In California, you’re legally required to purchase insurance to cover certain property in case it is damaged or destroyed. The idea behind insurance is great. You make regular payments to a company who, in return, promises to cover the cost of the damage to your personal property. If you’re involved in car accident, car insurance is there to cover the cost. If your house burns down, your homeowner’s insurance policy should cover the damage. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies follow through on their promises to cover your injuries. If a company has denied your insurance claim in bad faith you can take legal actions to protect your rights. A personal injury lawyer in San Diego can help you get the money you deserve.
At Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, we know that accidents and injuries can be incredibly expensive. If insurance refuses to pay your claim, or only agrees to pay a small amount, you can be left with significant and suffocating financial burdens. Most Americans don’t even have $500 stashed away in the case of an emergency, so covering the costs associated with a serious accident are highly unlikely. Fortunately, our attorneys can help you hold these bad faith insurance companies responsible for their actions. Call us today to learn about how we can protect your rights and get you the money to which you are entitled.
What is Bad Faith?
Insurance companies are legally obligated to act in good faith when handling insurance policies and reviewing insurance claims. This means that they cannot do anything to “unfairly interfere” with your right to recover insurance benefits. When an insurance company fails to reasonably investigate a claim or rejects an injury claim without reasonable justification they will have breached this implied promise of good faith. This breach is known as bad faith.
Filing a Bad Faith Claim for Damages
When an insurance company acts in bad faith you have the right to take immediate legal action. Filing a bad faith claim for damages can allow you to recover much-needed compensation. In order to file a successful bad faith claim you will have to prove:
- You and the insurance company entered into a contract;
- You performed all of the required duties imposed by the contract paid;
- You requested that the insurance company exercise their contractual obligations;
- The insurance company unfairly interfered with your right to receive the benefits of your contract; and
- You were harmed by this bad faith conduct.
In simpler terms, you must prove that the insurance company wrongfully denied you benefits that you were entitled to receive under the terms of a contract. This denial of benefits caused you to suffer a harm.
Examples of Bad Faith
An insurance company acts in bad faith when there is no reasonable justification for their actions. There are many different behaviors that could be considered bad faith. Here are a few examples of conduct that may be considered bad faith.
- You submit a claim for insurance benefits, your insurance company does a poor job investigating the claim, and the claim is later denied.
- An insurance company delays an investigation into your claim, resulting in the loss of valuable evidence.
- Your claim for insurance benefits is denied without a reasonable justification.
- Your insurance company fails to explain your rights as an insurance policyholder, causing you to lose out on certain benefits.
- You are named in a lawsuit after an accident and your insurance company fails to defend you.
- An insurance company fails to accept a settlement that is within the liability policy limits.
- Your insurance company unilaterally changes the terms of your agreement, causing you to lose certain rights and benefits.
Bad Faith Damages
When an insurance company acts in bad faith the consequences can be devastating. Fortunately, California law allows victims of bad faith practices to recover money to reasonably compensate you for the harms you have suffered. The damages you recover must include an amount to cover the harm that was caused by the insurance company. As the victim, you must be able to prove the amount of these damages.
The damages you are awarded can also include amounts to compensate for specific injuries you have suffered as a direct result of the bad faith conduct. These include mental suffering, anxiety, humiliation, emotional distress, and the cost of attorney fees you’ve incurred while fighting for your benefits. If your case goes to trial, a jury is empowered to award compensation for other injuries, as they see fit.
San Diego Bad Faith Attorneys
Has your insurance company denied your claim for benefits without justification? Did your insurance company fail to defend you in a recent lawsuit? Has your insurer blatantly lied to you about the terms of your insurance policy? Call Injury Trial Lawyers, APC to learn about filing a bad faith claim for damages.
Our San Diego bad faith attorneys have more than 20 years of combined legal experience. We understand that a denied insurance claim can have devastating consequences, and cause you to suffer financially and emotionally. We have handled thousands of complex personal injury matters, including those based on bad faith, and are confident we can help you get the money you need and deserve. Contact our San Diego office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more. We will review your case, explain your rights, and answer the questions you have.