In one of our latest blogs, we discussed some of the telltale signs of bad faith insurance in Florida and what to do if you believe that your insurance company is dragging out the claims process, undervalued your claim, or denied your claim altogether. If you are ever in this situation, it’s important to remember that you have legal rights.
Below, the team at Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A. breaks down how we will fight on your behalf to gather evidence and help you win a bad faith insurance claim or lawsuit.
Elements of a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
First, it’s important to understand that there are a few different elements of bad faith insurance, as well as two different categories. These are:
- First-Party Bad Faith Insurance. This protects you, the policyholder, should you personally sustain damages or losses. Examples include health insurance as well as fire, flood, hurricane, or earthquake insurance.
- Third-Party Bad Faith Insurance. This protects you, the policyholder, from financial liability should you be sued by another person or party for damages. Examples include liability insurance under an automobile or homeowner’s policy, professional liability insurance, and commercial liability insurance.
In any of the two categories listed above, your attorney will ultimately have to prove that either 1.) benefits due under your insurance policy were withheld, or 2.) the reason for withholding benefits was unreasonable.
Preserving Evidence to Build a Solid Case
If you believe that your insurance company is acting in bad faith, you should start taking steps right away to protect yourself and help your attorney build a solid case on your behalf. Here are what steps you should take to preserve evidence from the get-go:
- Document Everything. With any correspondence you have with the insurance company, take documented notes of what is said between you and the other person. For phone calls, you can also ask permission to record the call. Whenever possible, ask for everything to be put in writing so you have a copy of the exact things said.
- Speak With a Supervisor. Up until this point, you probably only have spoken with the insurance adjuster. If you feel that your case is going nowhere or is being wrongfully denied, ask to speak with the adjuster’s supervisor or someone in a higher position. Explain the situation and ask what is going to be done about your settlement.
- If Needed, File a Lawsuit. Keep in mind that, with the help of an attorney, successful negotiations during a bad faith insurance claim often lead to settlements outside of court. If the insurance company still refuses to settle fairly, then you may have to go to court for bad faith, in which case the above evidence is even more crucial.
Always Hire an Attorney to Protect Your Rights
When it comes down to it, hiring a local bad faith insurance attorney to represent you is really key to winning a bad faith insurance company. This is not something that you should attempt to do on your own, especially when you don’t have to.
Bad faith insurance claims are notoriously complex, as insurance companies often have a team of legal defense attorneys on their side to fight against any bad faith claims that come their way. At Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A., we are not afraid to fight for our clients' rights both in and out of court.
We deal with insurance companies on a daily basis and will work hard to get you what you are owed. Contact our Fort Lauderdale bad faith insurance attorneys at (800) 953-2858 to learn more about your legal options during a free case review.