Big corporations – including insurance companies – can be unfair to individuals. For this reason, every state in America has laws in place to protect consumers from insurance practices that are discriminatory, unfair, or deceptive. Perhaps the most typical way insurance companies try to avoid being financially liable to a personal injury victim is by delaying the claims process and forcing him or her into a lawsuit. If your own insurance company has denied your Nevada claim, understand that you have rights under the law.
Unfair Claims Practices
While each state’s law differs slightly, the tactics insurance companies use to deny claims and avoid paying out are quite similar. For this reason, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) developed universal practices that are forbidden when handling claims. Since each state slightly tweaked these rules when creating their own law, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney familiar with the applicable statute.
Under Nevada law, there are 15 unfair practices that insurance companies are prohibited from engaging in when wrongly denying a claim for benefits. This behavior is known as “bad faith.” These prohibited, although often used, tactics include:
- Misrepresenting pertinent facts related to coverage;
- Failing to respond or act reasonably promptly to communications from the claimant;
- Failing to promptly investigate and process a claim;
- Failing to timely affirm or deny coverage of the claim once necessary paperwork is filed;
- Failing to fairly settle the claim once liability becomes clear;
- Taking actions that compel the claimant to initiate litigation to get a fair settlement;
- Attempting to settle a claim for less than what is deemed reasonable;
- Attempting to settle a claim based on an application someone other than the claimant revised;
- Failing to inform a claimant of what coverage applies to a payment they make to him or her;
- Telling a claimant the insurance company will appeal arbitration awards to force the claimant to accept less than he or she is entitled to;
- Delay a claim by asking for duplicate claim reports from a claimant’s doctor(s);
- Failing to promptly settle a claim under the proper policy coverage;
- Failing to give the claimant a prompt explanation for denial or inadequate settlement offer;
- Advising a claimant not to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney; and
- Misleading a claimant on any applicable statute of limitations governing the claim.
A person who has been wrongfully denied a payout or settlement in a personal injury claim by an insurance company has rights under Nevada law. Do not try to handle this on your own, as insurance companies successfully use the above tactics all the time.
Contact Us Today
In the state of Nevada, a person can file a lawsuit for bad faith or based on the Unfair Claim Practices statute if an insurance company unreasonably refused to pay for a loss covered by the policy terms. If you or someone you know thinks they have been intentionally denied a fair personal injury settlement, contact Matt Pfau Law Group today. We can help explain your rights and assess your case.