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Dealing with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be confusing and a huge headache. Luckily, the state of California has more laws to protect policyholders than most other states. The best way to stand up to an insurance company is to know your rights and have a knowledgeable and motivated injury accident attorney in Sacramento CA on your side. Many individuals are not aware of these laws and that even includes individuals that work for insurance companies. Some claim adjusters and other employees of insurance companies routinely break these laws, through ignorance or otherwise. There are many laws, some are complicated, regarding how an insurance company is obligated to interact with policyholders. Having an attorney who is knowledgeable about the subject and being informed about the most basic aspects of these laws can be very helpful when making a case against an insurance provider.

Insurance companies have all the time in the world to negotiate a settlement and string you along as they “shuffle paperwork.” They often try to wait out people seeking damages as they are aware victims of, for example, a car accident has immediate bills to pay and much less money to spend than a giant insurance corporation. Be sure you don’t fall victim to their tactics by speaking with an injury accident attorney in Sacramento CA immediately after you’re involved in a car accident.

Good Faith

The following relates to California Insurance code section 790.03

Insurance companies are obligated to act in good faith with policyholders. This includes:

  • Being considerate of your needs
  • Communicating fully and honestly about your policy and rights – including all communication in-person, over the phone, in letters and emails, and in all other printed materials or advertisements.
  • Cooperating with reasonable requests for information relevant to your claim.

The following relates to California Code 790.02

  • Insurance companies must try to come to a fair and prompt agreement with policyholders. This also prevents an insurance company from making an unreasonably low offer or attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount a reasonable person would believe they are entitled to considering the information they have regarding their policy. The complication here is that part of the law makes it relevant only when fault had been made “reasonably clear.”

The following relates to the California Code of Regulations 2695.7 & 2695.9

Insurance companies are obligated to conduct reasonable investigations incorporating evidence you submitted. This evidence may include:

  • Pictures or videos
  • Repair estimates
  • Appraisals on jewelry, etc.
  • Inventory lists
  • In addition, all evidence should go to your injury accident attorney in Sacramento CA to guarantee the investigations are conclusive.

The following relates to the California Code of Regulations 2695

  • Insurance companies and all representatives of such must make as complete a response as possible to a claimant’s communications within 15 calendar days. Any question asked or request made must be addressed within 15 days.

It is very important to keep exact records of communications and the contents thereof in order to prove violation of this regulation. Phone conversations should be recorded with the date included. It may be easier to communicate through e-mail as a digital receipt is automatically generated.

The following relates to the California Code of Regulations 2695.7 and Insurance Code 2071

  • Insurance companies must inform you of all deadlines that apply to your claim and of the fact that there is a deadline for filing a lawsuit against the company. After the deadline to sue, you lose your right to sue, even if they declined to inform you of the deadline and they indeed have broken the law in other ways! Speak with an injury accident attorney in Sacramento CA if you feel you were not notified on deadlines.

The following relates to California Insurance Code 790.03

  • The typical deadline to sue is one year after the incident. However, there is a rule called “tolling” in the state of California that delays the deadline as long as circumstances meet certain conditions, such as a claim being processed. However, once the circumstances no longer meet those conditions, as when a claim is denied, the countdown towards the deadline begins again. Insurance companies must not misinform individuals about this rule, though it is a bit confusing.

Unless specified by the exact policy you have, it is not necessary to use the forms provided by an insurance company for contents lists. A typed list with replacement prices for items lost should be sufficient. Insurance companies are not allowed to require secondary proofs of loss such as receipts when you have photographs or other proof of ownership and worth.

Discrimination

The following relates to the California Code of Regulation 2695.7

  • Insurance companies are not permitted to discriminate in settlement practices based on an individual’s gender, race, age, income, language, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or lack thereof, etc.

The list goes on and on and covers a wide range of subjects such as fair depreciation, additional living expenses, and being forced to use a specific contractor. Seeking counsel from a well-informed injury accident attorney in Sacramento CA is the best way to defend yourself against a well-funded, strongly defended insurance company. Give us a call for a free consultation.

What to Do After A Car Accident ​​​​​: Car accidents can happen anytime, anywhere and to anybody. Being prepared and knowing what to do after a car collision happens is very important, as well as what not to do. Learn more about What To Do After A Car Accident and make sure you are ready to handle the unexpected and speak with a skilled Sacramento accident attorney who can evaluate your case and decide the best course of legal action.

Contact an Injury Accident Attorney in Sacramento CA Today

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed during an accident this winter, please do not hesitate to contact our Sacramento car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. We have offices in Sacramento & Folsom for your convenience and have the resources and expertise to aggressively litigate your case in court, fighting to get you just compensation for your injury.

Call (916) 299-8131 today for a free consultation with our Sacramento accident lawyer regarding your auto accident injury case.

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