Insurance companies might act in bad faith by delaying the processing of a claim, telling a claimant they do not need a lawyer, or offering to pay much less than a claim is worth. An insurance claims attorney can help you if your insurance company is acting in bad faith.
When it comes to insurance claims, insurance companies are in control when it comes to a claim settlement. Since this is something they do all of the time, they are experts with more negotiating strength and financial resources than their claimants. Most courts recognize this uneven playing field and believe that insurance companies have an obligation of good faith and fair dealing with every insurance policy they issue. However, if you believe an insurance company did not act reasonably in handling any part of your claim, you may want advocacy from an experienced Orange County insurance claims attorney.
Insurance Bad Faith Laws
To protect their bottom line, it is common for insurance companies to deny claims or offer far less than what they are worth. They do not uphold the end of their agreements with you when they delay or unfairly deny claims. Insurance bad faith occurs anytime an insurance company fails to reasonably comply with their contract. California law requires them to act in good faith and utilize only fair claim practices. There are many examples of bad faith insurance dealings, such as:
- Advising a claimant not to hire an attorney
- Misleading a claimant as to the legal deadline for filing a claim or initiating a lawsuit
- Unreasonably denying policy benefits
- Distorting facts or policy provisions to claimants
- Not responding or acting promptly with respect to a claim
- Refusing to make a good faith effort to fairly settle claims when liability is reasonably clear
- Causing the claimant to take the claim to court because the insurance company has refused to make an adequate settlement offer
- Attempting to settle for an amount that appears unreasonable when compared to statements made in written or printed advertising material that came with the application for insurance
- Failing to provide prompt reasoning for the denial of a claim
Remedies for Bad Faith Actions
With the help of a seasoned Orange County insurance claims lawyer, you can hold the insurance company accountable for their unreasonable actions. You might be able to recover damages for breach of contract, the benefits due under your policy plus interest. Other damages you might be able to seek to include bad faith damages such as:
- Consequential economic losses
- Emotional distress
- Attorneys’ fees
You may also seek punitive damages if you can prove that the insurer acted with fraud, oppression, or malice.
Hire an Orange County Insurance Claims Attorney to Be Your Advocate
If you are having difficulties with an insurance claim, do not delay in getting help. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on the insurance company to advocate for you or uphold their contract with you. The good news is that an Orange County insurance claims lawyer can be an advocate for you when dealing with the insurance company.
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can go to work getting you the compensation you deserve. Our results speak for themselves. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced Orange County insurance claims attorney at the Law Offices of Jerrod Paul. Call (407) 588-0343 or contact us online.BACK TO BLOG