Insurance companies are companies in charge of guaranteeing coverage for insured property, people, or interests. Their main objective is to ensure family or personal peace of mind and financial stability. However, companies may fail in their functions, and the client has the right to file a claim if they fail to comply with the terms established in the policy.
The environment after an automobile accident is stressful. Those involved receive medical attention, gathering information to establish a property damage case to present to the insurer. The client remains calm when they trust their insurance company, but what to do when the insurance company does not pay the claim or takes too long to pay?
Can I sue my insurance company?
Yes, you can sue your insurance company if it does not fulfill its part of the policy. An automobile accident is often a complex event; beyond the shock of the impact, it is necessary to deal with property loss, personal injury, injured family members, or, worse yet, dead loved ones. Add to this the idea of dealing with an insurance company that doesn’t want to do its part, and it’s a nightmare.
Fortunately, laws are in place to defend clients and look out for their rights. Although it may seem like a rare occurrence, it would actually not be unusual for a citizen to sue their insurance company for non-compliance; this type of situation happens more often than imagined, so it is necessary to choose wisely in which company you will invest your money.
What are the reasons for suing an insurance company?
After an automobile accident, the client must file a claim to request the established coverage. The company may sometimes deny the claim for legitimate reasons, and other times it may not. These are the reasons why you can sue an insurance company:
- Initiating a delayed and inadequate investigation
- Refusing to pay the full claim when liability is absolute
- Failure to act on the client’s request promptly.
- Failing to pay the claim without a valid reason
- Failure to defend the insured in a liability scenario
Sometimes they take advantage of the client’s situation and use misinformation to deny the claim. These are the most used excuses; read them very well so you know when they are trying to forgo paying you:
- Lack of coverage: Insurance companies use ambiguity in the contracts to argue that the situation is not within the policy range; so define the agreements with the company well before hiring the service
- Errors in the application: The company may argue that you made false declarations
- Claim errors: Check your policy to know the requirements to initiate a claim
- Insurance fraud: Submitting false or exaggerated claims may result in legal consequences
- Bad faith denial: Insurers may excuse themselves by using confusing legal premises to convince the customer that they are not entitled to the payment. The intent is to disguise avoidance of the claim
Suppose you observe any of these actions on the part of your insurance company or notice that they are opposed to paying for your coverage.
In that case, we recommend you talk to an attorney to define the steps, depending on the established point. It would help if you also considered that depending on the state where the accident occurred, there could be some laws you can use in your favor.
What kind of legal action can I take against my insurer?
The type of action to take will depend on the state where you reside and its laws. These rules establish the kinds of lawsuits you can file and the ideal way to win the battle, which is why it is important to consult with an attorney from the first second you have suspicions.
In some states, you can file a “bad faith tort” lawsuit or sue under the business practices laws of the state where you live. Some states have statements directly related to business practices in the insurance industry.
A knowledgeable attorney can explain more clearly the types of lawsuits allowed in your state and which one is most favorable. Medical damages and loss of wages are supplemented in each of these types of claims.
Steps to sue an insurance company
If you wish to sue your insurer, you would be involved in a civil lawsuit. As previously explained, the case’s fate will depend on the state where you reside. Although the landscape is subjective on the subject, here are some tips you should follow to file your legal complaint:
- Document the company’s and its representatives’ responses: Keep copies of emails, messages, and conversations with the entity and its lawyers to prove their bad-faith actions. A good alternative is to record the calls to leave a clear record of the intentions
- Keep records of your insured vehicle: Have a receipt and photos of the insured property. Take pictures of the car immediately after the incident
- Keep a record of expenses accumulated since the accident: These expenses include medical bills, vehicle repairs, attorney’s fees, and lost wages. We recommend you be honest in this aspect. A lie or exaggeration of the expenses could be counterproductive for you
- Choose a lawyer with experience in lawsuits and a track record of winning litigation. Lawsuits can be long, complex, and costly processes for both parties