Riverside Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers
With the high number of vehicles traveling on the Riverside Freeway, not to mention the large number of local construction projects going on at any given time, it is no surprise that many serious accidents occur in the area. Following a car crash, premises accident, or workplace accident, victims must rely upon insurance companies to recover the necessary monetary benefits and damages.
For example, if you suffered debilitating injuries in a car crash, you may need to file a personal injury claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. Alternatively, if the at-fault driver did not have motor vehicle insurance, you may need to turn to your insurance company and file an uninsured motorist claim. Similarly, if you suffered injuries while performing a job duty, you may need to file a claim with your employer’s insurance company for various workers’ compensation benefits.
Unfortunately, in many situations, insurance companies do not follow through on their end of the bargain. They may wrongfully deny coverage in your case or simply refuse to offer you complete and fair monetary damages for the injuries and losses you suffered in your accident. When insurance companies fail to follow through on their contractual and legal obligations, you can pursue a bad faith claim against them.
If you believe you are the victim of bad faith insurance practices, you should immediately seek the legal help you need. A knowledgeable Riverside insurance bad faith lawyer at Bentley & More LLP can help you pursue a bad faith claim against an insurance company and work to recover the monetary compensation you deserve.
Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our injured clients, including victims of bad faith insurance practices. Let us meet with you to discuss your situation and determine if you’re eligible to file a bad faith claim against the insurance company in your case.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Riverside insurance bad faith attorney, please call us or contact us online for more information.
Helping other law firms with serious injury matters: Our legal team has the resources to help victims of serious accidents who suffer catastrophic injuries. We also accept referrals from other law firms with difficult but winning cases. Please call us to discuss your injury case and how our firm might help.
What Is a Bad Faith Insurance Practice?
Insurance companies and providers have a duty to act in good faith and engage in fair dealings with all policy claimants. Unfortunately, however, that does not always happen.
An insurance company’s duty of good faith and fair dealing consists of:
- Reasonably and promptly investigating an insurance claim and making sure that the investigation is not biased in any way
- Upon a reasonable investigation, promptly notifying the claimant as to any reason for a claim denial—and doing so in writing
- Making sure to treat a claimant’s legal interests in the same way that the insurance company treats its own interests and interpreting policy language in a manner that is both fair and reasonable to the claimant
- Making reasonable efforts to settle a claim for an amount of monetary compensation that is fair to an accident victim claimant
When an insurance company violates one or more of these legal duties, it may have engaged in bad faith. Our legal team can investigate your circumstances and determine if the insurance company in your case likely acted wrongfully. If they did, we can help you file a bad faith insurance claim and pursue the monetary compensation you deserve to recover.
When to File a Third-party Bad Faith Claim Against an Insurance Company
Car accident and premises accident victims frequently have to deal with insurance companies other than their own. When a person suffers injuries in a car crash that was not their fault, or they become injured on someone else’s property due to a property owner’s negligence, they or their attorney will typically need to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurer. This type of claim is called a third-party claim.
Suppose the insurance company fails to investigate the situation within a reasonable time or wrongfully denies coverage. In that case, you can assert a third-party bad faith claim against that insurance company.
First-party Bad Faith Claims
A first-party bad faith claim arises when an accident victim must take legal action against their insurance company. These types of claims typically occur in the context of uninsured and underinsured motorist claims.
An accident victim may need to file a first-party uninsured motorist claim if they become involved in a traffic accident where the at-fault driver has no available motor vehicle insurance coverage. The at-fault motorist might have let their policy lapse or simply failed to take out an insurance policy on their vehicle.
Even though this is against the law in California, you will be surprised to learn how many drivers are without insurance coverage. If an uninsured driver causes an accident, the accident victim may need to file a first-party uninsured motorist claim with their insurer.
These types of claims are also available when an accident victim suffers injuries in a so-called phantom vehicle accident. The responsible driver flees the accident scene before the accident victim can obtain their license number or insurance information.
If the accident victim claims uninsured motorist benefits, but the insurance company will not entertain the claim, they can file a first-party bad faith claim against their insurer.
In contrast to uninsured motorist claims, underinsured motorist claims arise when the responsible driver has insurance coverage in place, but it is not sufficient to compensate the accident victim for their total losses. In that situation, the accident victim can turn to their own insurance company for the difference via an underinsured motorist claim.
