Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer Can Help Resolve Your Claim
When you pay your insurance policy premiums as required, you expect to receive promised benefits when you need them, but, too often, insurance companies may refuse to honor your valid claim. This unreasonable denial or failure to meet obligations under your insurance policy is considered “bad faith,” and in order to get you the benefits you deserve, you may need the help of a bad faith insurance lawyer.
Insurance lawyer Doug Terry protects those who have been wronged or mistreated by an insurance company’s bad faith conduct and have had their claims wrongfully denied, delayed, or underpaid. Insurance companies are out for profit and have high-powered lawyers to protect them, so fighting them is difficult, frustrating, and not something you should attempt to do on your own. Bad faith insurance lawyer Doug Terry knows Oklahoma law and how to navigate the claims system to ensure that you get the settlement you deserve. In a successful bad faith insurance case, you can win compensation for damages that is over and above the amount of the denied claim.
If you believe your claim has not been handled fairly or in good faith, call insurance lawyer Doug Terry at (405) 463-6362 for a free consultation today.
Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer Handles a Wide Range of Problems
Insurance companies care more for their bottom line than they do for clients, and they profit by collecting more in premiums than they pay out on claims. There are a wide range of bad faith tactics insurers use to avoid or minimize payments, and you should be aware of them. The most common examples include:
- Failure to work in good faith to promptly and fairly settle a claim in which responsibility of the insurer is reasonably clear
- Unreasonable denial of benefits for a valid claim or failure to explain reasons for denial
- Undervaluation of a claim or refusal to pay the full amount of claim owed
- Failure to investigate or unreasonable delay in investigating a claim
- Misrepresentation of benefits, coverage or other provisions of an insurance policy that are relevant to a claim
- Unreasonable interpretations of policy language to avoid payment
- Imposing arbitrary deadlines or time limits to make a claim that were not specified in the policy
- Failure to disclose policy limits
- Failure to defend the insured against third-party claims
- Redefining what constitutes necessary medical procedures, home repairs or auto repairs in order to deny a partial or total claim
- Forcing a claimant into litigation in order to delay offering a fair settlement amount
- Acts of agent negligence
- Issuing a fraudulent policy
- Not putting the paperwork through on the policy you purchased
- Asking the insured to sign a release for partial settlement payments or unreasonable offers.
Bad faith insurance lawyer Doug Terry will work to combat these and other tactics and hold insurance companies accountable for what they owe you. Though his reputation has been earned though his aggressive approach in litigating, settling and trying lawsuits on behalf of his clients, Doug takes the greatest pride in the relationships he has built with them.
Compensation Your Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer Can Win for You
Oklahoma courts wish to discourage unlawful and unethical bad faith behavior in the insurance industry. Case law and statutory enactments show that an insurance company has a duty of good faith and fair dealing and to investigate, communicate and inform the insured.
When insurance companies violate their duty, your bad faith attorney can seek compensation for not only the full insurance payment you are owed on your claim, but go beyond policy limits and seek both “compensatory” and “punitive” damages.
Compensatory damages from bad faith actions may include:
- Your financial losses, including your initial losses under the policy — the costs of the original accident, damages, and injuries up to insurance policy limits
- Additional financial losses caused by the bad faith actions, such as lost wages, or lost revenue through business interruption
- Embarrassment and loss of reputation, such as financial problems caused by delayed or denied insurance payments
- Emotional distress resulting from the insurer’s improper conduct.
Punitive damages from bad faith actions are additional compensation awarded by a jury to punish the insurance carrier for their behavior. Oklahoma wants to discourage insurance companies from being unfair or negligent, so it uses these punitive damages as an example so that other insurers are less likely to engage in similar conduct.
Oklahoma bad faith insurance punitive damages are capped or limited by:
(1) $100,000 or the amount of compensatory damages awarded; or
(2) $500,000 or the increased financial benefit derived by the insurance company as a direct result of its bad faith conduct.
In some extreme cases, if the court finds the insurance company’s conduct was sufficiently cruel, plaintiffs may be awarded unlimited damages.
If you win your case, the amount of your settlement will depend on factors that include:
- The original policy amount you are owed and other financial losses you incurred
- Additional losses you have sustained as a result, such as your emotional suffering and embarrassment
- Possible assessment of punitive damages.
Insurance companies do not want to be slapped with huge compensation awards and damage to their reputation, so once they know you have a lawyer who is willing to proceed to litigation, they may negotiate in earnest and offer a more fair and just settlement. If this does not happen, your bad faith insurance attorney Doug Terry is fully prepared to take your case to trial.
Don’t delay. Call Doug Terry today at 405-463-6362 to get started with your claim.
Proving Your Bad Faith Insurance Claim
Oklahoma insurance companies have a duty of care of good faith and fair dealing and to protect their insured from excess liability. They have a duty to act in a diligent manner in relation to investigation, negotiation, defense, and settlement of claims and to inform the insured. If they fail to do so, they may be held liable.
In order to win your case and hold your insurer, the defendant in the case, liable, your bad faith insurance lawyer must be able to show the following elements:
- Your insurance policy required the insurance company to pay the claim.
- The insurance company unreasonably refused to pay the claim.
- The insurance company did not deal fairly and in good faith.
- The bad faith actions caused you injuries or damage.
To show these elements exist, we would investigate the circumstances of your claim and its denial and find evidence to prove your claim is valid and that the insurance company acted in bad faith by:
- Examining your policy and its wording to look for errors made by the insurance company
- Investigating the incident and gathering evidence from the scene, such as photos and videos from surveillance cameras
- Interviewing any witnesses and getting their testimony
- Examining police, first responder, and medical reports and documents
- Reviewing repair cost estimates and bills
- Hiring expert witnesses to reconstruct what happened and testify on your behalf.
Not all evidence is relevant or admissible, and the courts will examine evidence and make decisions about the admissibility before allowing it to be presented to the jury. Once the court finds there is a sufficient amount of evidence, the case will go to trial.
Doug Terry will then present the admissible evidence, provide witnesses to testify and exhibits to back your case, and cross-examine any witnesses for the insurance company. After closing arguments from both sides, the case then goes to the jury to decide if bad faith occurred.
Types of Insurance Companies Acting in Bad Faith
Any type of insurance company can act in bad faith, regardless of the type of policy, including:
- Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance
- Vehicle insurance
- Business Insurance
- Life insurance
- Health insurance
- Credit insurance
- Disability insurance
- Liability insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Commercial liability insurance.
Certain acts and events are more likely to lead to a bad faith insurance claim, including:
- Storm and weather damage
- Fire damage
- Water damage, like flooding, burst pipes, or sewer back-ups
- Defective products.
Call an Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer for Help
Insurance lawyer Doug Terry is proud to protect individuals who have been wronged by an insurance company’s bad faith conduct. No insurance company is too powerful or too big to challenge or hold accountable for their wrongful conduct, when you have the right lawyer on your side.
Doug believes bad faith conduct by insurance companies is just plain wrong and will immediately put his experience and skill to work helping you get the compensation you deserve. He represents clients across Oklahoma and beyond who have problems with a wide range of claims, including health, automobile, homeowner’s, disability, life and commercial insurance claims.
When dealing with a bad faith insurance company, don’t take no for an answer. Call bad faith insurance lawyer Doug Terry today to hold insurers accountable for what they owe you. Call for your free, no-obligation consultation at (405) 463-6362.
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