Insurance Bad Faith Claims
Experienced Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers
Insurance aims to protect your health, home, vehicles, and life from unexpected losses and damages. These policies offer the reassurance you need to carry on with life, free from the constant worry of coping with a sudden tragedy.
However, the reality is that insurance companies don’t always live up to the trust we place in them. Discovering that your insurance provider is less than forthright when honoring your claim can be deeply unsettling. Dealing with delays or outright denials of valid claims can be incredibly frustrating.
While we’d hope to resolve such matters without legal intervention, insurance litigation has become more prevalent than one might assume. When an insurance company neglects its duty to its policyholders, refusing to pay a claim rightfully covered by the policy, it may necessitate taking legal action against them.
Holding insurance companies accountable for acting in bad faith is crucial. This not only ensures that you receive the coverage you paid for but also discourages them from repeating such behavior in the future. At Doug Terry Law, we have earned a reputation as fierce litigators and unwavering advocates for our clients, well-known within the insurance industry.
To explore your options and take a stand against unscrupulous insurance practices, contact Doug Terry today at 405-463-6362. Speak to an advocate who fearlessly stands up to insurance companies, equipped with a wealth of experience in taking on insurers and winning battles for our clients.
Why Choose Doug Terry Insurance Bad Faith Attorney
When navigating the complex and often daunting world of insurance claims, you may encounter instances where an insurance company acts in bad faith, denying legitimate claims or delaying rightful compensation. In such challenging circumstances, seeking the counsel of a skilled and experienced Oklahoma City insurance claim lawyer becomes crucial to effectively address and resolve these issues.
Here are reasons why choosing Doug Terry as your insurance bad faith attorney is prudent for those seeking the best legal representation.
- Vast Experience and Expertise: Our extensive experience in handling insurance bad faith cases is one of our standout qualities. Our comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of bad faith claims allows us to craft compelling arguments and devise effective strategies for achieving favorable outcomes.
- Personalized Approach: No two insurance bad faith cases are identical, and we recognize the importance of tailoring our strategies to fit each client’s unique circumstances. Our personalized approach allows us to identify the most effective course of action for securing favorable outcomes. Clients can expect transparent communication and regular updates as we navigate their case, providing peace of mind during a stressful time.
- Up-to-date Knowledge of Insurance Laws: Insurance laws are subject to frequent changes and updates. We stay abreast of the latest developments in insurance law, ensuring that the most current legal knowledge backs our representation. This commitment to continuous learning enhances our ability to navigate the complexities of insurance bad faith cases and devise effective strategies.
- Track Record of Success: We have achieved a remarkable track record of success in representing clients facing insurance bad faith issues. Our negotiation, litigation, and appellate advocacy proficiency has led to numerous favorable settlements and courtroom victories.
What Is a Bad Faith Claim?
There can be legitimate reasons for an insurer to deny a claim, but if a claim is either denied or underpaid unfairly and unreasonably, the company is not acting in good faith.
When you buy an insurance policy, the terms are spelled out in the original contract and subsequent renewal policies. Sometimes the insurance company will deny a claim because they rightly believe they don’t owe it. If they have a good reason to deny it, it’s not a wrongful denial.
However, at other times the insurance company will dispute, deny, or delay payments for no legitimate reason, placing an undue burden on the client in a time of emotional and physical duress. Moreover, they may have failed to properly and fairly investigate the claim in the first place, leading them to reach a false conclusion about its legitimacy. The duty of good faith requires your insurer to treat you fairly and reasonably. When they don’t, you can do something about it.
Types of Damages in Bad Faith Claims
When an insurer acts in bad faith, you may be entitled to seek compensation for damages resulting from the insurer’s actions or omissions. There are various types of damages that are available in insurance bad faith claims. These damages aim to make the policyholder whole and to deter insurers from engaging in bad faith practices in the future.
Compensatory damages are the primary damages available to policyholders in an insurance bad faith claim. These damages aim to compensate the policyholder for the financial losses suffered due to the insurer’s bad faith conduct. Compensatory damages can be further divided into two subcategories:
- Actual Damages: Actual damages cover the policyholder’s financial losses due to the insurer’s wrongful conduct. These damages may include the amount of the claim that was wrongfully denied, delayed, or underpaid, as well as any other out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the insurer’s bad faith actions.
