You will depend on the insurance coverage of the other driver and possibly also your own policy after a motor vehicle collision in Louisiana. You likely expect that car insurance will repair your vehicle, if not replace it outright. You also expect coverage for your hospital bills and any lost wages you experience because of the crash or the injuries it causes.
Even if you have a good insurance policy and the other driver does too, the insurance company could be a major hurdle between you and the coverage you need. Although the law requires that insurance companies respond to claims in good faith and uphold the policies they issue, they sometimes act in bad faith and deny people the coverage that they deserve.
What are two of the more common bad faith insurance practices that affect those hurt in car crashes?
There are bad faith insurance laws at both the state and federal levels. The federal government does not impose a specific timeline for approving and paying claims, but many states do. Unfortunately, Louisiana is not one of them. There is no specific timeline that the company must adhere to when handling major claims.
An insurance company could drag it heals for weeks or even months, claiming there are too many details to review or that the investigation is still ongoing, before they even respond to the claim formally, let alone issuing the full payment for what the claimant deserves. However, particularly when you have been timely and thorough about submitting everything the company needs, those delays could open the company up to bad faith claims.
Sometimes, insurance companies harm consumers using the opposite strategy. They offer a lump-sum settlement early in the claim process. The hope will be that the injured person will accept the claim and thereby permanently and the future liability that the company has to them for their property damage and injury-related losses. Bad settlement offers are a common practice, and those desperate for financial support after a crash are easy victims for dishonest insurance companies.
You have to be able to spot these tactics to counter them and hold the insurance company accountable. Recognizing when your situation may involve bad faith insurance practices can help you fight for the coverage you require.