When you pay for insurance, you expect the money to be there when you need it. Auto insurance, health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, and others are supposed to help provide for your expenses in cases of serious need or emergencies. Many insurance policies are also in place to ensure innocent victims have coverage when someone else harms them. When insurance companies act in bad faith and refuse to make payments, you could have a legal claim against the insurance company.
If you or a loved one was denied coverage based on poor excuses, or if your insurance company simply refused to make payments, talk to an attorney today. The Arlington bad faith insurance lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm may be able to take your case to court and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation on your insurance bad faith claim, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.
What is an Insurance Bad Faith Claim?
A policyholder, the person paying for insurance, signs a contract (a “policy”) with the insurance company. This insurance policy dictates how much the policyholder will pay in periodic premiums and what coverage the insurance company will provide. Any limitations on coverage or reasons that the insurance company might deny coverage must be listed in the policy. When the policyholder needs the insurance to kick in, they file a claim, and the insurance company should work to defend them in court, as appropriate, and pay for any damages they need covered. Victims of injuries and other negligence might also file claims against the at-fault party’s insurance to get the coverage they need.
In the US, insurance companies are held to a “good faith and fair dealings” standard. This means that, regardless of the terms of the insurance policy, the insurance company is supposed to treat you fairly, be honest, and make a real attempt to carry out their duties under the insurance policy. This means that they should respond to your claim, investigate it promptly, and make an honest effort to pay your claim rather than using technicalities or loopholes to shut down claims.
When an insurance carrier ignores your claim or denies coverage, they may be acting in bad faith. Insurance companies may be bogged-down with heavy call volume that could limit your access to file a claim, especially in cases of natural disasters or other widespread issues. They may also legitimately refuse to cover a claim if it falls outside your policy coverage or if you stopped paying your premiums.
However, failing to fulfill a legitimate claim can violate the implied agreement to act in good faith. When this happens, you may be entitled to file a claim against the insurance company.
Who Can File a Lawsuit for Bad Faith Insurance?
Bad faith insurance claims usually fall into two categories, depending on who is filing the claim: first party claims and third party claims. If your insurance coverage is intended to pay and support you in the case of an accident or injury, your claims of bad faith would be first-party claims. If a policyholder was responsible for your injuries and their liability insurance refuses to cover the claim, you would file a third-party bad faith claim.
For example, denied benefits result in first-party claims for things like medical insurance, homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, and no-fault car insurance. Third-party claims come from cases involving malpractice insurance payouts, car accident settlements, and damages from homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for injuries on someone else’s property.
If you are a policyholder, you can always file a claim against your insurance provider if they refuse to pay you, e.g., for covered medical procedures in a medical insurance case. You can file a third-party claim any time the insurance company refuses to pay for damages the policyholder caused you, such as when an at-fault driver’s car insurance company refuses to pay the victim damages.
How to Sue Insurance Companies if they Refuse to Pay
When you are injured in an accident, the at-fault party may carry insurance. This is especially common in car accident cases, slip and fall injuries, and other premises liability claims. A business or private individual might have car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or other liability insurance that covers accidents.
An insurance company in Texas is required to defend their policyholder any time the claim against them matches the insurance policy’s scope of coverage. This “eight-corners rule” ensures that car insurance companies will defend and pay for car accident claims, that medical malpractice insurance carriers will defend and pay for medical malpractice claims, and that other insurance companies will properly defend appropriate claims. If the insurance company refuses to defend the case, a victim’s bad faith insurance claim may be the only way to get them the compensation they need to cover their injuries.
Arlington Bad Faith Insurance Claims Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one is seeking the assistance of an Arlington car accident lawyer, or if you suffered other damages that your insurance or the responsible party’s insurance should cover, call us regarding your case. Any time you work with insurance, things can become complicated, and it is important to have an attorney in your corner who can represent you in discussions with the insurance company. Especially if the insurance company denies your claim, it is vital that you discuss filing an insurance bad faith claim. The Arlington bad faith insurance lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm offer free consultations on bad faith insurance claims. Call (817) 476-1797 today for a free consultation on your case.