How Our Winning Texas Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer Will Help You
Insurance is the ultimate financial safety net to get you back on your feet when you’re in a bad situation. But what if your insurance provider cuts off this net by acting in bad faith and denying your claim?
Imagine being hospitalized after a car crash through no fault of your own. Then, your insurance company ends up tricking you out of your rightful claim. So now you can’t even pay your hospital bills.
Unfortunately, a lot of insurance companies see your crisis as an opportunity to exploit. They know it’s easy to fool someone stressed and desperate, especially if they’re unaware of their legal rights.
They may have successfully tricked you out of your payout, but it doesn’t mean they can successfully get away with it.
You need to hire a bad faith insurance attorney who knows all the tricks and loopholes used by insurance companies and holds them accountable.
At Wyly & Cook, our team of Houston bad faith insurance lawyers has helped hundreds of people secure their insurance payouts as well as damages for such bad faith practices.
We like to be upfront about the value we bring (instead of hiding things in fine print like insurance companies). So call us today for a FREE consultation about what your bad faith insurance case is worth.
Bad Faith Tactics
An insurance company runs like any other business. Their goal is to maximize profits for their shareholders. And guess what eats up their profits? Every time they have to approve a payout for a claim.
Naturally, their interests may not align with your well-being even though they are legally obliged to help you.
So insurance companies use three primary tactics to ensure your claim turns out to be a DUD:
Delay – pushing you through unnecessary paperwork to stop your claim from being processed. Even though you’ve produced all the documents your policy requires, they’ll try to stall, hoping you’ll give up. Some agents even resort to threatening statements to discourage policyholders from pursuing their claims.
Underpay – intentionally undervaluing the damages and injuries you had to bear to avoid paying the full amount.
Deny – using vague reasoning to justify denying your claim despite its clear merit.
Hiring an Experienced Bad Faith Attorney
Maybe you smelled something fishy while your insurance agent used these deceptive tactics on you. However, conducting a thorough investigation of your insurance claim and proving it in court is another ball game. And your insurance provider knows it.
Only an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer can lead an honest and thorough investigation to prove the violation of your rights.
If your insurance provider has wrongfully delayed, underpaid, or denied your claim, our team will go the extra mile to give you the justice you deserve.
You may walk into our office as a victim, but we do our best to ensure you leave the court as a winner.
Damages for Bad Faith Actions
You may wonder, “what’s the point of wasting more money hiring a lawyer when you’re already struggling to get your insurance payout?”
After all the physical, mental, and financial stress your insurance company puts you through, it’s hard to take on a new burden.
Thanks to Texas laws against bad faith insurance practices, you can win much more than your basic claim payout.
Our team of experienced bad faith lawyers here at Wyly & Cook will hold your bad faith insurance provider liable for:
- Your insurance claim payout.
- Any damages and penalties for the inconvenience you faced because of their bad faith tactics.
- Damages to cover your attorney’s fees.
- Damages for causing you emotional distress.
It’s simple! The bigger your insurer’s bad faith violations, the better your compensation will be.
Legal Action for Bad Faith
Don’t rush into filing a lawsuit immediately after your insurer denies your claim. It will only weaken your case if you’ve spent no time documenting it.
On your end, you need to ensure:
- You’ve paid your monthly insurance premiums on time.
- You own a policy that covers the losses you are filing a claim for.
- You’ve filed a claim that fully meets your insurer’s essential requirements.
If you’ve got this covered, it’s time to take the next step and hire a Houston bad faith insurance attorney.
Your attorney will review your claim and document your insurer’s bad faith violations. Then, based on their investigation, they can file a bad faith claim through either of these two ways:
1. Common Law Bad Faith
These claims are based on an implied good faith agreement, requiring insurers to serve their customers fairly. You need to prove your insurer failed to provide a reasonable basis for delaying, underpaying, or denying your claim.
2. Statutory Bad Faith
Statutory violations allow a person to hold an insurer liable for damages caused by unreasonable delays in responding to and paying claims and misrepresentations regarding the policy, the claim, or coverage.
Chapter 541 of the Texas Insurance Code empowers you to take many different legal actions for bad faith insurance tactics, such as:
- Falsely representing a policy provision.
- Refusing to settle in good faith for a liability that’s already proven.
- Failing to reasonably justify your claim denial.
- Not providing you coverage within a reasonable period.
- Failing to conduct a proper investigation before taking action on your claim.
Remember – the burden of proof is on you no matter what legal action you pursue.
So it’s essential to have an experienced bad faith insurance attorney to take the fastest and most rewarding legal path for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is bad faith insurance?
If your insurance provider intentionally delays, underpays, or denies a claim you are legally entitled to, they are acting in bad faith. And when you take legal action against them, it becomes a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
How do insurance companies act in bad faith?
It’s easy to throw around subjective words like “unfair” and “irresponsible” when you accuse your insurance provider of bad faith practices. But it’s hard to make your judgment count in court if you can’t even point out how they act in bad faith.
So let’s take a deeper look at some of the most common bad faith insurance practices:
- Delaying or denying your claim without any valid reason.
- Refusing to acknowledge that they’ve received your claim.
- Not conducting a prompt and thorough investigation of your claim.
- Denying your payout even after establishing a clear liability.
- Forcing you to settle for an unfair amount.
- Failing to update you about any policy changes that affect your claim.
- Not properly explaining an arbitration appeals policy means.
- Creating unnecessary paperwork forcing you and relevant authorities to fill in the same details again and again.
- Falsely representing or misinterpreting a policy provision or the value of your claim.
- Concealing relevant information about your claim.
- Wrongfully accusing you of misconduct.
- Convincing you to avoid getting an attorney on board.
- Using intimidating tactics to discourage you from pursuing a claim.
How can an attorney help with bad faith insurance claims?
Many insurance companies are happy to violate both the state and common law to deny your claim and protect their profits. But they’re counting on your lack of legal experience to take advantage of you.
Some may even try to talk you out of hiring one, which is another bad faith tactic. That’s because you’re leveling the playing field when you hire an experienced bad faith insurance attorney.
Firstly, they can’t hide behind confusing legal paperwork or use any intimidation tactics.
Secondly, your attorney will review evidence, file your claim, coordinate with all relevant authorities, and represent you in court. You just have to sit back and relax.
Our team of experienced bad faith insurance lawyers at Wyly & Cook will take charge of every step, from filing to winning your case.
What damages can be awarded for bad faith insurance claims?
It’s essential to set your expectations clear by consulting with your attorney before filing your case. Here are the types of damages most commonly awarded in Texas for bad faith insurance lawsuits:
- Between 3-5 times the amount of your insurance claim.
- Compensation for your attorney fees, along with interest and court costs.
- Damages for any emotional distress caused to you.
- Punitive damages take action against the insurance company for their misconduct.
What is the difference between negligence and bad faith?
Proving a bad faith insurance case requires you to convincingly prove that your insurer knowingly denied, underpaid, or delayed a legitimate claim.
If they fail to act out of ignorance or some other valid reason, it will be a ground for negligence. It’ll also impact the damages they are liable to pay when you take legal action against them. Insurers will have to pay much more to compensate if they were caught acting in bad faith.