When people purchase an insurance policy, they purchase protection. An insurance policy is meant to protect the policyholder, so they are not held personally liable for paying damages in the event of an accident. However, that insurance is also meant to protect you, too. Whether you were in a car crash, or you were hurt on a negligent property owner’s premises, you are relying on another person’s insurance policy to provide the financial compensation you need after the crash.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not interested in the safety and well-being of accident victims. They are much more interested in retaining their profits and to do that, they will try to deny, reduce, or delay your claim. If an insurance company is stalling on your claim, it is important to speak to an injury lawyer that can help you recover the maximum damages you deserve.
Know The Insurance Laws In Georgia
Before you do anything else, you should determine if the insurance company is actually stalling on your claim. Although you may think you are entitled to receive damages in just a few days, as you have bills piling up, that is not the case. Insurance companies are governed by strict laws in Georgia and those laws dictate the timeframe in which insurers must respond to and make a decision on a claim, and when they must provide payment. These laws are as follows:
- Acknowledging a claim: After you file your claim with an insurance company, they have 15 days to acknowledge that they have received it. When acknowledging your claim, they must also send proof claim forms.
- Making a decision on your claim: Once you have completed and sent in all the paperwork the insurer sent you, they have only 15 days to make a decision on your claim.
- Making final payment: If the insurance company has approved your claim and a settlement offer has been reached, the insurer has only ten days to provide final payment.
Determining if the insurance company broke any laws should be your first step if you think the insurance company is stalling on your claim. If the insurer is not complying with the deadlines listed above, you must then determine if they have a legitimate reason for delaying your claim, or if they are acting in bad faith.
Determine Why The Insurance Company Is Stalling
After an accident, you need compensation right away to help with the medical bills, lost income, and other losses you incurred. When the insurance company does not pay right away, it may seem obvious to you that the insurer is stalling. That may be the case and if it is, the insurer is acting in bad faith, which is against the law. However, the insurer may have good reason to delay your claim, and it is important to know what that reason is.
If you have submitted a claim to the insurer and believe they are stalling, contact them or have your lawyer contact them on your behalf. They may need additional information from you, such as medical documentation or an accident report. Call the insurer and ask them if there is any other information they need that can help expedite your claim.
The other reason an insurer may deny your claim is because they believe it is fraudulent. Still, sometimes insurance companies make this argument even when they do not have reason to believe your claim contains fraud. If the insurer has told you they need to investigate your claim further based on suspicions of fraud, it is critical to work with a lawyer that will protect your rights and prove your claim so you receive the full damages you deserve.
What To Do When The Insurer Stalls
You can file a lawsuit against any insurance company that acts in bad faith, and you should always work with a lawyer when doing so. Before filing though, there are things you can do to help your claim move along. Start by keeping all photographs, documentation, and quotes pertaining to your accident together in a safe place. That way, if the insurer requires additional documentation, you will be able to provide it in a timely manner.
If you speak to the insurance company, also always keep detailed notes of who you spoke to, when you spoke to them, and what was said. When insurers try to delay a claim, they will often redirect you to a number of different people hoping that you become confused and tired and drop your claim. Keeping detailed notes will help you avoid this problem.
Our Lawyers Will Deal With The Insurer For You
If you believe an insurer is stalling on your claim, our lawyers at MG Law will communicate with them on your behalf and hold them accountable for paying the settlement you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to request a free consultation.