You, and many other Americans, purchase insurance just for peace of mind and hope you’ll never need it. You never miss a payment just to protect your family, yourself or your business. Hopefully, your insurance company will respond to you when you need them. But unfortunately, the insurance company isn’t as friendly when a stressful and sudden event happens.
Insurance companies have a legal duty to keep the terms of the policy and pay valid claims. They are essentially required to act in good faith – but sometimes they don’t. If you’ve been in an accident and these insurance companies start acting in bad faith by denying you reimbursements for your expenses, you need to contact a Pasadena personal injury attorney immediately.
California’s bad faith insurance law protects you as a policyholder. If an insurance company acts in bad faith, you can file a bad-faith lawsuit to get paid for your damages.
What Are Examples of Bad Faith Insurance?
Insurance bad faith occurs when insurance companies engage in unfair and unreasonable business practices. Bad faith insurance in Pasadena occurs when the insurance company doesn’t uphold its end of the policy.
Some acts outlined in the California bad faith insurance statutes include:
- Refusing to settle claims fairly
- Denying policy benefits
- Failing to respond to a claim
- Misrepresenting facts or policy
- Trying to shortchange a client with a lower figure
- Taking too long to investigate or process claims
- Not giving justification for a denied claim
- Misleading a policyholder
- Forcing unnecessary medical testing by the policyholder
- Unreasonable demands for proof of loss
- Compelling the policyholder to contribute to the settlement
- Not disclosing policy limits and adequately explaining policy exclusions or provisions
If your insurance company is involved in any of these, you may have a valid bad faith insurance claim. Talk to a skilled Pasadena insurance bad faith attorney for professional advice. You will learn more about what steps to take.
How Do I Tell If My Insurance Is Breaching My Contract?
Before making allegations of bad faith insurance, you need to intensively read and understand your contract if you haven’t done so. You need to ascertain that whatever you are asking is actually included in the contract. Sometimes there are exceptions that are recorded in fine print.
The language used in a contract may be a bit technical and difficult to understand. But don’t worry because an experienced Pasadena bad faith insurance attorney can help you avoid this confusion. Your lawyer will help you evaluate your policy and inform you whether the insurance company’s actions are valid or not.
What Proof Do I Need to Show the Insurance Company Acted Unreasonable?
You need to show that the insurance company failed to pay your policy benefits unreasonably. If your insurance company doesn’t pay much for your old car, which was totaled in an accident, this may be a reasonable payment. But if you are paid a meager compensation from a totaled brand new car, this would likely be an unreasonable denial.
Should I Appeal a Claim Demand?
You can appeal with the insurance company supervisor if you receive a claim denial or an undervalued settlement. But if you attempt this route and no resolution is reached, then it would be time to hold the company accountable by filing a complaint with the California Department of Insurance.
How Do I File a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit in Pasadena?
You may face serious challenges filing a bad faith insurance lawsuit without the help of an experienced Pasadena insurance bad faith attorney. A first or third party can bring a suit for insurance bad faith in Pasadena, CA.
First Party Bad Faith
A first-party bad faith claim is brought by the policyholder himself or herself. It may be brought as a breach of contract claim. Your attorney will guide you on to approach this type of claim.
Third Party Bad Faith
If you wish to file a claim against someone else’s insurance company, then you will need a third-party claim. The most common type of third-party claim is a liability claim, for example, in the case of a car accident.
If you make a third-party claim with the help of your Pasadena insurance bad faith attorney, the insurance company is bound by law to investigate the claim promptly and fairly. The insurance company is also expected to honor the policy and offer the policyholder a legal defense.
How Will an Attorney Help Me?
Insurance companies often invest heavily in their legal departments. You will be at an unfair disadvantage when you contest a claim on your own. You may be limited in your knowledge of California insurance law. Your experienced attorney puts you on an even ground by using their knowledge and skills to challenge the unfair denial.
Your Pasadena personal injury attorney can work with your insurance company to defend you in the lawsuit or fight to get your claim covered. If you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith, it’s time to take action and contact a skilled Pasadena insurance bad faith attorney as soon as possible.
What Type of Damages Should I Expect from an Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit in California?
Once you file a claim for insurance bad faith in California, you can recover:
- The amount of loss
- Emotional distress damages
- Damages in excess of policy limits
- Legal fees
- Statutory penalties
- Punitive damages
A Strong and Aggressive Legal Team Fighting for Your Rights
It shouldn’t be taken lightly when an insurance company denies a claim that touches on your wellbeing or even survival. Bad faith insurance claims have claimed lives. When insurance companies give questionable reasons for delaying, denying or underpaying claims, you need to take action against them with the help of your attorney.
Our bad faith insurance attorneys in Pasadena, CA, can interpret complicated policy language to figure out how much the insurance company owes you. We have a highly-skilled legal team ready to fight for your rights and counter any schemes insurance companies use to reduce their liability. Don’t face them alone. Let us tactfully guide you. Get in touch with us today, and we will show you what steps to take.