- Consequential Damages: Consequential damages refer to the indirect financial losses that resulted from the insurance company’s bad faith actions. For example, if an insurance company unreasonably delayed processing a claim and, as a result, the policyholder incurred additional expenses or missed opportunities for income, these consequential damages may be recoverable.
These damages are a form of compensation designed to punish the insurance company for its egregious and willful misconduct. Unlike compensatory damages, which focus on compensating the victim, punitive damages are intended to deter the insurer from engaging in similar bad faith practices in the future and to send a message to other insurance companies.
In Oklahoma, punitive damages can only be awarded when the policyholder can demonstrate clearly and convincingly that the insurer acted with malice, fraud, oppression, or reckless disregard for the policyholder’s rights. Punitive damages are subject to statutory limitations in Oklahoma and are typically capped at a certain multiple of the compensatory damages awarded.
What Constitutes Insurance Bad Faith?
Oklahoma law unequivocally outlines the obligations of insurance companies under the Oklahoma Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act, which includes various instances classified as bad faith. These instances are:
- Misrepresenting the terms or benefits of an insurance policy
- Intentionally providing a lower settlement figure through factual misrepresentation
- Failing to conduct a proper investigation into an insurance claim
- Neglecting to maintain communication with a claimant
- Not offering a prompt reason for denying a claim
- Neglecting to inform a claimant about the need for any additional information.
However, proving bad faith under the law can be complex, as insurance companies have legal teams to counter such claims and conduct extensive investigations. If your insurance company has acted in bad faith, it is crucial to seek the help of a seasoned Oklahoma insurance bad faith attorney.
Reasons You Can File a Bad Faith Claim
When the insurance company unreasonably and unfairly denies a valid claim, they are acting in “bad faith,” an area of tort law established by the Oklahoma Supreme Court that allows individuals to sue for greater damages than they would have received from the original claim. In the state of Oklahoma, you may have a bad faith claim for any of the following reasons:
- Coverage denials
- Underpayment of claims
- Delay of payment
- Refusal to properly defend a claim.
How Do I Know What Is Covered in My Insurance Policy?
Understanding your insurance coverage and the contractual obligations of both parties is crucial. Paying your insurance premiums on time and in full is essential to maintain effective coverage. By adhering to these requirements, the insurance company must provide the coverage specified in the legally-binding contract you agreed upon.
Unfortunately, insurance contracts can be perplexing, as they may include intricate exceptions and financial limitations that are not always transparent. This complexity is often intentional, as some insurance companies aim to delay or minimize claim payouts, which can be unfair to policyholders like you.
If you find yourself in a situation where your insurance company denies a claim, don’t hesitate to contact Doug Terry Law. Our team of bad-faith insurance lawyers is dedicated to helping you hold your insurance company accountable for the full coverage outlined in your agreement.
Contact us today at 405-463-6362 to explore how we can assist you in resolving these issues and protecting your rights as a policyholder.
When Can I Sue My Insurance Company?
Your insurance company can be held accountable through various types of claims. When you pay insurance, you enter into a contractual agreement with the insurer, which binds them to fulfill valid claims covered by the contract’s terms. If the insurance company fails to uphold their end of the contract, you can take legal action against them.
The law recognizes a distinct cause of action known as “bad faith” when your insurance provider acts in a manner that disregards your valid claims. Denying rightful claims constitutes a legal violation. Doug Terry Law can help you assess whether you have grounds for a breach of contract claim, a bad faith claim, or possibly both. Regardless of the type of claim, employing the expertise of bad-faith claims lawyers can aid you in obtaining the rightful compensation you and your family deserve.
What Types Of Claims Are Covered?
Bad faith claims apply to a wide variety of insurance types. Here are some examples.
