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How to Choose the Right Attorney for Your Bad Faith Insurance Claim 

April 15, 2024

Posted in Uncategorized

Selecting the right attorney for your bad faith insurance claim is crucial in ensuring that you receive the justice and reimbursement you are entitled to. When an insurance company fails to uphold its obligations under your policy, it can place you in a challenging situation. Whether this manifests as an unreasonable delay, inadequate investigation of your claim, or outright denial without a valid reason, it may be time to seek professional help. An attorney with expertise in bad faith insurance can handle the complex legal terrain and advocate for your rights as a policyholder. 

Choosing an experienced attorney involves looking for someone who is not only knowledgeable about the laws governing insurance contracts but also adept at handling the tactics companies might deploy to avoid payment. You need a lawyer who is communicative and transparent with you about your case, ensuring that you are informed every step of the way. They should possess a proven track record in dealing with insurance disputes and a robust understanding of what constitutes bad faith practices in the eyes of the law. 

An ideal attorney for your situation will be proactive in their approach, determined to obtain the coverage you deserve. It’s essential to find a legal representative who will thoroughly investigate your claim, challenge any discrepancies, and hold the insurance company accountable for their contractual duties. This partnership can be instrumental in tipping the scales in your favor, offering the support and representation necessary to effectively address the bad faith actions of an insurer. 

Understanding Bad Faith Insurance Claims

When you file an insurance claim, you entrust your issue to the company with the expectation they will act with integrity. However, not all claims processes go smoothly, and you might find yourself dealing with a bad faith insurance claim. Understanding the nuances of bad faith claims, your rights as a policyholder, and the overarching role of insurance law is crucial. 

What Constitutes a Bad Faith Claim

Bad faith in the context of insurance claims occurs when your insurer fails to honor the implied covenant of fair dealing and acts unreasonably or without proper cause in handling your claim. Several specific actions can signal bad faith, including: 

  • Unwarranted denial of coverage for a valid claim. 
  • Failure to communicate pertinent information about claim progress.
  • Unreasonable delays in processing your claim. 
  • Inadequate investigation or an unjustifiably low settlement offer
  • Refusing to defend a lawsuit or failing to settle a covered claim. 

Rights and Protections for Policyholders

As a policyholder, you have specific rights and protections under both common law and statutory law related to insurance coverage. Insurance companies have a duty of good faith and fair dealing with you. Your protection hinges on these principles: 

  • Right to a fair claims process by state laws. 
  • Right to full disclosure of your coverage and policy limits. 
  • Liability of the insurance company for damages if they breach the good faith duty. ● Legal recourse to sue for bad faith and potential punitive damages. 

The Role of Insurance Law

Insurance law governs the actions of insurance companies and protects consumers. It encompasses an array of state laws and regulations that: 

  • Define insurance coverage and claims handling standards. 
  • Outlines the penalties for insurers that engage in bad faith practices. 
  • Establish the procedures for the appeal process if a claim is denied. 

Good faith and fair dealing are central to insurance contracts; when violated, legal intervention can enforce liability and ensure just outcomes. Understanding the role of insurance law in your state will empower you to make informed decisions if you face a bad faith claim. 

Selecting the Right Attorney for Your Case

When facing a bad faith insurance claim, choosing an attorney, like our friends at Krapf Legal, with the appropriate experience, reputation, and communication skills is critical to the viability of your case. 

Evaluating Experience and Reputation

Research: Begin by meticulously investigating potential attorneys’ backgrounds. You should consider attorneys who specialize in bad faith insurance law and are well-versed in state insurance statutes. 

  • Experience: Look for an attorney with a strong record in handling bad faith insurance cases. Their past successes can indicate their capability to handle your case. 

Check State Bar: Verify that any lawyer you’re considering is licensed and in good standing with your state’s bar association.

  • Reputation: Seek out recommendations and read reviews to gauge an attorney’s standing within the legal community and among past clients. 

Understanding Fee Structures

Consultations: Start with a free consultation, if offered, to discuss fee arrangements before committing. 

  • Fee Arrangements: Familiarize yourself with common fee structures such as contingency fees, which means the attorney gets paid only if you win your case. 

Bold Negotiations: Be prepared to negotiate fees. Understand that some attorneys may be flexible with their rates, especially if your case is compelling. 

The Importance of Clear Communication 

Communication Compatibility: Ensure that any attorney you consider has a communication style that aligns with your preferences. Clarity and transparency are imperative. 

  • Strategies and Progress: A good attorney will keep you informed about their strategies and regular updates on your case’s progress. 

Accessible Communications: Your attorney should be accessible and responsive to your inquiries throughout your case.

Meet Bennett M. Cohen

San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney

Bennett M. Cohen brings over 30 years of litigation experience which includes representing plaintiffs against massive companies like the Shell Oil Company, Standard Insurance Company, and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Bennett M. Cohen brings an experienced and dynamic touch that separates himself from large law firms. He can oversee every aspect of your case, ensuring you receive specialized assistance.

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Meet Bennett M. Cohen

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