Michigan Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers
When you pay your insurance bills on time and in full, you expect that you will receive the payout that you deserve after an accident. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Insurance companies can make an already difficult situation worse when they deny a rightful claim or act in bad faith. However, working with qualified insurance bad faith lawyers can prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of you.
At Lipton Law, we represent residents in Southfield and the surrounding area who are fighting to receive a fair insurance settlement. Our attorneys have substantial experience helping personal injury victims obtain successful results with complex claims matters. We use our understanding of the insurance industry, its practices, and the laws regulating insurers to resolve insurance disputes promptly. If you need legal assistance with any bad faith insurance claims, our law firm is here for you. To schedule your free consultation with us, please call our office at 248-557-1688 today.
What Is an Insurance Dispute?
When an insurance company fails to approve a legitimate claim that someone files, this is known as an insurance dispute. There are many cases in which insurance companies will deny claims for legitimate reasons. However, there are also many cases in which the insurer refuses to pay a claim for illegitimate or fraudulent reasons. When an insurance company denies a claim, this can leave policyholders in a serious financial bind, especially if they have a valid claim. But why would insurance companies deny fair payment to someone with a legitimate claim?
What Is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
When insurance adjusters wrongfully deny insurance claims, this is known as bad faith tactics. Insurance companies have contractual obligations to their policyholders. When an insurance company refuses to uphold those obligations, this is when bad faith litigation arises. Especially with large insurance companies, the bottom line is often more important than any contractual obligation to the policyholder. While this is an unfortunate reality, those who are wrongfully denied still have the right to file bad faith insurance lawsuits.
Bad faith insurance claims are one way that policyholders can hold an insurance company accountable for denying benefits wrongfully. Because these claims can be very complicated and hard to navigate, we recommend working with skilled insurance bad faith attorneys. They can help you prove all the elements of a bad faith claim and give you a better chance at securing a recovery.
What Constitutes a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
So, what elements must be present in order to have valid claims of this type? This heavily depends on your state’s specific laws regarding insurance bad faith tactics. Some states claim that bad faith occurs when insurance companies act “unreasonably or without proper cause.” Other states have a more specific definition of when an insurance company acts in bad faith. However, under the common law bad faith theory, insurers owe their policyholders a duty of good faith. This means that they will uphold the requirements of the insurance policy.
However, there are two main elements that plaintiffs must show to prove a bad faith insurance claim.
- The insurance adjuster or company withheld benefits that the insured was owed according to the insurance policy.
- The insurance company’s reason for the denial was unfounded, which means the claim was wrongfully denied.
Bad Faith Insurance Tactics
Many forms of bad faith insurance tactics exist. Some are much more obvious than others. Below, we provide several examples of common bad faith tactics.
- Creating unreasonable delays and failing to carry out the claims process in a reasonable amount of time
- Failing to provide a reasonable explanation for why they decided to deny coverage
- Failing to acknowledge insurance claims or to respond to them in a timely manner
- Misrepresenting the insurance policy limits or benefits
- Failing to properly investigate, process, and pay claims
Insurance Claim Denial
You rely on your insurance provider to respond to any concerns you have about the claim process and your claim’s status. In the event your claim is denied, you also expect that you’ll receive a clear explanation for this decision. If you believe that your insurance company found reasons to deny your claim instead of trying to determine how to pay you what you are owed, you may be able to prove the insurance company acted in bad faith.
When you hire us, we will review your claim and any correspondence you received from your insurance company. We know how to establish strong cases for bad faith claims and will challenge insurance providers in court to get the payout that you deserve. Should your insurance company threaten you with legal action, we will defend your right to pursue compensation.
It is important for you to remember that you may be entitled to greater compensation than the insurance company initially offers. If you receive a low payout offer, we can represent you in settlement negotiations. We will not stop fighting until we obtain a just result.
Can You Sue an Insurance Company for Denying a Claim?
If your insurer violates the terms of your insurance coverage, you can file a bad faith insurance lawsuit to recover compensation. In fact, bad faith claims are among the most common reasons that policyholders sue their insurers. If you have a valid claim and your insurer denied payment, this is a reasonable basis on which to file a bad faith claim. With the help of experienced bad faith insurance lawyers, you can file a claim against your insurer for financial compensation.
