Insurance Bad Faith Claims in West Virginia
CNN’s Anderson Cooper aired a piece on auto insurance companies’ practices that confirmed what I’ve seen while practicing as a personal injury lawyer. Anderson talks about insurance companies’ underhanded ways of “covering” clients. Insurance companies like Allstate and State Farm are adopting cold, often harsh policies and practices in hopes of smaller walkaway settlements. Their tactics – DELAY, DENY, DEFEND!
Many insurance companies have developed a strategy to increase profits by concentrating on cases they consider to be “small tissue injuries;” slightly damaged vehicles and injuries to people which are not easily seen by the average eye or medical equipment (sometimes called soft-tissue injuries). The negative reputation of American capitalism only grows when clients learn that these companies spend more time researching the victim’s past injuries as a possible way to avoid honoring their insurance policies rather than taking time to adequately examine the victim and disprove the case on the merits. These companies are supposed to take care of us and be on our side – that’s why we pay them thousands of dollars each year in premiums. We’re all familiar with the insurance companies’ commercials that portray picture perfect family connections between them and their clients. Their attempts at delaying settlement decisions, denying injuries, trying to prove a case of fraud, and then ultimately dragging out cases in court in an effort to pressure injured persons to settle for less than the full value of their damages and injuries contradicts everything they claim to “stand for.”
Fortunately, insurance bad faith claims provide a way to level the playing ground for injured victims. Bad faith claims allows a person injured in a car wreck or other type of accident that is covered by insurance to seek punitive damages from insurance companies that are not honoring an insurance claim in good faith. Punitive damages are meant to punish and are in addition to other damages you may be entitled to such as lost wages, pain and suffering, and payment for medical treatment. If you think you’ve been treated unfairly by your insurance provider, I suggest that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Call West Law Offices toll free at 1-877-943-WEST(9378) for a free evaluation of your personal injury claim.
Brooks West is a West Virginia personal injury lawyer who helps people who have been injured by negligence or wrongful conduct. He is the President and founder of West Law Firm and has been an attorney since 2005. Brooks is a Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum member and has been awarded the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.