If your life or auto insurance claim is denied, you may have the right to sue the company for bad faith or breach of contract. A lawsuit would seek money damages both to compensate you for your losses and to punish the company for the bad behavior. Most of these cases involve “breach of contract” and “breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing” (referred to simply as “bad faith”).
Contact our law firm for a free consultation if you believe you have a case. We may be able to get you a good settlement without filing a lawsuit.
Breach of Insurance Contract
With a breach of contract suit, you are saying that the insurance company did not live up to its end of the bargain.
You acquired an expense that was covered by your insurance, and the company refused to pay. Everybody focuses on the words of the policy in these cases. The company may have the advantage because they drafted the policy. However, the “rules of construction” are on your side. Rules of construction require the courts to interpret ambiguous language in your favor. If you prevail, you can recover the value of your benefits and any incidental damages.
“Is your company doing what it should to help you with your costs? If your claim was denied and the reason doesn’t make any sense, or the company won’t tell you why you’re not getting your benefits, you may need to go through arbitration or file a lawsuit. ” — Attorney Fred Pritzker
A bad faith claim says that the company acted unreasonably.
All insurance policies require the company to act in good faith when reviewing a claim. If the company did not perform an adequate investigation, or attempted to settle for less than what it’s worth, you may have a viable bad faith claim and you can recover your benefits. If you can prove bad faith, you may be awarded for “infliction of emotional distress and fraud” and receive compensation for punitive or exemplary damages, which can exceed the actual amount owed under the contract.
Statute of Limitations
You also need to be aware of the “statute of limitations.” A civil lawsuit for breach of contract or bad faith must be filed within a certain time period after the insurance company makes its final denial of your claim. Once the statue of limitations expires, it may be difficult or impossible for you to protect your rights.
We are a national personal injury and wrongful death law firm with clients throughout the United States. Our offices are centrally located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We’re ready when you are.
Our attorneys have successfully handled cases involving national companies, including but not limited to the following: GEICO, Allstate, American Family, State Farm, Nationwide, Travelers, Progressive, Farmers, and Liberty Mutual.
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