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Raleigh Injury Litigation Lawyers

Dealing with a denied insurance claim? Call us today!

All policies of insurance have an implied duty that requires the insurance company to act in “good faith” toward its insured. This means that an insurance company cannot simply look for reasons to deny a claim. Rather, the company must thoroughly evaluate the claim and consider all the facts and evidence.

If an insurance company denies a legitimate claim or offers to settle a claim for less than it knows the claim is worth, this can give rise to a bad faith claim against the insurance company. This is a claim that the company has breached its implied duty to act in good faith and deal fairly with its insured. If it is found that the company acted in bad faith, the insured is entitled to all damages resulting from that action. A claim by the insured against the insurance company is called a first party claim.

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Handling Bad Faith Insurance Tactics

In the United States, the individual states regulate the insurance companies. There is no federal agency that regulates the insurance industry. In North Carolina, the state agency that oversees insurance companies is called the Department of Insurance.

One of the primary functions of the Department of Insurance is to certify that insurance companies doing business in the state are financially sound. They are required to meet certain financial conditions such that at all times they are able to cover all legitimate claims. The Department of Insurance may take various actions against an insurance company if it is determined that it is failing to conduct its business in a financially sound manner.

Many states have laws regulating the behavior of insurance companies to ensure fairness in the way companies handle applicants for insurance and policyholders. One of the functions of a Department of Insurance is to police “unfair trade practices” and “unfair claims practices.” This means investigating consumer complaints and taking action, when appropriate, to get companies to stop conduct that violates the laws and impose penalties for those violations. Other duties of a Department of Insurance include approving the policy forms used by insurance companies and authorizing rates charged for various types of insurance.

Understanding Reasons For A Denied Insurance Claim

There are various reasons why an insurance company may deny a claim. For example, the insurance company may determine that the loss is not a type that is “covered” by the terms of the contract of insurance. The company may find that the person who suffered the loss is not an “insured.” Because of the intricacy of insurance policies, it is strongly advised that you seek the assistance of an attorney experienced in the handling of insurance coverage matters to ensure a careful analysis of your situation and how the law applies to it.

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Insurance Litigation FAQs

Insurance Litigation FAQs

Who is eligible to sue an insurance company for bad faith?

The law of bad faith only applies to first party insurance contracts. In other words, only claims made by the insured against his or her own insurance company to which he or she is paying a premium for coverage are eligible. It does not apply to claims made by persons against another person’s insurance company because that other person injured or damaged the claimant in some way.

What is bad faith insurance?

Your insurance company has a duty to handle your claim promptly, reasonably and in “good faith”. If an insurance company fails or refuses to honor its contract and pay a valid claim, you have the right to bring a civil action for damages against that insurance company.

I think the offer the insurance company gave me is too low. Is this bad faith?

Intentionally offering a settlement far lower than what is reasonable could be a case for bad faith. Insurance companies have an obligation to deal with their insured in a reasonable, fair manner. Contact an experienced insurance settlement attorney to discuss your unique claim.

What is a “reservation of rights” letter?

The first thing you might receive from an insurance company is called a “reservation of rights” letter. This letter informs you that the company is investigating your claim, but that it is reserving its right not to pay you anything if it turns out that the accident is not covered under the policy. The insurance company must still thoroughly investigate your claim and negotiate with you fairly. The letter simply protects the insurance company by preventing you from claiming that the company’s insurance policy covers your accident just because it began settlement negotiations with you.

My insurance company has offered a settlement. Should I take it?

When the insurance adjuster makes you a first offer, your response should depend on whether it is a reasonable offer. The attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., will help you determine if the insurance company has made a reasonable offer. Please contact us today. If the offer is reasonable, you can immediately make a counteroffer that is a little bit lower than your demand letter amount. This shows the adjuster that you, too, are being reasonable and are willing to compromise. In these negotiations, emphasize the strongest points in your favor — for example, that the insured was completely at fault, that you had a very painful injury, that your medical costs were reasonable, and/or that you had long-term or permanent physical effects.

When should I contact an insurance settlement lawyer?

Before you make any type of commitment in an insurance settlement, you should contact an experienced attorney at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A. An attorney can assist you in asking the right questions, getting a fair settlement and court proceedings if necessary.

How soon will my claim be settled?

Insurance companies are required by law to pay all claims in a prompt and reasonable amount of time. However, what constitutes prompt and reasonable may vary from claim to claim. Claims that require special or extended investigation may take longer to resolve.

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Get Help With Your Bad Faith Insurance Claim Today

Our Raleigh insurance litigation attorneys are skilled in negotiating with insurance companies to get the compensation that you deserve after an auto accident or other serious injury. Contact us today to speak with a lawyer about your case at no cost to you.

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