When our Macon accident attorneys meet with a client for the first time, we ask them to tell us their story. Typically, by the time we meet with an accident victim, their insurance claim has already been denied.
Our job is to determine if you have a valid claim of bad faith against the insurance carrier. Call our Macon car accident lawyers today for a free consultation.
The First Thing Your Macon Accident Attorney Needs to Know is the Reason for the Denial
Before your Macon accident attorney makes any decisions, they will need to know why your claim was denied. When you meet with your lawyer for your free, initial consultation, make sure you bring all documentation from the insurance company.
At a minimum, your lawyer is going to need a copy of your denial letter. This will not only provide them with the contact information for the insurance adjuster, but it will also give them the specific reason why your claim was not paid.
Your Macon Car Accident Lawyer Needs to See Why Your Claim Was Denied
Depending on the reason why your claim was denied, your Macon accident attorney may suggest you file an appeal.
It is important to understand that the same person who reviewed your initial claim will more than likely be involved in the appeals process. This means that there’s a good chance your claim will be denied a second time.
You’ll Only Have a Certain Number of Days to Appeal Your Auto Insurance Claim
One of the reasons we suggest you hire a Macon accident attorney to handle your appeal is that they will make sure you don’t miss the filing deadline.
If you attempt to sue the insurance company for bad faith and they can show that you did not file your appeal in a timely fashion, there is a good chance your case will be dismissed.
Your Macon Accident Attorney Can File a Suit for Bad Faith
A lot of attorneys like to throw around the words “bad faith.” However, if your Macon accident attorney sues the insurance company for bad faith, they will have to prove that their allegations have merit.
Essentially, what you are telling the court is that the insurance company denied your claim for no good reason. Alternately, your Macon accident attorney is saying that the insurance adjuster rejected your settlement out of hand.
These are serious allegations. Your attorney will need to submit specific evidence to prove bad faith.
Did Your Macon Car Accident Lawyer Make a Settlement Offer Within Policy Limits?
If your bad faith claim is based on the insurance company’s refusal to settle, then your Macon accident attorney must prove two things.
In First Acceptance Insurance Co. of Georgia, Inc. v Hughes, the Court found that it is not enough to show that the insurance company rejected your settlement offer.
First, your lawyer must show that they made a settlement offer within the policy limits. Second, they must demonstrate that the insurance company rejected the settlement.
Did The Insurance Adjuster Reject the Settlement Offer?
If the insurance adjuster rejected your settlement offer, the court will want to know if they made a counteroffer. If they did, your Macon accident attorney will have to let them know how much that offer was for.
If their offer was not fair or did not cover your out-of-pocket expenses, it may be easier to prove bad faith on the insurance company’s part.
Has the Insurance Adjuster Refused to Give You a Specific Reason for Denying Your Claim?
Another approach to a bad faith claim is to assert that the insurance adjuster failed to provide a reason for why your claim was denied.
Once the insurance carrier determines that they’re not paying your claim, they must issue you a denial letter in writing. This letter must specify in detail why your claim was rejected.
If your Macon accident attorney can prove that this didn’t happen, it will go a long way toward proving bad faith.
Can Your Macon Accident Attorney Prove That the Denied Was Unfounded?
The focus of your bad faith claim will be that the insurance company rejected your claim for no good reason.
Your Macon accident attorney will have to demonstrate that your claim was denied for no other reason than that the insurance company wanted to save money.
If the judge believes that your claim was denied in bad faith, they will rule in your favor and order the insurance company to pay you damages.
At the End of the Day, Nobody Wants to Go to Trial
Even if they won’t admit it, the insurance company does not want to go to trial. If your Macon accident attorney can prove bad faith, the insurance company will pay dearly.
In a bad faith case, the insurance company may be ordered to pay your original claim. They may also be ordered to pay an additional 50% of the claim as a penalty.
Furthermore, there is a good chance the judge will order them to pay your attorney fees and court costs.
Ultimately, There is a Good Chance Your Case Will Settle
What the insurance company may not want to tell you is that more than 95% of all car accident lawsuits settle long before trial.
They may want to play hardball, but at the end of the day, there’s a good chance your claim will be resolved.
Our Macon car accident lawyers have decades of combined experience handling cases just like yours. They are very familiar with the insurance companies and the tactics they use to avoid paying claims.
Contact One of Our Macon Car Accident Lawyers Sooner Rather Than Later
One thing we tell our clients is that the earlier you get a Macon accident attorney involved, the better. If you make mistakes early in the process, you could jeopardize the chances of your insurance claim being paid later on.
We suggest that you contact our office as soon as possible after your car accident. This way, one of our Macon car accident lawyers can help you file your claim and ensure that it’s handled properly from the start.
We do offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives our associates a chance to review your claim and see if it’s worth pursuing. It also gives you the opportunity to decide if you want to retain our services and move forward with legal action.