Health insurance companies may act in bad faith if they deny your claim for medical treatment for bogus reasons. Health insurance companies sometimes argue your treatment is not covered based on the opinions of unqualified or untrained doctors. The company often claims the treatment is “not medically necessary” or is “investigational or experimental.” Sometimes health insurance companies ignore the evidence, refuse to conduct (or improperly conduct) an investigation, delay payment, or use minor bureaucratic or procedural requirements against you. When a health insurance company interferes with your medical care in this manner, they might be acting in bad faith. If you’re facing such issues, consulting with skilled Oklahoma City health insurance claim lawyers can be a crucial step in defending your rights and ensuring just treatment.
Almost everyone carries auto insurance and insurance claims often come up because of a car wreck. Your auto insurance company may be acting in bad faith if they unfairly deny a claim to cover either the injuries you suffered due to the accident (like medical bills, future treatment, or pain and suffering) or the property damage to your vehicle.
Property Insurance (Homeowners, Commercial Property, Renters Insurance)
An insurance company may act in bad faith if they deny a claim for damage to your property, like your house, business property, or personal property. These claims arise under homeowner’s insurance, commercial/business insurance, or renters insurance. Many claims arise from storm damage, especially wind, hail, or tornadoes, but can be related to damage caused by any insured cause of loss.
Disability insurance is designed to award insured individuals at least partial compensation for their salary if they cannot perform their work duties for a defined period. You can file a bad faith claim against the insurer if, for example, it wrongfully denies the claim or uses delay tactics to avoid making prompt payments.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care (LTC) insurance protects individuals from losing their assets if they are forced into nursing home care or an assisted living facility or require home health care resulting from an injury or declining health. Denied claims may simply be ploys to avoid the cost of honoring your contractual agreement with the insurance company, such as requiring unreasonable documentation to support the claim or making a false interpretation of the nursing assessment. In such instances, seeking the expertise of Oklahoma home insurance claim denial lawyers can be crucial in challenging these denials and ensuring your rights are protected.
The statute of limitations for bad faith claims depends on your insurance coverage; it is best to consult a lawyer to determine how long you have to file your claim.
Can I sue my insurance company for bad faith without first filing a claim with them?
In most cases, policyholders are required to first file a claim with their insurance company before pursuing a bad faith claim. A bad faith lawsuit can be pursued if the insurance company fails to address the claim adequately or wrongfully denies it.
Can an insurance company cancel my policy if I file a bad faith claim against them?
Under Oklahoma law, an insurance company cannot retaliate against a policyholder by canceling their policy solely because the policyholder filed a bad faith claim against them.
How do I prove an insurance company acted in bad faith?
Proving insurance bad faith can be complex. To establish a bad faith claim, you must demonstrate that the insurance company’s actions were unreasonable, that they knowingly acted in bad faith, and that you suffered harm as a result.
Do I need a lawyer if I have a bad faith case?
Hiring an experienced attorney with expertise in insurance bad faith claims is highly advisable. An attorney can guide you through the complex legal process, protect your rights, gather evidence to support your claim and advocate for fair compensation.
Contact Doug Terry Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Today
Protect yourself from potential exploitation by insurance companies during times of vulnerability. To ensure a higher likelihood of success in your case and obtaining favorable compensation, enlist the assistance of our highly experienced lawyers. Contact us today at 405-463-6362 for a free consultation.
Is Your Insurer Committing Bad Faith? What Can You Do?
Why Do Insurance Companies Delay or Deny Claims?
What To Do if a Health Insurance Claim Is Denied
What is Insurance Company Bad Faith?
How to File a Health Insurance Appeal for a Denied Claim Cancer
How to Appeal a Long-Term Disability Denial
Proton Therapy Support Groups For Cancer Patients
What Happens If Your Insurance Claim Is Denied?
Can You Dispute an Insurance Claim Denial?
How Do I Fight an Aetna Denial of My Claim?
Why Do Insurance Companies Delay Settlements?
What Do You Do When an Uninsured Driver Hits You?
Health Insurance Claim Denial Reasons
Suing a Health Insurance Company for Bad Faith
What Is an Example of Bad Faith?
Do Insurance Companies Try to Get Out of Paying?
How to Appeal a Health Insurance Claim Denial
Jury Awards $200 Million in Insurance Bad Faith Verdict for Denial of Cancer Treatment
Bad Faith Tactics with Car Insurance Claims
Did Your Auto Insurance Company Act in Bad Faith?