Whether you have submitted a claim to your homeowners insurance company for damage to your residence or to your auto insurance carrier for underinsured motorist benefits, an underpaid claim can wreak financial havoc. Policyholders who have consistently made premium payments justifiably expect their insurance carrier to fully investigate their claim and offer a fair settlement. Despite the reasonable nature of this expectation, insurance companies are businesses. Money paid out as insurance benefits to resolve claims means that shareholders receive less. The incentive to maximize profits often leads insurance companies to offer lowball settlements that do not come close to covering the expenses associated with a policyholder’s loss. Fort Worth underpaid insurance claims attorneys at FH Law Group anticipate the strategies used by insurance companies to lowball claims while pursuing the actual benefits owed to clients.
Under Texas law, insurance companies owe a fiduciary relationship to their insured. This means that the insurer must observe an obligation of good faith and fair dealing when handling policyholder claims. While many forms of conduct constitute a violation of this duty, two tactics are particularly relevant to underpaid insurance claims. Insurers might engage in acts designed to promote unjustified delays in paying a claim or offer a settlement substantially less than the actual value of a claim. These acts might expose an insurer to tort liability for insurance bad faith. Bad faith liability could mean the recovery of damages beyond mere payment of the claim, such as punitive damages.
Insurance Company Strategies for Underpaying Claims
When a home, vehicle, or business is damaged by a covered cause or peril, our law firm assists clients in recovering the full spectrum of benefits that policyholders are entitled to under their insurance policy. While insurance adjusters might seem amicable, their loyalty will be to the insurance company that signs their paycheck. Adjusters often suggest their goal in requesting information is to facilitate prompt resolution of a claim. While this is not necessarily untrue, the “prompt resolution” will be based on evidence selectively obtained to justify mitigating the insurance company’s liability.
The adjuster’s friendly façade might include requests that you execute documents or accept a quick settlement check. The adjuster could ask you to sign a Release of Information to obtain records from your employer or medical records. While the insurer might have a right to obtain some of this information through the adjustment process or discovery in a lawsuit, an experienced Fort Worth underpaid insurance claims attorney can protect your privacy and shield you from overbroad “fishing expeditions.” For example, insurance companies might use a request for medical records to uncover information allowing the insurer to link your injuries to prior incidents.
The insurance company might even provide a quick settlement check. However, insurance companies usually fight to mitigate their liability. A settlement check that comes fast and easy often will be accompanied by a Release of Liability or similar document that waives a policyholder’s rights to all claims known and unknown. This type of lowball offer (and it will be a lowball offer) is designed to get an insured to settle a valid claim for far less than its actual value before the policyholder obtains legal advice, an expert’s determination of repair costs, or a comprehensive course of medical treatment. Our Fort Worth lowball insurance claim law
firm can evaluate your claim and ensure you do not inadvertently forfeit your rights prior to obtaining the full value of your claim.
Basis of Insurers Lowball Claims
The adjustment process often involves the use of a computer software analysis that not coincidentally tends to be very conservative on costs that a policyholder incurs and overly optimistic regarding the prognosis for a remedy. As might be expected, the initial settlement offer stemming from this computer process will tend to be ludicrously low. Policyholders can improve their situation by carefully documenting every dollar spent, keeping all bills, and getting an estimate from a professional contractor or engineering expert. Our law firm carefully analyzes this documentation and works with experts to obtain reports that provide for appropriate repair or replacement remedies with an accurate estimate of our client’s losses.
If your insurance company is giving you the runaround and refuses to pay the full value of your claim, a Fort Worth underpaid insurance claims attorney can protect policyholder rights and seek the full value of your loss. Our law firm might even pursue a claim for insurance bad faith depending on the specific circumstances. At FH Law Group., we tenaciously pursue the maximum recovery for policyholders in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas of Tarrant County. Contact us today for a FREE consultation at (817) 697-4400 or visit our website.
The Fulgham Hampton Law Group legal team of injury lawyers provides you with skilled litigators that have tried over 100 jury trials in Texas with expertise in matters ranging from car accident cases, complex cases with insurance companies and skilled settlement negotiations. Our injury lawyers are here to help you navigate the complex legal system and make important decisions to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Our legal team of personal injury lawyers has over 45+ years of experience and over 100 jury trials in Texas. Our personal injury attorneys have a stellar reputation for dealing with insurance companies, negotiating favorable settlements with insurance companies, providing a thorough and prompt investigation and fighting to make sure you receive all the compensation your entitled to under the law.
We Get Results
Once you entrust us with your case, we commit to you and your cause and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Because we limit the number of cases we accept, our injury attorneys and staff are able to focus on your case and commit the time and resources necessary to achieve the best possible result. We promise you that your case will be handled with compassion and the personal attention and detail you deserve!
Working with this firm was the right decision. From start to finish, everyone knew me by name, treated me respectfully, and gave my case the required attention. Communication was clear and responses were prompt. Not to mention a great outcome. Definitely recommend.Todd S.
The best car accident lawyers you could possibly find in fort worth! They really take care of you and make sure you get the best settlement you could hope for. You will not be disappointed if you work with these people. Super nice and they really care about your situation! Thank you!Kate H.
Excellent customer service throughout the entire process. I would highly recommend this firm. Although ALL of the interactions with the office staff were amazing, hopefully you will get the pleasure of working with Rachel. She was so helpful, kind and professional.Wendi S.
Professional, responsive and helpful. contacted Jeff's on the referral of a friend and not only has every contact with the office been prompt and courteous thanks to Trish and Rachel, Jeff has been a great help. He patiently listened to my explanations and asked me questions to better understand my need, things other attorneys have not done prior to him. He got me answers to issues I had approached me with.Obiora E.
Absolutely delivered exactly what Jeff said he would case dismissed anything you need I highly recommend them thank you again guys so much ????????????????????Jethro T.