If the accident victim makes this claim with their own insurer, but the company denies coverage or refuses to offer additional compensation, they can pursue a bad faith claim against their insurer.
At Bentley & More LLP, we can help you determine if you’re eligible to file either a first-party or third-party bad faith insurance claim in your case. If you are eligible, we can assist you with gathering documents and filing the necessary claim on your behalf. Moreover, if we need to pursue litigation in court, we can help you with every step of the process and work to pursue a favorable result on your behalf.
What California Laws Govern Insurance Bad Faith Practices?
Various provisions of California state statutes govern insurance bad faith practices. The most important law is the California Unfair Insurance Practices Act. According to this law, insurance companies must not knowingly commit certain acts or use deceptive practices when dealing with their insureds and other potential claimants under a policy.
Some of the most critical types of conduct that the statute prohibits include:
- Taking an unreasonably long time to resolve a claim
- Making intentional misrepresentations to an insurance claimant
- Advising the claimant that they should not seek legal representation in their case
- Failing to exercise the necessary and reasonable protocols for undertaking an investigation into a claim
If you believe an insurance company violated the law in your case, speak with experienced legal counsel immediately. The knowledgeable lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can begin investigating your bad faith insurance claim and help you take swift legal action against the offending insurance company.
Statute of Limitations Concerns
In a bad faith insurance claim, the statute of limitations deadlines are critical. The statute of limitations provides a deadline by which a claimant must file a lawsuit for a particular legal action. When it comes to bad faith insurance claims, the statute of limitations deadline depends on the pending bad faith claim.
Some bad faith insurance claims arise from an alleged breach of contract. An insurance company commits a breach of contract when they fail to perform certain obligations under the insurance policy, which is a legal contract. If you are filing a bad faith insurance claim arising out of a breach of contract, you have four years to file your lawsuit.
However, some bad faith insurance claims arise from tort actions, where a claimant suffered physical damages and other losses due to someone else’s unreasonable conduct. In those cases, the accident victim has two years to pursue a bad faith insurance claim. The damages that they ultimately recover will depend upon the extent of their total losses.
Following the state statute of limitations concerning insurance bad faith claims is extremely important. In fact, if you file your bad faith lawsuit even one day after the deadline expires, the courts will prevent you from taking legal action and recovering any monetary damages in your case.
The experienced Riverside insurance bad faith attorneys at Bentley & More LLP will ensure your lawsuit arrives on time in the court system. After filing a lawsuit on your behalf, we can pursue your bad faith claim and assist you in any legal proceedings, including a trial.
Essential Steps You Should Take When Pursuing a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
When it comes to legally proving that an insurance company committed one or more acts of bad faith, the claimant accident victim has the legal burden of proof. Essentially, you must legally show that you had a valid legal claim pursuant to the applicable insurance policy.
In addition, you must demonstrate that the insurance company either unlawfully denied your claim or failed to pay you the total amount of monetary benefits that you deserve. In other words, the insurance company must have failed to comply with its contractual duties and obligations.
To help you prove the legal elements of an insurance bad faith claim, you should retain all documentation that you received from the insurance company. If you learn that the insurance company wants to deny your claim, you should insist upon receiving a written confirmation of that denial, as well as a letter that states the reasons for the denial. You should also write to the insurance company that you intend to pursue a bad faith claim against them.
In addition to being proactive in your case, you should immediately obtain the experienced legal help you need. At Bentley & More LLP, we can assist you with every step of your bad faith insurance claim or lawsuit and help you introduce the evidence necessary to prove your case in court.
Speak with a Riverside Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer Today
When insurance companies behave uncooperatively, accident victims are often unsure of where to turn or what to do. At Bentley & More LLP, we can take some of the burdens off your shoulders and handle every aspect of the claim for you. Moreover, if your case must go to trial, we can represent you in court, introduce evidence on your behalf, and help you achieve the best possible result in your case. Reach out to a Riverside personal injury lawyer.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bentley & More for the past 5-6 years. Their drive and compassion to earn great results for their clients is obvious to everyone who works with them.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to partner with the firm to help serve their clients.” – Nicole S. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Phone: (949) 617-0938