You can purchase various insurance policies to suit your needs, from life insurance to auto insurance, business insurance, etc. To that end, you'll enter an insurance contract with your preferred insurance companies to indemnify you against specific losses. For example, your auto insurance company may cover specific losses if you have comprehensive coverage when someone steals your vehicle. Unfortunately, many problems may arise that would mandate an intervention from Fort Lauderdale's insurance lawyers.

One thing you should know about insurance companies is that they're profit-oriented businesses. They make the bulk of their money by betting on the probability that you wouldn't make them payout. So, when you make a successful, legitimate claim, it hurts their profit margin. As such, they may do everything they can to deny your payments. 

In such cases where your insurance companies wrongfully deny your claim, you can commence a bad faith action against them. It's a civil action that allows you to claim more significant damages for your declined payments. This article will discuss how you can file such a claim in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

What's a Bad Faith Claim?

how to file a bad faith insurance claim

Bad faith, under contract law, is the legal term that portrays conscious wrongdoing and dishonest conduct or dealings. It describes a situation where someone tries to perform a duty or handle a transaction with criminal or fraudulent intentions. When someone does an act in bad faith, they're trying to deceive a contracting party. For example, an insurance company may exercise bad faith by denying a policyholder's claim unjustly.

Generally, failure to meet specific legal requirements may cause your insurance company to deny your claims. In such situations where you didn't meet a particular condition, the insurer can rightly deny a claim. However, sometimes, the insurance company's bad faith practices can be responsible for the denial or inadequate compensation amounts. In such cases, the law allows you to fight injustice by filing a bad faith insurance claim.

There are two types of bad faith insurance cases in Fort Lauderdale: 

1. The First-Party Claim 

In a first-party insurance claim, the insurance company refuses to pay a policyholder (the insured) their due insurance sums. For example, in bad faith auto insurance claim, the insurance company may decline to cover your car repair costs. In another example, your homeowner insurance may refuse to investigate your storm or property damage claims. 

2. The Third-Party Claim

While first-party claims involve claiming against your insurance, a third-party claim is against another person's insurance. This usually happens in personal injury cases where someone else's negligence causes you injuries. For example, in a car accident, you can claim against a drunk driver's auto insurance policy with help from personal injury attorneys. 

A bad faith insurance claim arises when the insurance company negligently disregards a third-party claim. Examples of third-party insurance include commercial liability insurance, medical malpractice insurance, health care insurance, etc.

What Are the Common Bad Faith Tactics Insurance Companies Employ in Denying Valid Claims?

If you did everything right during your claims process, you might not understand why your insurance company denied your claims. In such situations, you may want to consider that they're engaging in some bad faith conduct. Your insurance company may show a reckless disregard for your claims by employing the following bad faith tactics: 

  • Unreasonable Delay 

Delay tactics are one of the oldest tricks in the books for a bad faith insurance company. They may do this by refusing to investigate your claims within a reasonable time frame. They usually do this to frustrate you into giving up your claims.

  • Unjustifiable Claim Denial 

In some cases, your insurance company will outrightly deny your compensation claim. They may say that your type of insurance policy doesn't cover the claim even when they do.

  • Poor Investigations 

Fair dealing in the insurance claims process involves a proper investigation of claims within a reasonable period. Sometimes, if bad faith insurance companies don't employ the delay tactics, they may do a messy investigative job.

  • False Declarations and Misrepresentation of Terms

One of the most common examples of insurance bad faith is misinterpreting insurance policy terms and laws. Such false representations may make you accept far less settlement sums than you deserve.

  • Other Unfair Conduct and Deceptive Practices 

There are many other ways an insurance company may engage in wrongful conduct in your claims process. They may go as far as threatening you with a criminal charge, making ambiguous demands, or arbitrary deadline demands.

They may also refuse to relay information that may be favorable to you. Therefore, you must seek legal advice from a bad faith lawyer whenever you feel that your insurance company is behaving fraudulently.

How to File an Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

To file a successful bad faith insurance claim in Fort Lauderdale, you need help from bad faith insurance lawyers. They will defend you against any excuses the insurance companies may have for legitimately refusing your claims. They will also handle every process from start to finish.

Generally, filing a bad faith insurance claim starts with a 60-day-notice to the insurance company and the financial services department. This notice is to enable the insurance company to fix its unfair practices. If they fix the violation within 60 days, you don't need to take further action. If they don't, you can then file a lawsuit against them.

To improve your chances of winning your bad faith insurance lawsuit, you must do the following from the get-go:

  • Hire an experienced attorney from the beginning of your claims process 
  • Adhere to relevant insurance laws and policies. That way, the insurance company would have nothing to hold against you.
  • Keep records of events and documents. That includes receipts, tax returns, call recordings, etc.

What Compensatory Damages Will I Receive in Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit or Claim? 

Under Florida's bad faith insurance laws, you can receive financial compensation for the denial of your claim. The compensable damages include:

  • The Value of the Original Claim

Many bad faith insurance claims arise from the insurance company's refusal to pay the proper settlement amount. In some cases, they pay far less than they should. As such, you can recover the reasonable sums for the initial claim when you file a bad faith insurance claim.

  • Consequential Damages (Additional Costs)

Consequential damages compensate for the additional damages you incurred due to the insurance company's bad faith conduct. This type of compensation doesn't arise from your initial claim but the insurance company's unfair dealings. They include your legal fees, interest fees, etc.

  • Emotional Distress Compensation 

An insurance company's wrongful conduct may cost you lots of money. You may also suffer untold hardship and experience a series of traumatic events from their bad faith conduct. You can recover compensation for the emotional and psychological trauma the company's actions cost you.

  • Punitive Damages
bad faith insurance claim lawyer near me

Punitive compensations are another type of bad faith insurance damages. This type of compensation aims at punishing the insurance company's misbehavior. It also serves as a warning to other insurance companies to desist from practicing bad faith conducts.

Schedule an Appointment With the Best Fort Lauderdale Bad Faith Attorneys Now!

You can make numerous mistakes that may frustrate your insurance claims process. However, sometimes, your insurance company may still deny your claims even when you did nothing wrong. In such cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them for their bad faith insurance practices.

Our bad faith insurance lawyers at VG Law Group can help you determine if you have a valid claim. With our expensive experience and knowledge of Florida's bad faith laws, your case is in the right hands. Contact our law firm immediately and schedule a free case review with our outstanding bad faith insurance attorneys. We are available round the clock to give you the top-notch legal services that you desire.

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