How Do I File a Bad Faith Claim Against an Insurance Company?
If an insurance company denies your claim, you are left with a difficult decision: Do I give up, or keep pushing? Pursuing a denied claim can feel like an uphill battle, and many decide that the battle is not worth it. That is what insurance companies that act in bad faith want you to think. But you may have legal recourse against them that could get you the money you deserve for your claim and more.
When insurance companies act in bad faith, they open themselves up to liability. With the help of an attorney, claimants who are dealt with unfairly or unreasonably may file a lawsuit against the insurance company. You have six years from the unfair treatment to file your lawsuit if you hope to recover damages for a bad faith claim.
Your first step in pursuing a bad faith claim against an insurance company is contacting the experienced NYC personal injury lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm. We have built our reputation on ensuring that our clients are not taken advantage of by insurance companies, no matter how large they are or how much money is at stake. For a free consultation on your options, call us at (718) 841-0083.
What is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
“Bad faith” is a concept that refers to when a party is acting unreasonably or unfairly in regard to a business obligation. Insurance companies act in bad faith when they behave unreasonably towards those who use their services for coverage. These clients are often at a significant power disadvantage compared to large insurance companies. This is why bad faith claims exist.
Bad faith claims are a tool for people to use when they feel that they are being mistreated by an insurance company. If your bad faith claim against an insurance company is successful, you stand to gain significantly more in compensation on top of what the insurance company owes you for your initial claim.
Defining bad faith for the purposes of a lawsuit can be difficult. A judge will typically look for evidence of two key elements. Those elements are as follows:
- The insurance company’s unreasonable or unfair conduct
- The insurance company’s knowledge or reckless disregard of the fact that the conduct was unreasonable
You will need to establish evidence that proves both of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. That is why you should have the assistance of one of the experienced NYC car accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm by your side while you pursue justice.
Why Do Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith?
Insurance companies say that they are there to protect you, but that is unfortunately far from the truth. Insurance companies are businesses that are interested primarily in their bottom line. Therefore, they will look for any opportunity to minimize the amount of money they owe you or even avoid paying you entirely.
Attempting to minimize insurance is not against the law. However, insurance company representatives can take underhanded tactics to try to mislead claimants or strongarm them into believing that they cannot recover. This leads to many viable claimants giving up on their attempts to get the compensation they deserve.
Insurance companies are much more likely to take these underhanded tactics when dealing with claimants who don’t have legal representation because they may believe that the claimant won’t know any better. The best way to ensure that you aren’t being taken advantage of is to call the Bronx personal injury attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm.
Examples of Insurance Companies Acting in Bad Faith
Most cases of bad faith occur where insurance companies deny coverage on claims that are reasonable. Where claimants are relying on coverage in the wake of a significant life event such as a car accident or the death of a loved one, the lifeline from an insurance payout is incredibly important.
Sometimes, insurance companies will issue denials of claims on the grounds that the claim is not within the scope of the coverage. To check whether the denial has validity, the claimant must go back through their lengthy insurance agreement and wade through the fine print, most of which is written in “legalese” that is hard to understand. The reality is that some insurance representatives will deny coverage in bad faith on the assumption that the claimant won’t bother to check the language or won’t understand it when they do and simply give up.
This is where an experienced bad faith insurance attorney is important. Your lawyer can examine the terms of the policy on your behalf and advise you on whether or not the denial is reasonable or not. If not, the lawyer can attempt to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance company or represent you in your pursuit of legal action against them.
How Long Do I Have to File a Bad Faith Claim Against an Insurance Company?
Every state has a law, known as the “statute of limitations,” that governs the length of time that you have to file a bad faith claim against an insurance company. In New York, for example, that limit is set at six years from the date of the instance of bad faith. If you fail to file your claim within those six years, your case will likely be thrown out. However, if there are multiple instances that show bad faith, the clock will restart with each one. This can be complicated, so if you are concerned about whether you are still within the statute of limitations for your potential claim, talk to one of the experienced bad faith insurance attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm for more information.
We Can Help You File Your Bad Faith Claim Against the Insurance Company Today
The Brooklyn personal injury attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm are ready and willing to help you build your case against the insurance company that is treating you and your claim unfairly. To hear more about our services and your case, call us at (718) 841-0083.