Los Angeles County Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers
From Southern California law offices, our law firm handles cases involving insurance bad faith throughout the state. We have the experience and necessary resources to take your case to trial if necessary, and a track record of proven success. To learn more about how our lawyers can help you, call for your free consultation with an experienced insurance claim dispute lawyer, email the firm, today.
What Is Insurance Bad Faith?
For each policy of insurance that we purchase in the State of California, there is a duty of good faith and fair dealing which is implied in the insurance contract. It is an unwritten promise to treat you the insured fairly. When an insurer unreasonably or without proper cause, denies a claim for insurance benefits, the insurer has breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing. A breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing is bad faith.
The Los Angeles area law firm of Donahue & Horrow, LLP. handles insurance bad faith cases arising out of a wide variety of claims, including:
- Disability insurance
- Life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance
- Long-term care insurance
- Property/casualty and uninsured motorist claims
- Health insurance claims
To discuss your rights and options with an attorney who has extensive experience handling cases of insurance bad faith in California, contact us today for a free initial consultation.
What Can I Recover If My Insurance Claim Has Been Denied Unreasonably or in Bad Faith?
If an insurance company unreasonably refuses to pay policy benefits, the policyholder can sue for breach of contract and “bad faith.” Under a claim for breach of contract, you can recover only the policy benefits and interest on the amounts withheld. Under a claim for bad faith, you can recover the amount of the benefits owed, plus interest. You may also recover attorneys’ fees in bringing the lawsuit to recover the benefits and additional damages that go beyond the amount of unpaid policy benefits.
These amounts can include damages for emotional stress, upset and worry caused by the unreasonable failure to pay benefits, economic damages — and punitive damages, which are assessed to punish the conduct of the insurance company.
What Are Examples of an Insurance Company’s Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing?
The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing includes the duty to:
- Thoroughly investigate the insured’s claim and to fully inquire into all possible bases that might support payment of the claim.
- Objectively evaluate the insured’s claim and to give at least as much consideration to the insured’s interests as it does its own.
- Promptly investigate the insured’s claim.
- Timely respond to the insured’s inquiries and otherwise communicate with the insured.
- Contact and speak with the insured’s treating physicians.
- Refrain from misrepresenting what is covered under the policy or committing other fraudulent claims practices or oppressive conduct by seeking to reduce the amounts of the claim legitimately payable under the policy.
- Pay benefits due and owing under the policy.
- Timely pay benefits due under the policy.
- Fully pay benefits owed under the policy, particularly that portion of a claim which is not disputed by the insurer.
- Promptly settle claim where liability has become reasonably clear.
- Refrain from making “low ball” settlement offers.
- Reserve rights only where there is a good faith belief in the existence of the rights reserved.
- File for declaratory relief or bring other litigation against its insured only where it has a reasonable basis for doing so.
- Refrain from construing an insurance policy term in a more restrictive manner from the accepted legal definition.
- Refrain from imposing additional preconditions to coverage beyond those in the insurance policy.
Contact our offices in El Segundo, California, today to learn more in an informative consultation with an experienced lawyer, free of charge.