Phoenix Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and so it is not uncommon for them to use a variety of unethical tactics to avoid paying out on a claim. Such conduct, when in violation of the contract you hold with your insurance company, is considered acting in “bad faith” and entitles you to pursue legal action against the insurance company, whether it offers car insurance, health insurance, homeowner's insurance, or another type. But you must act quickly if you are to hold your insurance company legally accountable. While the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is usually two years, the contract you hold with the insurance company may stipulate a much shorter time period within which you can legally file a bad-faith claim.
The Phoenix insurance bad faith attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., have many years of experience obtaining successful case results for claimants. We are committed to protecting our clients' rights and exposing the unethical practices of insurance companies. Call us today at (602) 457-6222 for a free consultation.
All insurance companies are required to operate in good faith when working to resolve a claim. This means that they communicate honestly and in a timely manner with the claimant, investigate the claim thoroughly, and pay the amount of compensation the claimant is entitled to under their coverage policy. If the insurance company does not follow the terms of acting in good faith, they are acting in bad faith and can be held legally accountable for their actions.
Insurance companies make money in two ways: charging high premiums and paying out as little of that money as possible in claims. When greed steps in, insurance companies try to deny or devalue as many claims as possible. Their hope is that claimants will become discouraged, accept low settlement offers, and not examine the fine print of their contracts. Given that most people are not aware what bad faith looks like, these insurance companies are often successful. However, if you bring your case to an experienced attorney, you’ll learn how to fight back and get fair compensation for your losses.
As a customer, you never expect bad-faith insurance practices to impact your life, especially after a car crash. After all, you pay for a service and for protection in the event of an accident. But what does "bad-faith insurance practices" mean? It means that your insurance company does something unethical in order to avoid helping you with your claim, or to get more money from you for the same services and protection that you already had. Unfortunately, insurance companies can, and do act in ways that are unethical, and that can have an impact on your ability to get help after a crash - not answering or returning your calls, increasing your premiums without cause (e.g. you are involved in a collision that was not your fault), or taking lengthy periods of time to get back to you with information and forms.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 20-461, it is illegal for insurance companies, and their representatives, to do any of the following as general business practice:
- Misrepresent important facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue.
- Fail to acknowledge and act reasonably and in a timely manner concerning communications regarding claims under an insurance policy.
- Refuse to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation given all the available information.
- Not try, in good faith, to come to fair, prompt, and equitable settlements in claims where liability is reasonably clear.
- Fail to deny or affirm coverage of claims within a timely manner after the completion of proof of loss statements.
- Fail to promptly give a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim or offer of a compromise settlement.
- Increase your premiums for no reason, or because you were involved in a collision that was not your fault.
- Cancel your policy because you were involved in a collision that was not your fault.
- Change the terms of your policy without notifying you so that you no longer have the coverage you believe you have.
These are only some of the acts that an insurance company may be held liable for. Sometimes insurance companies go to extraordinary measures to deny your valid claim, making it impossible for you to get the medical care and compensation that you need in order to get well, or possibly even save your life, after you've been involved in an accident. If your insurance company is guilty of the above or you want to find out whether your insurance company has in fact operated under bad faith with regard to an auto accident claim or other type of claim, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Arizona insurance bad faith attorney to discuss your situation.
But what do you do if you believe you were a victim of bad-faith insurance practices? First, you should know that these types of actions on the part of the insurance company are for one purpose: to make more money for the insurance company at your expense. They’re also illegal.
While you are entitled to bring a lawsuit against an insurance company acting in bad faith and/or violating the terms of your insurance policy contract, it is not a simple process. You must first determine whether there was, in fact, a violation of your rights as stipulated in your insurance coverage policy. Then every communication between you or other parties and the insurance company must be investigated to determine whether it failed to follow proper procedure. With the help of a knowledgeable insurance bad faith lawyer in Phoenix, you won't have to worry about what has to be done because your lawyer will handle it for you.
When you work with an attorney, the insurance company is more likely to understand the risk of bad publicity, and with the right attorney, you can rest comfortably knowing you will get the compensation you deserve for your suffering caused by your accident that your insurance company owes you.
During a bad-faith claim, you and your attorney must demonstrate that:
- An insurance company was required to handle your initial claim in good faith;
- The insurance company failed to fulfill its duty to you, such as by delaying a claim, not properly investigating it, or changing the terms of your policy without notification;
- The insurance company was aware that its actions were unreasonable; and
- You suffered damages as a result of the insurance company’s unreasonable actions.
Proving bad faith has occurred requires an in-depth investigation by an experienced legal team. Arizona law requires that every bad-faith claim be filed within two years of when the insurance company acted in bad faith. While this may seem like a long time, your attorney will need to comb through your insurance policy, review all communications with the insurance company, determine how the company acted in bad faith, and negotiate for proper compensation. This takes time, so you shouldn’t delay.
In some cases, a lawsuit may not be necessary if your attorney can get a fair deal outside of court. Insurance companies avoid the courtroom if they can help it. However, The Husband and Wife Law Team is fully prepared to take your case to court to ensure you are treated fairly by the insurance company.
At the Breyer Law Offices, P.C., our Phoenix insurance bad faith lawyers have the experience, skills, and resources to investigate any claim of insurance bad faith and to determine what the best options are in every case. To speak to Alexis or Mark Breyer about your particular situation, contact The Husband and Wife Law Team for a free consultation today.
- What to Do When Your Insurance Acts in Bad Faith
- Negotiating with Your Insurance Company after an Arizona Car Accident
- What to Do If Your Insurance Company Refuses to Pay Your Claim
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer