It has become common to find that many insurance companies refuse to render assistance when people face property damage and injuries, even if they have active insurances. Some companies will strive to pay little or nothing, and sometimes they succeed.
Some insurance companies might act against you in bad faith even when it’s clear that there’s no justification for that. When your insurance company acts this way, you need an insurance dispute lawyer to help you secure the compensation due to you.
In this article we will share some advises from Mr. David Furtado, licensed attorney in Colorado, California, Alabama, and Massachusetts, founder of Furtadolaw PC. He spent his career in representing people against insurance companies as well as assisting clients in patenting their ideas.
Furtado advises you to go through the steps when your insurance company refuses your claim.
The first thing is to work with your lawyer to get all relevant evidence to prove that you suffered damages covered by the insurance.
Some damages you must prove, include Property damage, income loss, mental suffering, medical expenses, physical pain, and any other damage categorized under your insurance policy.
Ensure that your claim or request tallies with the amount of damage you faced and how much you need to cater to them. Make all necessary documentation available, whether for the damaged property or your health situation.
When you present a claim, your insurance company can offer you a settlement package, accept that they have partial responsibility, or refuse to compensate you.
If they offered a settlement, consider what’s on offer with your lawyer to ensure that you’re getting the best out of the deal without being underpaid.
David Furtado advises that you get an experienced insurance lawyer to take up the case, persuade them with facts, or sue if the insurance company denies your claim or tries to insist that the incident either didn’t happen or isn’t covered by your policy,
When an insurance company delays for no reason, they could be acting in bad faith, which also necessitates that you contact a Denver insurance settlement lawyer to aid you.
How to know when an Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith
An insurance company has a legal right to refuse compensation within justifiable reasons. However, if there is no justification for their refusal to pay, they are acting in bad faith, and you can sue them.
The law stipulates that you can sue an insurance company for treating you badly when you’re trying to recover your first-party insurance claim, and this act is in bad faith.
A first-party claim is made on an insurance policy registered for you, and not another person, which would be a third-party claim.
According to David Furtado, some actions can be termed as ‘bad faith’ when an insurance company carries them out against a policyholder.
- Not responding to a claim and refusing to transfer the case to relevant claim adjusters;
- Refusing to pay settlement as at when due;
- Rejecting claim without proper investigation;
- Not agreeing to negotiate the settlement claim and offering to pay very little compared to the damages incurred;
- Threatening or blackmailing the policy;
- Tampering with the statement on the insurance policy to avoid paying claims;
- Rejecting the claim without giving the policyholder tangible reasons for doing so.
How to Win a Bad Faith Insurance Litigation
Furtado advises that you and your personal injury lawyer need to show sufficient evidence that the insurance company is acting against you and your claim without justifiable reason to do so.
You and your lawyer need to present communication records, documentations, and get internal documents from the insurance company showing how they handled your claim.
Your lawyer must leverage your evidence to make a strong argument proving that the insurance company had no reasonable justification to reject your claim. According to Furtado, the best way to do this is to prove that your claim follows all policy agreements, and you presented the incident, injuries, and damages as they happened.
You also need to present proof of your damages when making a bad faith claim. You might be found worthy to receive compensatory damages that will cover for all you’ve lost or exemplary damages, which punishes your insurance companies.
It is crucial to show proof of how the denied claim affected your life negatively, just as you need to prove that the company purposely chose to work against you and your claim without reason.
3 Secrets Insurance Companies Keep From You
According to Furtado, insurance companies have 3 secrets that they don’t tell policyholders. If you know these secrets, you can handle your insurance cases better.
You can hire an attorney immediately an incident occurs
Many insurance policyholders wait until they have a lawsuit or run into problems before consulting lawyers, but Furtado advises you to get a lawyer early.
Your lawyer can begin early, investigate your accident scene to collect relevant evidence supporting your claim to make negotiations easier.
The lawyer will negotiate with your insurer to get the best settlement for your case, and when necessary, the lawyer will go to court with you.
You can get compensated even if you have a partial fault in the accident
According to Furtado, the laws in Denver allow you to get compensation for your loss during an accident even if your mistakes contributed to the incident.
Your insurer might try to deny your claim because you’re partly at fault, but the law in Denver doesn’t void your claim because of partial fault. A jury will sit to evaluate your percentage of fault and decide what amount of compensation you get.
Provided you are not solely at fault, you will get compensation, but it will be lower than what the standard policy dictates. Your percentage of fault will be deducted from the overall claim.
You must not accept an insurer’s initial settlement offer
When an incident occurs and the insurance company sends you a check, you don’t have to take it, especially if it doesn’t meet up to the damages you incurred. The check is only an offer, and Furtado advises you to consult an attorney who will help determine the value of your injury claim and whether your claim is worth more than the check.
If your claim is worth more, you should go into negotiations with the insurance company for a higher settlement.