Bad Faith Insurance Claims
Bad faith insurance claims are more common than you think. Too frequently, our disability lawyers see disabled workers who were unfairly and improperly denied benefits — and we fight for their compensation. If you believe your insurance claim was not properly investigated, or if your claim was denied without valid reason, you may be able to sue for additional damages under the state bad faith law. In St. Petersburg, Largo and the surrounding areas of Florida, the bad faith law requires that every insurance company acts in the best interest of its policyholders. Keep reading to learn more about bad faith insurance claims.
What Is A Florida Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
In Florida, insurance companies must act in good faith when they make claim determinations. In other words, the company and its representatives must act fairly and reasonably, and they must not deprive a policyholder of the benefits they deserve. If they could, insurance companies would never approve claims — because doing so would cost them money. This duty to act in good faith protects all of us from unfair, financially-motivated insurance claim denials. Examples of insurance company bad faith include the following:
- Improperly trying to rescind or revoke an insurance policy
- Incorrectly applying a policy exclusion to a legitimate claim
- Intentionally delaying payments to a disabled worker
- Denying a claim that clearly meets the policy’s requirements
- Failing to properly investigate a claim
- Failing to communicate with an insurance claimant
- Making unreasonably low settlement offers as well as pressuring the worker to accept it without help from a lawyer
- Misrepresenting the terms and conditions of your insurance policy
This doesn’t mean that the insurance company can’t deny your claim. It can — and there’s a good chance it will. However, it must treat you fairly and respectfully, follow its policy terms, and comply with both state and federal laws. Bad faith dealings can arise out of any type of insurance claim, including disability, life insurance, and liability insurance claims. If you believe your insurance company has acted in bad faith, it’s in your best interest to consult with a lawyer at the CJ Henry Law Firm as soon as possible.
You Are Legally Protected From Bad Faith Insurance Claims
Florida law prohibits bad faith insurance claims. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 is a federal law that regulates employer-sponsored benefit plans, such as company-funded pensions, disability insurance, and health plans. ERISA preempts — or overrides — state laws. This means that you cannot file Florida bad faith insurance claims when the misconduct is linked to an ERISA plan. However, you might have other legal remedies under federal law. For more information, or to find out if your insurance policy is covered by ERISA, contact a bad faith insurance claims attorney at our office today.
Don’t Be A Victim: Regain Control With Help From A Lawyer
When you work with an experienced insurance law attorney, they’ll help you navigate all of your claims and protect your legal rights. This means that your lawyer should do the following:
- Advocate for the payment of benefits and potentially negotiate a settlement
- Compile evidence that supports your claims
- Help you complete forms as well as respond to insurance company requests for information
- Educate you about your rights and how to protect yourself from surveillance and insurance company abuse
- Serve as a go-between with the insurance company, ensuring that the company meets its legal duties
- Inform you of your appeal rights and options (if necessary)
- Monitor your claim for bad faith dealings
Without legal counsel, it’s easy to make mistakes. Unfortunately, a single misstep can result in lost compensation, delays, and unnecessary litigation. Moreover, insurance companies frequently try to take advantage of unrepresented claimants. They assume that you don’t know your legal rights, can’t interpret the complicated language in the plan documents, and won’t seek help. Don’t prove them right — consult with an insurance law attorney early on in your claim! Sometimes, bad faith is isolated. An insurance adjuster is a “bad apple” that ignores the insurance company’s policies and procedures. In these cases, a quick call from your lawyer to the adjuster’s supervisor might remedy your problem. However, other times, the bad faith is more concerted and systemic. In these cases, you’ll need to aggressively pursue your legal remedies in court. You’ll also need a detailed litigation strategy tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.
Schedule An Appointment To Discuss Bad Faith Insurance Claims
If you believe that you or a loved one were denied insurance benefits in bad faith, contact the CJ Henry Law Firm as soon as possible. Our skilled team will carefully interview you, assess your claim, and help you build a strategy to address the insurance company’s bad faith. Consultations are always free. To request a meeting with one of our attorneys, simply call us or complete our online contact form.
This Law Protects You
Under this law, insurance companies have to pay or deny a claim in a reasonable amount of time, evaluate the claim fairly, and cooperate with the claimants throughout the entire process. If any of these do not happen, then a bad faith disability insurance attorney could help you receive additional monetary sums that include:
- Payment of your underlying insurance claim
- Compensation for your emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- Attorney’s fees
- Other damages caused by the insurance company
It is worth noting that bad faith laws do not apply to all disability claims. ERISA claims, for example, are exempt from this particular legal clause. For an evaluation of your disability insurance dispute and to see if bad faith applies, contact the disability attorney at CJ Henry Law Firm.
Don’t Be A Victim
You probably don’t want to deal with a bad faith lawsuit, but if you think you are a victim, you should contact a law firm immediately to evaluate your case. Without the help of a good disability insurance lawyer, you are at the mercy of the insurance company.
A Florida disability lawyer from CJ Henry Law Firm can help you get every bit of the damages you deserve in a bad faith case. We have experience in uncovering disability bad faith practices to evaluate your case and help you. Don’t leave any money on the table that is rightfully yours. Contact us today to see how we can help!