Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer

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Los Angeles Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

Our Firm handles cases where there is a dispute between an individual policy holder and insurance company about payment of a claim. Insurance policies are intentionally confusing and ambiguous, giving the insurance companies the edge over consumers and businesses. Oftentimes, an insurance company will wrongfully deny an insurance claim. Under the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, implied in all insurance contracts, this mistreatment or fraud is termed “bad faith”. Bad faith is when the insurance company does not abide by the terms and conditions of the insured’s policy and willfully refuses to pay a legitimate claim for damages. Even when an Insurer admits that a claim or lawsuit is covered by the insurance policy, they consistently try to underpay a claim.

What Is Bad Faith Insurance — and How Can Lawyers Protect People From It?

Most people rely on their insurance companies to be there when they most need them. If a serious property loss or medical misfortune strikes, insurance coverage is often the only financial lifeline available.

However, some people are on the receiving end of a terrible surprise: The insurance coverage they expected to be there has been declined, and their insurer refuses to pay out. In some cases, insurers who attempt to renege on coverage do so in a way that is unethical or illegal — a category called “Bad Faith Insurance.”

Fortunately, the legal system provides a way for victims of bad faith insurance to make themselves whole.

How Bad Faith Insurance Works

Insurers may refuse to pay out on a policy (or refuse to make a timely payment) by misrepresenting the language within their insurance contract. Here’s an example of a Bad Faith Insurance scenario:

Mrs. Jones takes out an insurance policy that pays out if she becomes unable to work through injury or sickness. This policy is a supplement to her standard healthcare policy. Mrs. Jones later becomes injured while riding a jet ski and cannot work for six months. However, her insurer declines her injury claim, citing jet ski riding as a “high risk activity” that is specifically excluded from her policy. Yet Mrs. Jones was not informed of this exclusion by the insurer at the time she signed the policy, because her insurer was operating in bad faith.

Other common bad faith tactics include:

  • Not informing the policyholder of the limits of their coverage.
  • Placing unreasonable demands on the policyholder to prove that a loss occurred.
  • Intentionally undervaluing claims
  • Unreasonable denials or delays
  • Giving no reason for a denial or delay
  • Failing to perform adequate investigations
  • Lack of communication
  • Misleading clients about legal deadlines
  • Threatening clients or urging them not to hire an attorney

What Should Victims of Bad Faith Tactics Do?

Fortunately, the law offers robust protections for people who are victimized by bad faith tactics. In California, victims can choose to file a first party lawsuit against an insurer (if the insurance policy is their own) or a third-party lawsuit (if the policy belongs to another person). California’s bad faith insurance laws are considered to be among the strongest in the United States.

Victims and their attorneys can pursue legal remedies under California law, and if it is proven that the insurer engaged in bad faith, victims may be awarded compensation for their total financial loss, attorney’s fees, emotional distress and punitive damages in some cases.

It’s important to realize that a simple difference of opinion between a policyholder and insurance adjuster does not always rise to the level of bad faith. However, behavior that is similar to the tactics outlined above are usually a signal that bad faith activity may be occurring.

If you believe you’re been affected, the first step toward being made whole is a consultation with a California bad faith insurance attorney.

Examples of Bad Faith Insurance Practices

Specific examples of this can involve:

  • Denial of insurance benefits due under a policy
  • Failing to investigate a claim in a timely and thorough manner
  • Delaying paying of the benefits for an unreasonable time
  • Offering unfair value for the loss to the policy holder
  • Non-disclosure of policy benefits to the insured
  • Unreasonable interpretation of the insurance policy
  • Refusal to settle the case
  • Refusal to reimburse the policy holder for the entirety of the loss
  • Health Insurance Claims
  • Auto accidents (property damage claims, uninsured motorist claims, etc.)
  • Homeowner claims (damage from water, fire, theft, etc.)
  • Earthquake claims.
  • Life insurance claims
  • Disability insurance claims

Our Firm has an emphasis on representing amputees and prosthetists in health insurance related claims for the wrongful denial of prosthetic benefits. We represent prosthetists and amputees across the country in a wide array of insurance related claims. We have been successful in numerous claims against insurance companies for the denial of benefits for microprocessor prosthetic limbs. Please contact Conal Doyle for more information on this practice area.

Disability Insurance: Getting The Coverage You Deserve

Disabilities can arise at any time in life. Every year, millions of Americans find themselves unable to work due to accidents or illnesses. In these situations, disability insurance is supposed to act as a safety net, providing the financial support you need to make ends meet so you can focus on your health and well-being. You should rightly expect to get the full coverage you paid for.

Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always hold up their end of the bargain. Insurers have a legal duty to properly handle claims in good faith. They violate that duty when they:

  • Deny your claim without a reasonable basis
  • Fail to conduct a reasonable investigation
  • Fail to disclose policy benefits
  • Refuse to engage in a good-faith settlement
  • Underpay your claim
  • Unreasonably delay your claim

Enforcing Your Rights

Insurance disputes can be challenging. Enforcing your rights as a policyholder may require pursuing a bad faith insurance claim. In these cases, it’s you against a vast insurance company. At Doyle Law, a nationally recognized practice in Los Angeles, we can be your voice and advocate in dealing with the insurance company. Our award-winning trial attorneys are not afraid to take on large, powerful companies. We have done so many times in the past — and prevailed.

Protecting Your Rights Under Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

If you are like many Americans, your home is your most valuable asset. It’s not only a significant financial investment; it’s also the place where life is lived and memories are made.

Homeowners insurance is supposed to give you peace of mind knowing your investment is protected. Yet far too often, homeowners find themselves abandoned when they most need coverage. Insurance companies sometimes resort to delays, denials, underpayments and other tactics to avoid paying out claims, leaving you to shoulder the burden of a loss that should have been covered.

Fortunately, in these situations, you may be able to hold the insurance company accountable. Through a bad faith insurance claim, you can make your voice heard and enforce your rights under the terms of the policy. At Doyle Law, we’re committed to helping policyholders get the coverage they deserve. We understand how intimidating it can be to deal with the insurance company on your own. You may have already tried to stand up for yourself, only to face countless dead ends. Fortunately, we can level the playing field. Our award-winning lawyers have a proven track record of success in standing up for the underdogs. We know how to build strong cases and apply the right pressure to get insurance companies to budge. Through relentless advocacy, our attorneys will fight to protect your interests each step of the way. For guidance on how to handle your specific insurance coverage dispute, call our office in Los Angeles, California, at 310.385.0567 or send us an email. We represent policyholders nationwide.

Does the Firm handle cases in my hometown?

Yes. Doyle Law is a national law firm. We represent clients in catastrophic injury cases across the country. Our lawyers are licensed to practice in California, New York, Florida, and the District of Columbia. Our attorneys can also obtain admission in any state to handle a particular case subject to the rules of each jurisdiction.

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