1. What is insurance company bad faith?
Insurance companies have a duty to handle your claim promptly, reasonably and in “good faith.” If your insurance company refuses to honor its contract and fails to pay a valid claim, you have the right to bring a civil action for damages against the insurance company.
2. What is a “reservation of rights” letter?
Often, the first thing you will receive from an insurance company is a “reservation of rights” letter. This letter tells you that the company is investigating your claim, but is also reserving its right not to pay you anything should it turn out that the accident is not covered under the policy or the claim remains under investigation. The insurance company must still thoroughly investigate your claim and be fair in negotiations. The letter protects the insurance company by preventing you from claiming that the company’s insurance policy must cover your accident just because it began investigating your claim.
3. I think the offer the insurance company gave me is too low. Is this bad faith?
Purposefully offering a much lower than reasonable settlement could be a case for bad faith. Insurance companies have an obligation to deal with their customers in a fair, reasonable manner. Contact the experienced lawyers at Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, to discuss your unique claim.
4. An insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
When you get the first offer from an insurance adjuster, you should determine whether the offer is reasonable. If it is a reasonable offer, you can quickly make a counteroffer that is just a bit lower than the amount you demanded originally. This shows the insurance company that you are also being reasonable and are willing to compromise. During negotiations, emphasize the strongest points in your favor — for example, that the insured was completely at fault, that you had a very painful injury, that your medical costs were reasonable, and/or that you had long-term or permanent physical effects. But these types of negotiations can be complex. An experienced personal injury attorney is much better suited to handle settlement negotiations. The insurance industry’s own statistics show that, on average, a person using an attorney will get three times more money than a person who does not have an attorney.
5. When should I contact a Syracuse insurance settlement lawyer?
You should definitely contact an experienced attorney before you make any type of commitment in an insurance settlement. Dealing with an insurance company on your own can be disastrous. Insurance companies will often record your conversation or get you to admit to facts about the accident or your injuries that can hurt your case. You should contact The Law Offices of Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP. We can assist you in asking the right questions, getting a fair settlement and, if necessary, with court proceedings.
6. Can the insurance adjuster record our telephone conversation?
Generally, the adjusters can record the conversation. It is best not to discuss your case without seeking the advice of an attorney. A lawyer has more experience with insurance negotiations. Having a lawyer speak on your behalf may be your best option.
7. Can the insurance company take video surveillance of me or my family without my permission?
Yes, insurance companies can videotape you. The companies claim that they do surveillance to prevent fraudulent claims. However, even legitimately injured people may find themselves the subject of video surveillance.
8. Will I have to pay taxes on the settlement amount I receive?
Generally speaking, you do not have to pay income taxes on the amount of the settlement, especially when it is compensation for pain and suffering.
9. How soon will my claim be settled?
By law, insurance companies are required to pay all claims in a prompt and reasonable manner. However, “prompt and reasonable” may vary from claim to claim. Claims that require additional or special investigation may take longer to resolve.
10. What if I have other questions?
Contact us today. We will answer your questions and discuss your case.
Put Our Insurance Settlement Attorneys to Work For You
Contact Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, today to discuss your insurance settlement case. Put our years of legal experience to work for you. Contact our Syracuse insurance settlement attorneys for a free consultation about your claim. Just fill out our online contact form or call us now at (315) 314-5390 or (877) 713-8573. We take calls 24 hours a day. Remember, you owe no legal fee unless we win your case.