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Insurance Bad Faith FAQ
Los Angeles Bad Faith Insurance Questions
You pay your insurance premiums each month with the understanding that when accidents occur, your claim will cover the damages. However, you may find that when you go to collect need funds, the insurance company has denied your claim. The reality is that insurance companies are businesses and may sometimes put profits ahead of their obligations to the insured.
The insurance claims process can be tremendously complicated and below, we answer some of the most common questions about bad faith insurance and what you should do if you think you are being treated unfairly by an insurance company.
- What is insurance bad faith?
- What can I do to support my Claim?
- How much is my claim worth?
- I have been offered a settlement. Should I accept it?
- When can an insurer deny a claim?
- What can I do if my claim is denied?
What Is Insurance Bad Faith?
Your insurance policy is the contract that dictates the nature of the relationship between you (the insured) and the insurance company. When the insurer does not comply with the terms of said contract and attempts to deny, reduce, or delay your claim, they are said to be acting in bad faith. Withholding information on why a claim is being delayed or denied can also count as an act of bad faith. Bad faith can occur in any industry from property denial claims to health insurance.
What Can I Do to Support My Claim?
The two best actions you can take to support your claim are to seek immediate legal representation and to gather evidence. Take pictures and video of any property damage which occurred and find “before” pictures where possible. Witness testimony can also be a powerful form of evidence. Anything which can help you to substantiate your claim in court may be helpful in securing the compensation that you need. While every case will be different, the experienced attorneys at our firm can help you through each step of the process.
How Much Is a Bad Faith Claim Worth?
With the insurance company attempting to devalue your claim, it can often be difficult to gauge what a settlement should look like. While this is among the most common questions that our firm is asked, the frustrating answer is, it depends. Accurately evaluating compensation for damages can be the most complicated part of the insurance claims process. Often, as a case unfolds and additional information becomes available, the potential value of a claim can fluctuate. However, in the case of bad faith claims, victims can typically seek restitution for the initial damages as well as any resulting losses from the insurer’s actions.
I Have Been Offered a Settlement. Should I Accept?
You are not required to accept an offer that you believe is below what you need to compensate for your damages. In many cases, the insurance company will make the first offer with the expectation that negotiations are likely. As it can be difficult for the average person to predict what a fair settlement will look like, it is best to consult with an attorney before entering into negotiations or accepting an offer. When the negotiation process fails altogether, litigation may become necessary.
When Can an Insurer Deny a Claim?
Not every case will constitute a bad faith claim and insurers do maintain the ability to deny a claim, however, they can only do so when a legal foundation is present. Just as the insurance company must abide by the rules set out in an insurance contract, so too must the insured. While a legitimate violation of the insurance policy may lead to the denial of a claim, if you have any doubt, be sure to check with an attorney.
What Can I Do if My Claim Is Denied or Delayed?
IF you suspect that your insurance company is acting in bad faith by denying, delaying or undervaluing your claim, it is vital to take legal action. There are deadlines in place which restrict how long victims have to file both a claim and a lawsuit alleging bad faith. An experienced attorney can help you to deal with the insurance company at every step of the process to see that your rights are not overlooked. You may have only one chance to get the restitution you deserve and securing legal representation can make the critical difference in your case.
Experienced Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys
At The Mirkhan Law Firm, our Los Angeles bad faith insurance lawyers possess more than 18 years of experience helping victims to secure fair treatment from insurance companies. We understand that every situation will be different and if you have any questions about your claim or the services that we offer, request an initial consultation with our firm and tell us about your situation.