Now, think of a serious event that happened more than one year ago and how much fine details you can recall. Most likely, you cannot recall much of anything. The insurance company hopes that your witnesses will be the same because if they cannot recall those details about your case, it is harder to prove the defendant was at fault.
- You Will Lose Your Will to Fight – The insurer plans to settle, but not until you are desperate. They know if they eat away at your patience and you start to face serious financial difficulties, you will give in and take whatever settlement they bring to you – even if it is well under the amount you deserve.
Your Rights When the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim or Refuses to Settle
Regardless of why you have the right to fight back against insurance companies when they try to deny your case or refuse to settle.
First of all, insurers are required by law to operate in good faith. When they use bad faith tactics to deny your claim unreasonably, or they try to deny it so that the statute runs out, they are breaking the law. An attorney can file a bad faith action against the insurance company. If the bad faith action were successful, it would mean you would not only receive compensation for your injuries but possibly receive additional compensation for the pain and suffering of dealing with an insurance company using bad practices.
Hire an Attorney First
If you think the insurance company is denying your case without merit or they are refusing to settle, you have the right to hire an attorney – and you should. An attorney can help push the insurer back into negotiations; that is often the case the moment an attorney gets involved.
Likewise, your attorney will not be scared of taking your case to court. And when the insurer refuses to settle, they know that the next step is an official lawsuit and possibly court – which might not go in their favor.
A good personal injury attorney is aggressive, and they fight as your advocate against insurance companies. While the insurer thinks you will just give up, they will not use the same stall tactics when a lawyer is handling your claim.
Negotiations and Mediation
You might be able to go through mediation with the insurance company and still have an attorney represent your interests at the mediation talks. This helps you avoid going to court but still receive compensation for your case.
Hire an Accident Attorney when the Insurance Company Refuses to Settle
If you are dealing with an insurer who refuses to settle on your case, you have the right to seek compensation through other means. Speak with an attorney from Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, PLLC, today. We will bring insurance companies back to the table. And if they still refuse to settle, we have no issue with taking your case to court and getting you the compensation you deserve.
To get started, schedule a no-obligation case evaluation by calling us or requesting more information online.