Go to any late-night drinking party, and you will probably hear tall tales of someone’s friend-of-a-friend who became rich from receiving a huge settlement from his insurance company after a minor injury, or perhaps even an entirely fake injury. These stories belong to the realm of urban legends. Usually, the best-case scenario is that the money the insurance company offers is just enough to reimburse you for medical expenses and, in the case of car accident lawsuits, repairs to your car.
There is not a guarantee that you will break even on lost wages for the days you missed work because of your injuries. There is also a possibility that your insurance company will offer you a settlement amount that is not enough to cover your medical expenses. When you have informed the insurance company of your expenses related to the accident, and the company still offers you an insufficient amount, this is called insurance bad faith. When it happens, the insured might have grounds for a lawsuit against the insurance company.
What Insurance Companies Should do After an Accident
The more documentation you send to an insurance company after an accident, and the sooner you send it, the better. The process is not particularly quick, so if you have injuries from the accident, you cannot wait for the insurance settlement before you begin getting treatment. After a few weeks or a few months, depending on how much time it takes to gather the evidence and how long it takes the insurance company to determine your amount of compensation, the insurance company will send you a letter offering you a settlement.
The settlement is an implicit agreement that you and the insurance company are even. If you sign it, you are acknowledging that the insurance company has fulfilled its obligation to you. Once you accept the settlement, you no longer have the right to sue the insurance company or the party whose negligence you believe caused the accident.
What if the Insurance Offer is Not Enough?
Before you sign to accept the offer from your insurance company, you should always consult an attorney. The attorney might find that the insurance settlement fails to take into account the negligence of the party that caused the accident, and therefore you actually have grounds for a lawsuit.
The attorney might even find that the insurance company intentionally omitted or misinterpreted evidence that you submitted with your claim, which would mean that you have grounds for an insurance bad faith lawsuit. Signing to accept an insurance settlement offer means giving up your right to legal recourse; you should not give up that right without first getting a professional legal opinion about the matter.
Contact Brock Ohlson About Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuits
If your insurance company sends you a settlement offer, but something about it does not seem quite right, you should get a second opinion. Contact Brock Ohlson, Nevada’s Personal Injury Lawyer, about insurance bad faith lawsuits.