San Diego Bad Faith Insurance / Denial Of Insurance Lawyer
Insurance companies routinely deny or delay claims to avoid paying policies. When this practice becomes egregious, the insurance company is said to be acting in bad faith. This violates California law and carries with it possible legal consequences and liability.
To set the stage, you purchase insurance and diligently pay your premiums with the understanding that in the event you get injured or ill, you’ll be taken care of. An insurance policy is, after all, a contract between you and the insurance company. Unfortunately, insurers act in bad faith more often than you might expect. As profit-driven businesses, they are known to often deny claims – sometimes in ways that are unscrupulous or outright illegal.
If you were denied insurance benefits or denied coverage for automobile, employment, salary/business gap, or health benefits, talk to us at Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers by calling 619-550-1355 for a free consultation.
We are a trusted San Diego law firm with deep knowledge of how insurance companies work. Let us help you identify the best course of action and obtain the best result possible for you.
What Is Bad Faith Insurance?
An insurance company acts in “bad faith” when they try to evade their obligation to the client, usually by denying the client a fair dealing and ultimately denying them their rightful insurance benefits.
The Judicial Council of California emphasizes that an insurer breaches their obligation when they “unreasonably act or fail to act in a manner that deprives the insured of the benefits of the policy. To act unreasonably is not a mere failure to exercise reasonable care. It means that the insurer must act or fail to act without proper cause.”
Some common bad faith insurance practices are:
- Misrepresenting provisions in your policy
- Failing to act promptly when you file your claim
- Delaying the investigation of your claim
- Negotiating with you in a dishonest or unfair manner
- Coercing you to accept a low settlement
- Unreasonably postponing your payment
- Denying your claim without proper justification
- Changing your policy without your knowledge or consent.
Not every insurance adjuster who disagrees with you is automatically acting in bad faith. Differences in opinion are expected in the claims negotiation process. However, if you encounter signs that the company’s action (or inaction) is unreasonable, dishonest, or unfair, it is time to call a lawyer to help you evaluate your claim.
Why You Might Need A Lawyer If Your Insurance Claim Is Denied Or Underpaid
A denial of your insurance benefits can be devastating. You’re left with a mountain of bills while still trying to recover from your injury or illness. A similar thing happens if your claim is underpaid. You’ll want to assert your right to your full benefits by mounting an appeal, but how can you ensure that your appeal is successful?
Remember that the insurance company is in the driver’s seat of the claims process, even during the appeal. Each company has its own approach in handling appeals. They may, for example, direct the cases to their own internal appeals department, or enjoin you in arbitration with a third party.
No matter how your insurance carrier deals with your appeal, you should level the playing field by enlisting an attorney, even if you are not thinking about suing at this point. Your lawyer will help you deal with the highly experienced and well-resourced insurance representatives, protecting you from methods designed to undermine your claim.
The first thing that your lawyer should help you with is identifying why your claim was rejected. There are a number of valid reasons why claims get denied, such as incomplete documentary requirements, delayed claim filing, and policy lapse. But the insurance company may also deny a claim without a valid justification at all. Your attorney should determine whether your denied claim is something you can correct or improve for your appeal, or if it was simply rejected in bad faith by the insurer.
From this, your lawyer can then help you pursue an appeal that is complete and effective, down to the last piece of paperwork.
If your attorney finds a case of bad faith, you may bring a tort action against the insurance company. In a successful bad faith case, you can potentially be paid more than the original benefits owed for your injury or illness – you may also receive payments for emotional distress and lawyer fees.
Whether you are filing an appeal or already preparing for a lawsuit against the insurer, a reliable bad faith attorney can be indispensable. Their legal advice, protection, and representation may be key to obtaining your rightful compensation.
Why Choose Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers?
Led by multi-professional award recipient, Robert Hamparyan and his firm have helped families and individuals in Southern California in their insurance claims and appeals.
One of the big advantages our clients have is our insider experience in the insurance industry. For a decade, attorney Robert Hamparyan used to handle claims on behalf of insurance companies. Mr. Hamparyan handled insurance bad faith claims arising out of the January 17, 1994 earthquake claims. Denials by the insurers gave rise to many such claims. While Mr. Hamparyan handled those claims for the insurers, he was able to get the proper knowledge and experience when he moved to represent plaintiffs exclusively in 2004.
At the juncture, he decided to help plaintiffs instead, establishing a law firm dedicated solely to the insureds. He now uses his insider knowledge and insight to benefit everyday people, finding the most effective ways to prosecute insurers for violating the duties of good faith and fair dealing.
Consult With Us For Free
If you have been wrongfully denied your insurance benefits, whether under your auto insurance, employment insurance, or health insurance policy, contact us. Your initial consultation with us is free and confidential.
Call us today at (619) 550-1355 or use our online contact form.
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