April 15, 2024

Bad faith actions by insurance companies are an unfortunate reality of today’s world. Every day these organizations make decisions that are not in the best interests of their policyholders; they are also simply unfounded and based on information designed to minimize reimbursement, therefore maximizing corporate profits. In short, their loyalties lie with their shareholders, not their policyholders.

In Oklahoma, insurance companies are required to act in accordance with the terms outlined in the policies they issue and in good faith.

This means that policyholders have legal recourse when claims are unfairly denied; insurance companies can be held liable for their bad faith actions. Those who were wronged may be entitled to settlements designed to compensate them for their losses.

Understanding the Damages Caused by Insurance Bad Faith Actions

If you are a victim of bad faith by your insurance company, you may be entitled to compensation. In Oklahoma, these damages are categorized into three types:  economic damages; non-economic damages like emotional distress; and punitive damages.

Recognizing what comprises each area can be helpful as you build your case.

Economic Damages

This term refers to damages that are quantifiable. In cases of bad faith they may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The amount of the denied claim, plus interest
  • Additional medical costs that may have resulted from the initial denial
  • Interest on loans taken to pay for what should have been provided coverage
  • Reimbursement for the attorneys fees you paid to file your case
  • Relocation costs
  • Lost earnings potential.

Other damages, including expenses paid for by the policyholder that were incurred as a result of the bad faith actions and missed income generating opportunities, may also be quantified and awarded based on the facts of the case. It is important to quantify these appropriately as you move forward with legal action.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more challenging to quantify but are very real, especially in the case of bad faith. This category may include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of reputation
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost quality of life
  • Loss of consortium.

Substantiating these damages can be challenging, but your bad faith health insurance lawyer should have relationships with experts who can help.

Punitive Damages

These damages may be awarded in bad faith insurance cases if the insurance company’s actions are found to be particularly abhorrent or reckless or in cases of fraud. These awards are designed to punish the insurance company and dissuade them and others in the industry from engaging in similar behavior in the future.

While uncommon in many types of lawsuits, punitive damages are not unheard of when bad faith is proven, and they tend to be substantial — especially when it is shown that the insurance company’s actions were intentional. 2019 Oklahoma Statutes Title 23. Damages§23-9.1 outlines the guidelines that must be followed when awarding these damages. It is important to recognize that hearings for punitive damages are held separately, after the bad faith lawsuit has been finalized.

Your bad faith insurance attorney can review your situation and let you know if punitive damages may play a role in your case.

Doug Terry Law Knows Bad Faith Insurance Law

We Can Help Maximize Your Settlement

If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or denied your claim, and you believe their actions were taken in bad faith, working with an experienced insurance attorney in Oklahoma is in your best interests. The complexity of the laws, combined with the insurance companies’ goal of minimizing expenses, makes these cases difficult to win. If you are able to prove bad faith, identifying all of your damages is challenging, at best.

Attorney Doug Terry and his team have been successfully supporting members of the community for decades; the testimonials shared by past clients illustrate how he has helped.  He understands how insurance companies operate and knows how to both prove bad faith and calculate and substantiate damages. You only have one chance to recover expenses, even those which have not yet occurred.  Mr. Terry knows this and leverages his experience for each and every client.  His practice is dedicated to supporting those who have been wronged by their insurance companies as they pursue compensation.

Contact Our Team Today

In cases of bad faith insurance practices and damage recovery, time is important. If you are the victim of bad faith insurance practices, reach out to Attorney Doug Terry  at 405-463-6362 as soon as possible.  He provides all potential clients with a free consultation during which he can gain a greater understanding of their situation and they can see firsthand how he communicates and learn what he believes he can do to help.

Attorney Doug Terry

Attorney Doug TerryAfter 25 years practicing in a larger firm, Doug chose to open his own practice in Oklahoma City. He brings his wealth of knowledge and his skills as a litigator to bear for his clients in matters of insurance bad faith, personal injury cases and class actions. He won $200 million and $25 million verdicts for clients in cases in which an insurer denied a health insurance claim. Doug has the distinction of being awarded a Martindale-Hubbell “AV Preeminent” rating from his peers in the legal community. He has also been selected as an Oklahoma Super Lawyer. [Attorney Bio]