“Bad faith insurance” refers to situations where an insurance company breaches its requirement to make a good faith effort to pay claims as agreed. Insurance laws across Texas require insurance companies to act in good faith under a requirement known as a “duty of good faith.” When insurance companies fly in the face of their policies and agreements and refuse to pay insurance claims, you could be entitled to sue them in your capacity as an insurance subscriber.
Victims of accidents, homeowners with property damage, and other insurance customers often find it hard to get the payments they need from their insurance companies. When the insurance company intentionally tries to avoid paying the claim, getting the payments you need can be impossible without the help of an attorney and a lawsuit.
The Queenan Law Firm’s Dallas bath faith insurance attorneys work to help people who have been denied coverage for bad reasons get the payments they deserve. Contact our attorneys right away if you have trouble getting the payments you need or see any signs that your insurance company is working to unfairly deny or delay your claim. For a free consultation on your case, call us today at (817) 476-1797.
What to Do if Your Insurance Company Refuses to Pay for Injuries in Dallas
If you file a claim for damages after a serious accident and your insurance company refuses to pay, you could be the victim of bad faith insurance. Our Dallas bad faith insurance attorneys know that your insurance policy is an agreement between you and the insurance company and that both sides have duties to fulfill under that agreement. When your insurance company fails to pay according to the terms of the agreement, you could be entitled to sue them for breach of contract. However, our bad faith insurance attorneys may be able to help you with a stronger cause of action: a bad faith insurance claim.
In these cases, insurance companies go beyond a mere breach of contract, instead doing anything in their power to avoid paying claims altogether. It is surprisingly common for insurance companies to breach this duty of good faith, ignoring the specific terms of the insurance policy. No matter what remedies you look for under the terms of your agreement, an insurance company acting in bad faith will not be forced to pay you anything without a court order against them.
How to Identify Bad Faith Insurance Issues in Dallas, TX
As mentioned, bad faith insurance goes beyond merely breaching the terms of your insurance policy. Insurance companies often deny claims that seem on the fringes of what the policy covers, but through appeals and strongly worded letters from an attorney, these insurance companies can often be pressured to reverse their decision and pay the claim as agreed. When insurance companies take additional steps to ignore or subvert claims, their actions could fall into the category of “bad faith” insurance cases.
Some of the biggest red flags and warning signs that an insurance company is acting in bad faith are easy to spot:
- They “lost” the record of your claim
- They denied your claim without giving a reason
- They have no record of your policy
- They claimed your premiums were not paid
- They canceled the policy after you made your claim
- They delayed your claim without cause
- They stopped returning your calls/emails
- They refused to let you file an appeal
There are other red flags beyond these that you should also talk to a Dallas bad faith insurance attorney about if you are having trouble getting your insurance claim paid.
Obviously, if your claim is not actually covered by your insurance policy, then the insurance company is within their rights to reject the claim. For example, many insurance policies do not cover intentional injuries or self-inflicted injuries, and insurance companies could deny your claim on these grounds. But when your claim falls within the terms of your policy and the insurance company still gives you a hard time, it may be time to call a bad faith insurance lawyer for help.
No one expects you to be an expert who can automatically tell the difference between a breach of contract, a justified denial, and a bad faith insurance case without training and experience in the insurance field. Because of this, many attorneys – such as the Dallas bad faith insurance lawyers at The Queenan Law firm – offer free legal consultations where you can discuss your case with an experienced attorney and get help understanding whether you have a case.
Fighting First-Party and Third-Party Insurance Denials
When you file an insurance claim, you either file the claim with your own insurance or with someone else’s insurance. If you are filing a claim against your healthcare insurance or dental insurance, or if you have first-party accident coverage in your homeowners or auto insurance, you might file a first-party claim to get your own insurance company to cover the costs. Alternatively, after an accident or injury, you might file a third-party claim against someone else’s homeowners insurance, business liability insurance, or auto insurance. Each type of claim is handled a bit differently, but our lawyers can help fight for the money you deserve in either case.
First-Party Insurance Lawsuits
When you file a first-party insurance claim against your own insurance, your insurance policy will be the key to getting the money you need. Your insurance company is contractually required to pay you money if the terms of the insurance policy are met. For example, your medical insurance should pay for medically necessary procedures, and homeowners insurance should pay for damage from storms or fires. Your insurance might deny a claim if they think the terms of the policy are not actually met, but our lawyers can help appeal a denial or even take your insurance company to court for breaching the insurance policy’s agreements. If your insurance company had no intention of ever paying your claim, you may even be able to sue the insurance company for bad faith.
Third-Party Insurance Lawsuits
After an accident or an injury, the responsible party (the defendant) might have insurance that will pay the claim. This typically means that their insurance company will provide them with a lawyer to defend them and cover the costs they have to pay according to the terms of the insurance policy between the defendant and the insurance company. In some cases, you might be okay filing a third-party claim against their insurance to pay for damage to your vehicle or minor injuries. However, if you face more substantial injuries, you may be better off filing a lawsuit instead of an insurance claim.
Insurance claims often limit the damages you can receive, cutting off access to pain and suffering damages or paying only a fraction of the money you deserve for medical bills and lost wages. To get the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law, you may need to sue the defendant and their insurance company instead of filing a claim.
Types of Insurance Lawsuits in Dallas
Insurance covers many aspects of your life. Homeowners insurance might cover damage to your home or injuries other people sustain at your house. Even lost or damaged property or injuries that take place away from home might be covered by these policies. Auto insurance is required in Texas and usually covers injuries you cause other people during a crash – but you may be able to purchase first-party protections as well. Other insurance companies also cover travel insurance, medical care costs, flood insurance, workers’ compensation, injuries at stores and businesses, and other accidents and injuries.
Each type of claim works a bit differently. The first important factor in how your case will proceed is whether your claim is a first-party or third-party claim. With first-party claims, your lawyer will focus on the contract between you and your insurance company. Holding the insurance company to the terms of their agreement can often result in the payments you need, as many insurance companies are quick to correct their errors when confronted with legal action.
When third-party insurance claims are denied, your lawyer will need to prove that the policyholder was at-fault for the injuries before the court can order the insurance company to pay damages. This kind of lawsuit usually requires your lawyer to prove how the accident happened or how the injuries occurred and to explain why the defendant was at fault. This proof will be different depending on how the injury occurred, such as whether the case was a car accident case, a slip and fall, or some other accident.
Getting Paid for Bad Faith Insurance Claims in Dallas
When you file a successful bad faith insurance claim, courts can order the insurance company to pay the damages you were owed under the contract. In most cases – such as car accident bad faith insurance claims or homeowners bad faith insurance claims – the court can also order additional damages against the insurance company. Especially in cases where the insurance company has lost in previous bad faith insurance cases or there is a pattern of bad faith behavior, the court could order punitive damages. These are paid to you on top of the damages the policy calls for.
In many cases, you could also be entitled to legal fees and attorney’s fees, which could be included as part of your claim. Talk to our Dallas bad faith insurance lawyers about what damages you should be entitled to under the terms of your original policy and what other damages you can claim in your bad faith insurance lawsuit.
Call Our Dallas Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one is having trouble getting an insurance claim paid and suspects that your insurance company is dealing in bad faith, call The Queenan Law Firm today. For a free case consultation with our Dallas bad faith insurance lawyers, call (817) 476-1797.