Can an Insurance Adjuster Ignore My Personal Injury Accident Claim?

You have the legal option of filing a personal injury claim with an insurer if you were injured in an accident at the fault of another party. But a common concern among claimants is whether an insurance adjuster can ignore their personal injury claim. The short answer is that an adjuster cannot outright ignore a legitimate injury claim, and ignorance might rise to the level of “bad faith.”

Understanding the Role of an Insurance Adjuster

An insurance adjuster is responsible for investigating insurance claims to determine the extent of the insuring company’s liability. Their tasks include:

  • Examining the details of the accident,
  • Reviewing medical records and bills,
  • Assessing property damage,
  • Communicating with the claimant for additional information or clarification, and
  • Settling the claimant’s injury claim.

Can an Insurance Adjuster Ignore Your Claim?

Legally, an insurance adjuster cannot outright ignore a legitimate personal injury claim. Insurance companies are bound by laws and regulations that require them to handle claims in a timely and fair manner.

However, keep in mind that an adjuster might use several tactics that will give you the impression that your claim is being ignored. Some of these tactics include:

  • Delayed responses,
  • Requesting excessive documentation,
  • Offering lowball settlements, and
  • Denying liability.

While such tactics are questionable and frowned upon, they can work to prolong a claim without much legal recourse to the claimant. In these situations, you should consult with a personal injury attorney to learn your rights.

What is Bad Faith by an Insurance Company?

Despite the above, there are times when an adjuster will blatantly ignore a claim and refuse or fail to review it. You may have the basis for a bad faith action if this is the case.

Bad faith occurs when an insurance company fails to uphold its legal duty to act honestly and fairly towards its policyholders and claimants. Insurance companies are required to investigate and process claims in good faith, meaning they should not unreasonably delay, deny, or underpay valid claims.

Unfortunately, some insurers engage in practices that constitute bad faith, making it difficult for claimants to receive fair compensation. Common examples of bad faith include:

  • Unreasonable delays,
  • Inadequate investigation,
  • Lowball offers,
  • Denying valid claims,
  • Misrepresenting policy terms, and
  • Failing to communicate with an injured claimant.

Legal Recourse for Bad Faith

If you believe an insurance company is acting in bad faith, you have the right to take legal action.

Here are steps to consider:

  • Document everything: Keep detailed records of all communications, including emails, letters, and phone calls, with the insurance company.
  • Consult with an attorney: An attorney specializing in insurance bad faith can evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action.
  • File a bad faith claim: Your attorney can help you file a lawsuit against the insurance company for acting in bad faith. This may result in additional compensation beyond your original claim, including punitive damages.
  • Litigation: If the case goes to court, your attorney will represent you and present evidence of the insurance company’s bad faith actions.

Contact Justice Through Compensation for Help

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, please know that the law firm of Justice Through Compensation is here to help. Our legal team is skilled, experienced, and passionate in their representation. Let us shoulder the burden of an injury claim or lawsuit while you focus on healing from your injuries. Contact us today for the quality legal help you deserve.

* Main image at top by freepik