Respected Texas Consumer Watchdog Group Also Smells Something Rotten
Texas Watch is a reputable consumer advocacy group that has turned more of its attention to auto insurance issues and their trend of higher denials, including higher UI/UIM denials by the more reputable firms as well. The group says that unethical minimum coverage companies have an advantage because they undercut regular insurers on price primarily because of their claims payment practices. A spokesman says, “the business model is they drag their feet and make it as difficult as possible for the claimant to collect in hopes they will take a low-ball offer or give up.”
In one year, Texas Watch completed a survey of customer complaints when filing damage claims against auto insurers in Texas. The most frequent complaint types and their percentages were:
Delays in handling claims: 36.7%
Unsatisfactory offers: 21.8%
Denial of claims: 16.3%
Customer service: 10.5%
In a UIM claim, things can get very complicated for non-attorneys. For an underinsured claim to be valid, you have to show that you exhausted the other available policies. In other words, if you have $100,000 in total damages and the negligent driver has a policy limit of $60,000, you have to get all $60k, or your UIM claim is viewed by your insurance company (if you have UM/UIM coverage) as invalid.
It is very easy for the defendant’s insurer to pay you only a large percentage – but not the full value – of their policy. But the fact that you didn’t collect full value makes it impossible for your UIM claim for the difference to be honored by your carrier. And there are a few well-known insurance carriers on that top-10 list that is kept by the Texas Department of Insurance; firms you would think would not be on that list.
It is all the more important to have an experienced Texas auto accident injury lawyer help you with both claims (the liability claim against the negligent driver and the UM/UIM claim against your insurance provider). Your success lies in collecting full damage value from both. In cases where you successfully get the other party to tender policy limits, you still encounter the difficulties of your company’s insurance adjuster’s alleged ignorance concerning Texas laws, particularly the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Your claim then becomes a contract issue between you and your carrier rather than a tort issue. Unlike inexperienced law firms, our Law Firm knows how to leverage a TDTPA violation claim against an insurer (either the other guy’s or yours) to do the right thing and pay both of your legitimate claims when an underinsured motorist has hit you.
The time after being seriously injured in a car accident is often stressful and confusing to the victims and their families. Don’t add to the stress and confusion by letting an inexperienced attorney handle your case or represent yourself when you are unqualified to look out for your or your family’s best interests. We are uniquely qualified and fully prepared to fight for and win the fairest compensation for your total damage claims. If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, contact an attorney at our Law Offices today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.