Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

There are times when an insured knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he or she has a valid claim against an insurance policy, but for some inexplicable reason, the claim is denied. Whether it is against the insured’s policy or the person is a claimant against another insured’s policy, the result is the same. If the claim is valid and the insurance is in force, the claim should be paid up to the policy limits if need be. When an insurance company fails to honor a claim or has misled the public through fraud or dishonesty, this constitutes a bad faith transaction and should be taken to a court of law.

Examples of Bad Faith Insurance Practices

When it comes to insurance, there are several practices that should raise a red flag. Among those tactics that constitute bad faith would be breaching contractual agreements. For example, an insurance company issues a policy that they have a valid claim against and that company refuses to settle the claim. That is a bad faith act. Also, some less than scrupulous companies try to go back and issue a retroactive cancellation of the policy to avoid paying the claim.

Some companies have affiliated doctors who overrule the claimant’s doctor in order to avoid settlement while other companies delay payments for unreasonable lengths of time. Of course, ‘reasonable time’ is subjective to each claim and every state has set specific guidelines as to what constitutes reasonable. Other times the insurance company will try to wear you down with paperwork and red tape that is totally unnecessary. Then again, other companies will reclassify an injury as a preexisting illness to avoid paying the claim. Each of these maneuvers falls into the broad scope of bad faith insurance practices and often will require bad faith insurance lawyers to litigate in your defense in a court of law.

Where to Find Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers
While any attorney at law could represent you, it is essential that you find a lawyer who is experienced in bad faith insurance practices. Most attorneys who specialize in insurance claims will advertise as doing so. It is possible to find bad faith insurance lawyers in a local telephone directory, but it is easier to find one with expertise in the field by either contacting the State Bar in your state or by searching online.

Most of the time, you will only need to enter your zip code before being given several options in your locality. Other times you will need to specify what type of insurance claim you are filing bad faith against. Some attorneys specialize in automobile insurance while others handle homeowners, health insurance and life insurance. Believe it or not, there are life insurance companies that issue policies they have no intention of paying! Fortunately, after a certain amount of claims against such companies, the state will severely sanction that company or revoke their right to do business in that state.

There are laws in place to safeguard the rights of consumers and most often an attorney is required to interpret those laws on your behalf. Some attorneys take on bad faith cases with no retainer while others require a modest retainer to take on your case. Again, certain states have legislation in this regard as well. Just know that once an attorney has taken your case he/she has a fiduciary duty to act for you and only for you. Anything else would be a conflict of interest which would necessitate the attorney stepping down from the case. Reputable bad faith insurance lawyers are there to protect you against predatory companies and practices. If you feel you have been victim to bad faith insurance practices, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer to represent you.

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