When Do I Need the Help of an Insurance Bad Faith Attorney?
Most adults in the United States buy a private insurance policy to protect themselves in the event of an economic loss. This economic loss could include damages such as:
- Damage to your property
- Personal injuries
- A short or long-term disability due to illness or injury
- Defending against a lawsuit
In exchange for regular monthly premiums, policyholders expect their insurance company to uphold the terms of their policy after a loss. Unfortunately, some insurance companies fail to uphold their end of the bargain. This can include avoiding implied or expressed duties.
Many television commercials portray insurance companies as trusted friends, ready to offer a helping hand in our time of need. In truth, most insurance companies are primarily concerned with their financial bottom line. They are not concerned with the best interests of their insureds.
When an insurance company fails to uphold the terms of your disability insurance policy, it has committed an act of “bad faith.” The broad definition of bad faith is unfair or dishonest practices. When an insurance company engages in bad faith actions, you may have cause to file a claim.
How Does an Insurance Company Engage in Bad Faith Actions?
There are many ways insurance companies can engage in bad faith actions. The insurance company may:
- Fail to investigate your claim.
- Neglect your claim and fail to give it the attention it deserves.
- Issue a claim decision before considering the facts.
- Engage in unreasonable delays.
- Make unreasonable demands about paperwork.
- Engage in deception.
- Distort policy language in an attempt to deny your benefits.
- “Cherry-pick” facts from your medical reports. This directly benefits the company while ignoring key facts that prove disability.
- Threaten legal action against you. They can do this either directly or through implication, hoping you will accept a low settlement.
- Cancel your insurance policy after you make a legitimate claim.
In essence, an insurance company is not allowed to put their own interests in front of yours, the insured. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to win a bad faith disability insurance claim. To do so, you may have to establish a breach of contract.
Appealing a Long-Term Disability Denial
If you receive a long-term disability application denial, and you believe it was an issue of bad faith, we can help. It is important to speak to an attorney as quickly as possible. Most LTD policies provide for at least one, and often two, levels of administrative appeals.
It is through the appeals process that you may eventually receive your long-term disability benefits. Different claims processors often evaluate appeals. As such, they may disagree with the initial decision.
Make sure you read and understand your denial letter, paying close attention to the exact reason for denial. Your denial letter will also discuss the deadlines and requirements for filing your administrative appeals.
It is important that you consult with an experienced disability insurance bad faith attorney before the end of the appeal deadline.
How an Insurance Bad Faith Attorney Can Help You
If you win your bad faith disability insurance claim, you will receive your disability benefits. The insurance company may offer you a lump-sum settlement. They may do this rather than paying your benefits until the end of the policy benefit period.
Always consult a legal professional before you accept such a settlement to determine whether the offer is in your best interests. When the disability insurance company attempts to avoid its obligation to investigate your claim, call on the bad faith law expertise of John V. Tucker and his team of highly skilled attorneys.
Our firm has relationships with insurance companies and their claim teams. This allows us to obtain results in claim denial cases without resorting to litigation. We frequently obtain positive results for our clients through negotiation. Yet, there are situations where only litigation efforts will obtain the positive results you deserve.
Contact Our Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys Today
Our insurance bad faith attorneys are highly skilled negotiators as well as aggressive litigators when warranted. While we are licensed in Florida, we counsel in other states across the country as well. We know you need help now to fight the large insurance companies. Call us today at (866) 233-5044 or by submitting an online contact form. We look forward to working with you wherever your location.