San Francisco Bay Area Bad-Faith Insurance Attorneys
When you buy an insurance policy from an insurer, your insurer is responsible for providing coverage under the terms of the policy, acting in good faith toward you and defending you if you are sued, and the insurer must consider your interests to be equal to those of the insurer itself. When an insurer fails to pay a claim for coverage you have or takes an inordinate amount of time to pay a claim, they can be held financially liable for bad faith practices. When this happens, the financial consequences for you, the policyholder, can be significant, as unpaid medical bills and lost wages continue to create financial difficulty for you and your family.
If your insurer has rejected a personal injury claim or takes an unusually long time to pay a claim, it’s important to read the Declarations section of your policy and contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the options available to you.
Claim Denials — When Insurers Reject a Claim
In general, an insurer may deny a claim for one or more of the following reasons:
• A “loss event” is not covered under the terms of a policy
• A claims agent incorrectly decided to deny benefits that should have been provided under the terms of your policy
• Your claim contained misleading or inaccurate information, leading a claims agent to mistakenly decide you are not covered for the losses incurred
• A claims agent failed to properly review the evidence associated with your claim, mistakenly issuing a denial as a result
Depending on the specifics of your case, a simple review of your policy may be enough to correct any mistakes on the part of your insurer in your initial filing or claims presentation. If your insurer is unwilling to revisit the issue, it may be necessary to hire a personal injury attorney who can send a demand letter and prepare for litigation.
Bad-Faith Insurance Practices — When a Claim Takes Too Long
If you have a valid claim and have submitted a properly prepared injury claim, your insurer should issue payment in a timely fashion. When an insurer fails to return calls, insists everything is in order but won’t release a check or continues to ask you to resubmit documentation, they may be stalling while their legal department decides what to do. If you hire an attorney to represent you as soon as you encounter unreasonable delays, you can often preempt further problems and resolve the issue.
In another form of bad-faith insurance practice, an insurer may offer to pay your claim but for less than what the policy indicates. An insurer may think you’ll simply take what you can get rather than risk going to court and waiting months for a claims payout. Should this happen, consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Insurance companies that engage in bad-faith practices can be held financially liable for any harm suffered as a result.
Contact San Francisco Bad-Faith Insurance Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg
Policyholders have a right to expect prompt payment on losses they’re insured for. If you’ve encountered difficulties with your insurer, contact San Francisco Bay Area personal injury attorneys today to learn how we can help you.