Let’s say you’ve been involved in a bad car accident. You suffered injuries, missed work, and have medical expenses piling up. You file a claim with your insurer to ease the financial burden that the accident caused you. If your insurer fails to pay what you are owed, you can file a bad faith lawsuit against them. As soon as you suspect foul play, we recommend speaking with an experienced bad faith attorney.
How to Sue an Insurance Company
Now you know that you can obtain compensation by filing a claim against your insurer for bad faith tactics. But how do you go about filing your bad faith insurance lawsuit? First, seek out experienced legal representation from a law firm with experience in bad faith claims. With the help of experienced attorneys, you can pursue a bad faith tort lawsuit. Your bad faith lawyer will already understand the relevant state laws and statutes. Then, your lawyer will walk you through how the claim works, as well as represent you in court if necessary.
How Do I Prove I Have a Bad Faith Insurance Case?
To prove that your insurer did not act in good faith, you’ll need to take the following steps.
- First, review the fine print of your insurance coverage. You may find that the insurance company simply denied your claim because it wasn’t covered under your policy. However, you can also use the terms of your policy to prove that your claim is legitimate.
- Then, gather evidence to prove that bad faith exists in your case. To prove that your insurer’s conduct was unfounded, you can provide evidence such as losses, repair costs, replacement costs, bills for medical treatment, all correspondences with the insurer, logs of who you spoke to and when, and what you discussed. Get as much as you can in writing.
- Appeal your denied claim. It is possible that someone made a mistake along the way. Appeal the denial to see if the insurer was actually engaging in fair dealing. They might approve your claim on the second try. If not, proceed with filing a lawsuit.
- Establish an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney with experience in bad faith cases sooner rather than later. They can help ensure that you take all necessary steps to appeal your claim and file a lawsuit if necessary.
How Do I File a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit?
Below, we provide a brief step-by-step guide on the process of filing a bad faith lawsuit after a car accident or another auto accident.
- Look over your insurance contract. Make sure that you know what is and isn’t covered under your policy before you file a claim.
- Keep copies and logs on all documents and evidence for your claim. Having as much evidence as possible in writing will help you greatly. Keep detailed logs of everything that happens from the very beginning of your claim until the end.
- If they deny your claim, document the denial. Then, appeal the denial of coverage. They may reconsider if you take the time to request a review.
- Next, you can send a written demand letter to the insurer. Insurance companies are required by law to respond to demand letters in a timely manner. Have your attorney help you draft the demand letter.
- Before you file a lawsuit, you could file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. This will give you another avenue through which to obtain compensation without the need for expensive litigation.
- If all else fails, proceed with the bad faith lawsuit. You may be able to obtain compensation for both the damages from the accident, as well as from dealing with bad faith tactics.
When Should I Hire a Lawyer for My Insurance Claim?
We recommend working with an attorney as soon as possible on your claim. This doesn’t mean you have to immediately sign a contract and commit to paying legal fees while you’re already in a financial bind. Many personal injury lawyers who handle insurance claims offer a free consultation and won’t charge attorney’s fees unless they secure a recovery for you.
The best time to hire a lawyer for an insurance dispute is before you ever file your claim. This can help ensure that you have the best possible chance at avoiding a denial. However, you can still benefit from working with an attorney after you receive your initial denial. We highly recommend working with a lawyer at least before you submit your appeal.
How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Pay a Claim in Michigan?
According to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, insurance companies have 60 days to pay a claim once they have received your proof of loss. Failure to pay within 60 days flags the claim as overdue. When a claim is overdue, it accrues an additional interest charge of 12%.
If you sustained an injury during the accident, they have only 30 days to pay the claim once they receive proof of loss. Failing to pay within 30 days will result in an overdue claim. Overdue claims accrue a simple interest charge of 12%.
Damages in Bad Faith Claims
When you file a bad faith claim, there are certain types of damages that you can recover. In a successful claim, you should be able to recover compensation for the following.
- The money owed to you under the original claim
- Any attorney’s fees that you accumulated
- Emotional distress damages
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to your claim
Contact Michigan Bad Faith Attorneys Today
You have every right to expect your insurance company to support you during your time of need following an accident. And when it doesn’t, the personal injury attorneys at Lipton Law can help. We can help you hold insurance companies accountable for their failure to settle within policy limits.
Contact us online or call our Michigan office at 248-557-1688 today to find out more about how we can help. We provide legal representation for Michigan citizens who are wrongfully denied coverage by their insurance companies.