When you need to use your insurance policy, you expect the insurance company to provide you with the policy you’ve been paying for. You’ve been meeting your end of the policy so when an accident occurs, you’re able to cover the damages and move forward. However, what if the insurance company doesn’t act fairly? If you’re dealing with an insurance company that isn’t meeting their policy, a Charleston bad faith insurance lawyer can help you take legal action.
DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC helps victims of wrongdoing and negligence. If an insurance company breaches its contract with you, it may be grounds for a lawsuit. While filing a lawsuit can be a complicated matter, our lawyers will help you hold the insurance company accountable for refusing to act in good faith.
When Does a Company Act in Bad Faith?
Bad faith occurs when a company doesn’t uphold its side of the policy when you need to file a claim. They may deny your claim or try to avoid resolving the claim. They’re not acting in a fair manner and it’s harming your future.
Transgressions like bad faith insurance fall under commercial litigation. Our firm has experienced Charleston commercial litigation lawyers who will help you stand up to the company that has wronged you.
If you’re wondering how a company can act in bad faith, here are some common examples of how insurance companies can try to avoid meeting the requirements of their policies:
- Misinterpret language in their policy on purpose to justify a denial
- Cause delays in your claim to avoid resolving it
- Withhold information
- Didn’t conduct a fair, thorough investigation of your claim
- Ask the insured user to contribute to their settlement, when they shouldn’t have to do so
- Didn’t tell insured user about a deadline
- Undervaluing a claim
- Deny a claim even though it was valid
There are many ways that an insurance company can wrongfully inhibit you from getting the help you need. While this can be frustrating, our lawyers will investigate what happened to you, how the insurance company handled it, and determine if and how they acted in bad faith.
How Can a Company Acting in Bad Faith Affect You?
When you’re using your insurance policy to cover a payment for a situation like business interruption or a car accident, you need the compensation to cover the costs of your injuries and damages. Being denied, receiving less compensation than you deserve, or your claim being indefinitely delayed can put you in a financially overwhelming situation.
If an insurance company doesn’t honor a business insurance policy, you could be left to handle physical damages from water or wind, theft, or unexpected situations that lead to closure like a pandemic. You deserve to get coverage when you’ve taken the careful measure of getting a policy that covers it.
In the other example, car accidents can also leave you with extensive monetary costs. Affording medical care, future medical treatment, covering your lost wages from missing work, and property damage can be costly. You expect your policy to help you with those costs so you can work on recovering and getting back to your everyday life.
If you’re unable to use your policy, all those financial burdens can fall on you to pay out of pocket. These costs on top of your usual financial responsibilities and possibly providing for others who depend on you may not be a viable option. You may face difficult choices like choosing the care you need or putting food on the table. This situation shouldn’t have happened to you in the first place. That’s where a Charleston bad faith insurance attorney can provide you with the peace of mind you deserve.
What Can Your Compensation Cover?
If you have a valid bad faith insurance claim, then you can seek to recover the following in compensation:
- Monetary losses and emotional damages
- Punitive damages
Punitive damages can be difficult to fight for because they don’t refer to losses that you suffered. Instead, they’re put in place to punish the other side for their actions. If our lawyers determine they are applicable to your case, then we’ll do everything we can so you can receive compensation for these damages as well.
You should also know that in order to have a valid claim, the insurance company cannot have a valid reason to have denied your claim. If the insurance company can provide reasonable evidence for why they denied your claim, then filing a bad faith insurance claim may not be in your best interests. But this doesn’t mean you’re out of options. You can seek help to appeal the insurance company’s decision and proceed from there.
If there wasn’t a clear explanation for why they denied your claim, then you can proceed with filing a bad faith insurance claim. Let’s go over those steps.
What Do You Need for a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
The first step is to have a Charleston bad faith insurance attorney on your side. We know the West Virginia laws that will apply to your case and how those laws determine what you need and how to proceed.
You will need evidence to show how the insurance company acted in bad faith. Having a copy of your policy, communication between you and the insurance company, and the reason why you didn’t get the compensation you deserve from your policy are all important factors your lawyer will need to build you a strong case.
We’ll review your policy to see if the insurance company breached the contract. We can also investigate for evidence of wrongful delay or if the company doesn’t change its initial decision to deny your claim.
When you’re in this part of the process, our lawyers are seeking ways to get the insurance company to reach an agreement and settle your claim, meaning you get the coverage you deserve. However, if they continue to not cooperate or communicate, we will submit a demand letter that they will need to respond to. Depending on their response, you may need to go to the next step: filing a lawsuit.
If the insurance company still denies the claim, then we’ll proceed to taking your case to court. Our lawyer will determine the specific problem that led to your dispute with the insurance company so we can file your lawsuit in the correct type of court so your legal proceedings can move forward.
While going to court can be a major step, we will be at your side every step of the way. We’ll do everything we can to make your case as strong as possible, so you have the best chance of getting a favorable result.
Seek Legal Counsel from Experienced Attorneys in West Virginia
A deceptive or unethical decision from an insurance company can put your life on hold, but you can hold them accountable for their actions with a skilled Charleston bad faith insurance lawyer as your representation.
We’ll fight for you to get the coverage you deserved to receive in the first place so you can continue to run your business, cover expenses from an accident, or the situation that your policy refers to.
Give our office a call today so we can review your case and determine if the insurance company acted in bad faith. Together, we can review your options and start fighting for you to get justice.