So, you've been hurt in a car accident, and the other party's insurance company is offering you a low settlement for your loss. Worse yet, they may be trying to blame you for the accident. You decide to pursue your other legal options, and you want to learn more about how to file an insurance bad faith lawsuit.
Filing an insurance bad faith lawsuit can be tricky. However, you can contact a bad-faith lawsuit lawyer to help you challenge the insurance adjuster.
How Do I File an Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit?
Insurance companies must act in good faith to settle your claim if you're insured. This means that they are required to reasonably and properly investigate your claim and payout based on the terms of your policy. If they fail to do so, they act in bad faith, which means you may be able to file a lawsuit against them.
Having a lawyer by your side may help contribute to the success of your bad faith lawsuit. A lawyer can help advise you on the steps to take and the evidence to present to support your claim.
If you believe that an insurance company has acted in bad faith toward you or your family, there are several actions you can take. Protect your rights and hold the insurance company accountable for their actions by following these steps:
Review the Insurance Contract
The first step in any claim is to review the contract with the insurance company and ensure that you understand what it says. Insurance policies can be complex to read, so if you don't understand what your policy says, contact an attorney to help you decipher the jargon. It's vital to figure out what coverage is provided under the policy and whether it applies to the situation.
Keep Logs on Your Claim
You can also strengthen your case by keeping logs about what happened with your claim. Create a spreadsheet or document where you can log everything related to your accident and claim, including when you submitted the claim, when you met with the adjuster, and any other interactions with the insurance company.
It can also help if you recorded conversations with other parties involved in the accident or anyone you spoke to about your case. This may come in handy during the trial as additional proof.
Document Denial of Claim
The denial letter should provide a detailed explanation as to why the carrier denied your claim. Suppose the denial letter fails to provide you with a satisfactory explanation for why your claim was denied. In that case, you should contact your insurance company and request additional information regarding the denial. This will help you analyze whether the denial was reasonable and legal, and it will be substantial evidence if you file a lawsuit.
Make a Final Demand
Write to your insurance company demanding payment. You can use this letter to argue that the insurance company must pay your claim because it's covered under the policy or that their refusal is unreasonable or unfair under state law. Your letter should also demand a specific dollar amount to pay your claim within a set time, usually about 30 days. If you don't receive payment by then, proceed to the next step.
File a Complaint With the State
File an official concern with the department of insurance in your state. In Florida, for instance, you will contact the Division of Consumer Services. Although state regulations may require you to file an internal appeal with your insurance company first, check with them before proceeding.
When you file this complaint, provide all relevant information regarding the denial or delay of payment and why you believe it was unreasonable or unlawful. The department will review your complaint and investigate the insurance company's practices to determine whether they violated the law. If the department finds that there has been bad faith, it may take enforcement action against the insurer or at least side with you in future legal proceedings.
Initiate a Bad Faith Lawsuit
If the adjuster and insurance company reject your claim a final time, you can often challenge the decision in court. To do so, you'll need to file a bad faith lawsuit.
Filing a bad faith lawsuit is not as simple as filing a standard civil lawsuit. Since this lawsuit is unlike a regular breach of contract case, you may want to consult a bad faith lawyer for guidance through the process.
Contact the Dolman Law Group to Help You File a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit
If you choose to file a bad faith insurance lawsuit in court, you can expect to see your insurer's attorney try to fight back, and that's because they know that bad faith insurance claims can limit their ability to deny qualified claims.
Consulting the Dolman Law Group can help you challenge your insurance adjuster and reach a fair settlement. Contact us today for legal help.