Insurance Companies and Car Accidents
Our Cleveland car accident law firm can handle the claim against the insurer so you can focus on your recovery
Insurance companies want you to believe they have your best interests at heart after a car accident. You might have seen the television commercials featuring cute creatures and friendly actors who want to make people think that compensating victims for their car accident injuries is the most important thing on their mind.
Don’t be so sure. In most cases, most insurance companies only care about one thing – paying injury victims as little as possible. We understand how frustrating the aftermath of an accident can be. You may feel intimidated by the fast-talking insurance company adjuster. You may get a quick settlement offer and not fully understand what the insurer wants you to accept.
Don’t give up your rights so quickly. We can help. Our Ohio car accident attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies and get accident victims the money they rightfully deserve. At Merriman Legal, LLC, our legal team has years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and getting injury victims the money they rightfully deserve. Located in Cleveland and serving accident victims throughout the state, our skilled attorneys want to meet with you and develop a strategy that best suits your specific case.
Should I accept an offer from an insurance company after my car accident?
Soon after your car accident, you may receive a call from an insurance company adjuster offering you money to settle your car accident claim. Such a claim might seem fair and cover the short-term costs associated with your accident.
Faced with such an offer, many accident victims are tempted to accept the money and move on with their lives. Insurance companies know this. That’s why they often make quick offers a few days or weeks after an accident.
But what many people don’t realize is that tempting offer in most cases doesn’t come close to covering the true cost of an accident. Along with short-term medical expenses, car accidents often have many long-term expenses, including loss of future income, physical therapy and subsequent operations in some cases.
Unfair Insurance Practices
Strict rules and regulations govern insurance companies. By law, insurance companies have express and implied obligations they must adhere to throughout the claims process. Specifically, carriers have a duty to investigate and rationally evaluate claims. Insurance companies must perform such work in a timely manner and make reasonable settlement offers in order to protect their insured’s interest.
Someone who has paid insurance premiums for such protections has a contractual right to these benefits under the insurance policy. Further, and perhaps most importantly, an insurance company must provide a defense to the insured – its customer- when claims are made. Typical insurance policies provide that a defense (the immediate appointment of counsel) and the cost of the defense is required to be provided by the insurance carrier – at no cost to the insured – in order to make sure the insured’s rights are protected.
A breach of the duty to defend by an insurance carrier is the ultimate failure. As a result of such actions, insured individuals might be forced to pay out of pocket for a benefit covered by their insurance policy. Sometimes, such actions – or lack thereof – on the part of the insurance company to protect its customers and defend their legal rights can result in financial ruin if such customers are sued.
When insurance companies ignore these responsibilities to their customers, such actions constitute a breach of the insurance contract and may give rise to bad faith insurance practices. In such instance, insured individuals can bring direct claims against the insurance company to recover for the direct losses suffered as a result of the insurance company’s actions and/or inaction.
We recovered $2.4 million in a bad faith settlement. In Reust v. State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co., cross-claimant Reust had a State Auto homeowner’s policy with $100,000 liability coverage. Reust’s dog bit off girlfriend’s lip. State Auto denied his girlfriend’s claim, refused to indemnify Reust and refused to provide him with a defense when he was sued by his girlfriend. A judgment was rendered against Reust by his girlfriend, and Reust sued his own insurance company for failing to honor their contractual obligations and bad faith.
Merriman Legal, LLC knows how to deal with insurance companies
When you have an attorney from our firm at your side, we will carefully review any offer you receive from an insurance company for your accident. If we believe the offer is fair, we will advise you to accept it. If not, we will work with you to demand the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Our accident attorneys have years of experience dealing directly with insurance companies. We will also take legal action against them on your behalf if necessary, including filing a lawsuit against an insurance company.
We know what it takes to win complicated car accident cases. That’s why accident victims throughout Ohio have put their trust in us to handle their cases. Find out how we can help you. Contact our law firm today. Call 866-823-3332 and schedule a no cost consultation.
Merriman Legal, LLC – make my team your team.