After a disaster, filing a claim with your insurance company is at the top of the list. Whether you have lost everything in a wildfire or suffered serious injuries in a negligent accident, your policy is there to lessen the financial burden.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often protect their bottom line over the needs of their policyholders. When a claim is denied or mishandled due to an act of bad faith, you need an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Call a Sacramento bad faith insurance lawyer at Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack today to evaluate your case.
Proving Bad Faith Insurance Claims Takes an Experienced Attorney
Proving an insurance company acted in bad faith has many challenges. Since bad faith rests on unethical or unfair practices, there must not be a reasonable basis for a delay or denial.
Examples of bad faith committed by insurance companies are as follows:
- An insurer unjustly delays a claim’s payout
- The company fails to investigate the claim
- An insurance company conducts an intrusive and overreaching investigation
- The insurer denies your claim and fails to provide a reason
- The adjuster unreasonably asks for documentation piece by piece instead of altogether as a delay tactic
- The company does not inform the policyholder of their duty to submit certain documents
- The insurer attempts to cancel or change the policy
- The insurance company used high-pressure tactics to settle the claim for less than it was worth
It is critical to your claim to consult with an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer in Sacramento. The right strategy can help you stand up to large insurance companies and receive the full value of your claim.
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Damages for Insurance Bad Faith
The damages for acts of bad faith by insurance companies can vary. Whether your claim was denied completely, unethically delayed, or was only partially paid will affect the amount and type of damages.
Your bad faith insurance claim may recover the following kinds of compensation:
- Contractual losses: Contractual losses consider what the policyholder was entitled to and the monetary amounts they were denied. In many cases, a judge will add interest to contractual damages.
- Extracontractual losses: An insurance claim denial can lead to other financial burdens, including emotional distress and attorney fees.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages do not depend on the policyholder’s losses. Instead, punitive damages are awarded as a means of punishment.
The outcome of every insurance bad faith claim is unique to the circumstances. Contacting Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack can help you properly evaluate what your claim is worth.
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How Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack Can Help Your Insurance Bad Faith Claim
At Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack, our attorneys have earned international recognition for their contributions to complex insurance law. Many of our cases have helped shape bad faith insurance tort law in California. In addition, we have handled some of the largest and high-value bad faith cases in the state, including:
- The class-action lawsuit against Allstate from the Northridge Earthquake
- The Mandalay Bay Hotel sinking fraud case against Maryland Casualty
- More than 800 individual claims against insurance companies regarding the Northridge Earthquake of 1994
- Over 800 claims against insurers over the California firestorms of 2004 and 2007
For 50 years, we have provided close, personal service and aggressive representation to our clients. If you believe your insurance claim is being mishandled, contact a bad faith insurance attorney in Sacramento to discuss the details of your case.
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Statute of Limitations in Insurance Bad Faith Tort Law
Bad faith insurance law can be handled in two ways, both of which have different time constraints to file a claim. First, your claim may qualify under tort law. Under California tort law, a policyholder may seek civil action against their insurer 2 years from the date their claims were denied in bad faith.
Second, if your case falls under breach of contract, your time constraint is altered considerably. Breach of contract claims have a statute of limitation of up to 4 years from the date you were unjustly denied.
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How Acts of Bad Faith Effect Policyholders
Serious accidents and major disasters cause significant damage and injuries. Victims rely on the funds provided by their insurance claims to get them back to the state they were in before the incident. When an insurance company mishandles a legitimate claim, the consequences can be severe.
If a claim is unfairly denied or delayed, policyholders may be left without the means to pay their medical bills. Some injuries require home care, rehabilitation, and multiple procedures, including surgery. When an individual cannot afford their medical treatments, they may be faced with:
- Longer recover times
- Permanent damage
- Persistent and chronic pain
In addition, if a disaster causes extensive property damage, the failure to pay a legitimate claim can considerably hurt a family or business. For example, suppose a wildfire destroys the policyholder’s place of business or home. A small business may not have the means to rebuild without insurance and be forced to close.
A home is the single largest purchase an individual can make. If an insurer refuses to pay a claim, the policyholder could endure years of financial hardship and bankruptcy.
Long-Term Stress and Depression
When policyholders are left in financial ruin with no means of rebuilding their life, prolonged stress and anxiety can lead to severe mental and health problems, including:
- Clinical depression
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood disorders
After a catastrophic event, an act of bad faith by an insurance company can lead to financial ruin. According to studies, 1 in 8 households suffers persistent monetary problems that may take years to recover. A lawyer experienced in bad faith can protect your right to recovery.
A Sacramento Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Can Help
At Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack, our highly accomplished trial lawyers have earned a strong reputation for providing aggressive, persistent representation. We have a long history of achieving higher than expected results for our clients. If you suspect your insurance claim has been denied or delayed due to bad faith practices, call our award-winning litigation team today.
We have the experience, skills, and resources to take on large insurance companies and negotiate a settlement you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with an insurance bad faith lawyer in Sacramento to discuss the details of your case.