Durham Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer
When you suffer a property loss in Durham, your insurance company must act in good faith while it processes your claim. Good faith means responding in a timely manner, making a reasonable effort to investigate your loss, and providing a settlement offer on a valid claim without violating the terms of the insurance contract.
Unfortunately, not every insurance company upholds this duty. If you believe you have been treated unfairly by your insurance company, you have the right to file a claim with the help of our Durham bad faith insurance lawyers.
Call the Whitley Law Firm team for help today: (919) 785-5000.
Is My Insurance Company Acting in Bad Faith?
Bad faith goes beyond the insurance company making a decision you disagree with. To prove that the insurer is acting in bad faith, you will need to show that the company intentionally violated its obligations spelled out in the insurance agreement.
We recommend that you do not handle a claim denial or bad faith insurance claims alone. Insurance bad faith is an exceedingly complicated area of law that requires in-depth study and experience. One wrong move could jeopardize your entire case and cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our bad faith insurance lawyers can help.
The insurance company must act in good faith during every step of the insurance claims process. This includes treating you fairly when acknowledging your claim, investigating your loss, and negotiating a settlement for your claim. Some examples of insurers acting in bad faith include the following:
- Unreasonable delays in responding to your claim
- Ignoring paperwork or the receipt of your claim
- Intentionally undervaluing your losses
- Claiming your clearly destroyed property could be repaired instead of replaced
- Refusing to investigate of your claim
- Lying about the terms of your policy
Any act of bad faith could result in a viable case for compensation in North Carolina. Let our bad faith insurance lawyers advise you on whether or not you have a case against your insurance company.
Can I Pursue a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
If you believe an insurer is mistreating you, discuss your case with our bad faith insurance lawyers. There are times when a bad outcome in an insurance claim is not bad faith, and it is helpful to have an attorney advise you on the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
You need a strong case to succeed with your bad faith insurance claim. Proving these cases can be challenging, but you don’t need to—and shouldn’t—handle it alone. Our bad faith insurance attorneys can determine whether you can sue for the following:
Refusal to Abide by the Contract You Signed and Have Upheld
One of the signs of bad faith is an intentional breach of the insurance contract. You signed this agreement and have spent years abiding by it. When the insurance company refuses to do the same, it is time to talk to an attorney.
Dishonesty About Your Policy or the Handling of Your Claim
Catching the insurance company in a lie should raise a lot of suspicion. This could include anything from providing an inaccurate deadline to making false statements about what is covered under the policy.
Large-Scale Claims Denials After Hurricanes or Other Storms
Insurance companies are under financial pressure any time a hurricane or other extreme weather hits. These companies could suddenly find themselves overwhelmed with claims for compensation. The financial pressure this can cause often leads insurance companies to cut corners or deny claims without a valid reason.
These denials often happen for large insurance policies through which the insurer can be forced to pay out millions of dollars in claim costs. This can be especially difficult if you are the president of a homeowner’s association or other group, as dozens of homeowners may be hounding you for answers.
If you are dealing with a hurricane or other weather loss and feel mistreated, it’s time to talk to a bad faith insurance attorney.
What Is the Bad Faith Claims Process?
Every bad faith insurance case is unique, but there is a general process that these cases follow. A Durham bad faith attorney can explain that process and help ensure your case moves more smoothly through it. The process starts with a careful review of your policy and does not end until the case is resolved.
Reviewing the Insurance Policy
Before you make allegations of bad faith against your insurance company, it is vital that you understand the terms of your policy. Your insurance policy is a contract and the terms that you agreed to will have a significant impact on how your case proceeds.
An argument for bad faith is much stronger if your attorney can show that the insurance company broke the terms of your policy. A review of your policy language can also answer important questions regarding your deductibles, coverage, and filing deadlines.
Our bad faith insurance lawyers will review your policy to determine whether the insurer failed to act in good faith.
Documenting Evidence of Bad Faith Practices
Your case needs evidence of bad faith insurance practices to succeed. Before you can pursue a claim, you will need to be able to point to evidence showing the insurance companies refused to treat you fairly. Often, documentary evidence that comes directly from the insurance company is the most substantial evidence in these cases. Our firm could collect things like text messages, emails (both internal emails and emails sent to you), and official letters to establish proof your insurer acted in bad faith.
Sending Demand Letters
A demand letter is a written communication sent to the insurance company demanding a specific resolution to your claim. Often, this involves a demand for compensation in exchange for not filing a bad faith insurance claim lawsuit. The demand letter is often a catalyst for a successful settlement.
Filing a Lawsuit May Be Necessary
Not every bad faith insurance claim will result in a lawsuit. However, litigation may become necessary when settlement attempts fall through. This step can be intimidating, especially for anyone who has never been involved with a lawsuit before. Our team is ready to help you with the important decisions related to your North Carolina bad faith insurance lawsuit.
How Can I Improve My Chances of Success?
When you hire an attorney to address the bad faith insurance tactics from your insurance company, you can count on them to handle all of the legal aspects of your case. That said, there are some things you could do to avoid putting your case at risk. These include the following:
Documenting Every Aspect of Your Case
One of the best things you can do when you believe your insurance company is mistreating you is to document every aspect of your case. Every piece of correspondence from the insurer could have an impact on your case. Keeping all correspondence could provide your attorney with the evidence they need to win your case.
Mitigating Your Losses
You also have duties of your own when it comes to filing an insurance company. These duties include making your best effort to mitigate your losses. Mitigating your losses means reducing the damage sustained by your property whenever possible. For example, this could include putting a tarp on your property after roof damage to protect the interior of the home. The failure to mitigate your losses could reduce the value of your claim.
Not Giving a Recorded Statement To Your Insurance Company
You are not obligated to give a recorded statement to your insurance company. When you do, you provide the insurance company with a statement it can twist and use against you. This is why it is a good idea to allow your attorney to handle all communications with your insurance carrier.
How Long Will a Bad Faith Claim Take to Resolve?
Most people pursuing a bad faith insurance claim have already waited an unreasonable amount of time to get the benefits they deserve. Because of that, it is understandable to be anxious for a settlement or resolution in a North Carolina bad faith insurance case.
The reality is that these cases can take time under the best of circumstances. You don’t want to rush your case and risk settling for tens of thousands less than you deserve.
An attorney can help ensure your case stays on track.
Let Our Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers Assist You With Your Case
After spending years paying your premiums and complying with the terms of your insurance policy, you deserve to enjoy the benefits that come with a successful claim. If your North Carolina insurance company refuses to honor your claim or deal with you fairly, our bad faith insurance lawyers want to help.
The team at the Whitley Law Firm understands how to hold insurance companies accountable when they fail to act in good faith. Our Durham bad faith insurance lawyers from our firm can investigate the carrier’s response to your claim and advise you on whether it acted in good faith. Contact us right away to see how our team can help with your bad faith insurance claim: (919) 785-5000.