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Bad faith insurance tactics after a car accident

You get into a serious car accident. It results in weeks in the hospital. You obviously can't work at that time, and you miss work for months afterward as you heal at home. You will probably need some level of medication for the rest of your life, and all of your injuries may not heal.

In other words, the accident changes your life forever. You know that the insurance company is supposed to help, but, as it turns out, they don't. You feel like they're working against you. With everything else you're dealing with, this all seems very unfair and unreasonable.

It is also illegal? It may be. Insurance companies sometimes engage in bad faith tactics for a variety of reasons.

Not investigating properly

One thing that companies may do to speed up the process is to fail to investigate properly and just deny your claim with some excuse. Maybe they'll say that you didn't really suffer the injuries in the accident, but that you got injured beforehand and then crashed your car, meaning they shouldn't cover those injuries. While that may be true in some cases, they have to investigate and back their decision up with facts and evidence.

Delaying the process

The whole process does not have to happen overnight, but the insurance company also cannot delay it for no reason and for an incredible amount of time. Some companies do this because, essentially, they hope you'll give up. They want to make it tedious and difficult. They figure you could eventually drop your claim and move on. They have to work with you appropriately toward a resolution.

Offering you a low payout

You have all of the evidence about the costs on your end, but the company may not want to pay. They'll offer to settle with you for a total that is far lower than what you need -- perhaps half.

Basically, they're hoping that you make a mistake. Maybe you'll agree to it before you realize that it's all you will get. Maybe you'll feel so sick of all of the delays that you will take whatever they offer so that you get something, even if you know it's unfair.

Understanding the process

As you can see, insurance companies may not always have your best interests in mind. You may feel like they're working against you because that is exactly what they are doing.

That's why it is so important for you to understand this process. You need to know what legal rights you have in Missouri and what steps you should take to seek the compensation you deserve.

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