Raleigh Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer
Hurricanes and storm damage are all too common in North Carolina. And after a hurricane or other storm, you depend on your insurance policy to help ease some of the pain from your losses.
Insurance coverage is a two-way street. You agree to pay a monthly premium to insure your property, and the insurance company agrees to pay for your losses if something happens. Unfortunately, not all insurers respect the contract you’ve signed. When this happens, you may feel as though you’ve hit a dead end. However, you’re not at the insurance company’s mercy; you have options. You have us.
Whitley Law Firm has experience representing property owners from HOAs and commercial businesses down to individuals and families. Our Raleigh bad faith insurance attorneys manage your entire case while you focus on your life. To explore your options through a free case review, dial (919) 785-5000.
What Is a Bad Faith Claim?
A bad faith insurance claim can occur if an insurance company intentionally acts in a way that violates its contract with a policyholder. From homeowner’s associations to individuals and families—Whitley Law Firm has experience representing all types of policyholders.
All insurance companies must diligently process claims, investigate their basis, and uphold their contractual obligations. A refusal to process a claim honestly, fairly, and in good faith could result in a bad faith claim or lawsuit––both of which our lawyers can help you with.
Examples of bad faith practices include:
- Delaying your claim for an unreasonable period
- Ignoring paperwork you have sent over
- Purposefully undervaluing your losses
- Threatening you so that you will drop your claim or accept a low settlement
- Lying about the terms of your insurance policy
- Refusing to investigate your claim
- Claiming that clearly destroyed property can be repaired (as opposed to replaced)
If you feel as though the insurer isn’t acting in good faith, you could benefit from partnering with our Raleigh bad faith insurance lawyers.
Do I Have a Bad Faith Claim?
Trust your gut. If you feel like the insurance company isn’t taking your property damage claim seriously, call us. We can tell you if you have grounds for a claim or lawsuit. We represent claimants after they’re confronted with:
- Breach of contract. You signed a contract when you partnered with the insurance company, and the insurer is obligated to uphold its obligations. With a breach of contract, the insurer denies something that’s clearly outlined in what you signed.
- Issues about covered losses. Your covered losses are things that the insurer agreed to cover following an adverse event. It can’t agree to cover something (say, covered damage to a guest house, clubhouse at a condo complex, or business structure) and then renege on that coverage after receiving your claim.
- Bad faith insurance practices. Here, the insurance company intentionally tries to jeopardize your claim. For instance, the claims adjuster may give you the wrong deadlines for submitting paperwork. They may even refuse to respond after multiple communication attempts.
Some insurance companies make a profit by intimidating their policyholders. The claims adjuster may even make you second-guess yourself. Remember one thing: Whitley Law Firm is on your side. We understand your insurance policy, and we intend to hold the liable insurance company accountable for your covered losses, whether that means negotiating a settlement or filing a lawsuit.
Our Bad Faith Lawyers Will Handle Every Aspect of Your Case
Our family-owned-and-operated law firm has served policyholders for nearly 50 years. In that time, we’ve learned a few things about insurance companies––namely, that some don’t act in their clients’ best interest. We do. Our team doesn’t tolerate any deceptive insurance practices that complicate our clients’ lives.
From the moment we take on your case, you can rest assured that we will:
- Gather evidence of bad faith. We can’t just accuse the insurance company of acting in bad faith; we need evidence supporting your allegations. Supporting information in your case may include the insurance company’s internal communications about your claim or other records of your repeated communication attempts.
- Handle communications with the insurer’s representatives. Insurance companies often attempt to take advantage of their policyholders’ trust—that is, until we get involved. That’s because Raleigh-area insurers know that Whitley Law Firm is a force to be reckoned with.
- Accurately assess your losses. Following a covered incident, the insurer will send out a claims adjuster to assess the damage to your property. They may estimate your damages to be much lower than they’re actually worth, hoping to save money, especially with larger properties like a condo complex or corporate building. We can conduct our own investigation to see if the insurer’s estimates are accurate.
From negotiating with the insurer to filing your lawsuit, there’s nothing Whitley Law Firm won’t do to advance your case.
Beyond that, the service you get from our law firm will be the complete opposite of what you experienced from the insurance company. You can expect prompt updates and answers to your messages within 24 hours. Our bad faith lawyers want nothing more than to support you through this challenging ordeal.
Our Raleigh Attorneys Understand North Carolina’s Bad Faith Insurance Laws
When facing an insurance company that is refusing to act in good faith, North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practice Act is your ally. This legislation is broadly drafted to protect claimants from unscrupulous business tactics—including insurance bad faith. Per this Act, you could hold an insurer accountable for bad faith for any acts that affect commerce, such as misrepresenting your coverage or failing to reasonably investigate a claim.
We understand that laws and regulations surrounding bad faith insurance cases can prove downright confusing. Leave it to our team to parse the complicated legalese and navigate the claims process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Raleigh Bad Faith Insurance Claims
You could spend hours researching your questions only to get confusing, vague answers and false expectations. That’s not the story with us. Here, we’ve outlined some of the most common questions we get in situations like yours. You may be wondering:
How Long Does a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit Take?
We hope to resolve your bad faith insurance lawsuit as soon as possible. This will likely include filing your lawsuit in the appropriate jurisdiction and avoiding any delays. Realistically, it could take months to resolve your case. We intend to keep you updated each step of the way.
Should I File a Bad Faith Lawsuit?
We hope that after sending your demand letter, the insurance company will agree to fulfill its end of the bargain. That way, you can get the coverage you need without litigation. If not, however, we have no problem representing you at trial and holding the other party responsible.
What Is the Process for a Bad Faith Claim?
There are many steps involved with resolving a bad faith lawsuit. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about this process. That’s our job; we’ll fight for the funds you need to rebuild or replace your damaged property. After learning your story, we:
- Examine the liable insurance policy. We first review the contract you signed with the insurer. We evaluate things like exclusions, endorsements, and covered losses.
- Document the bad faith conduct. We find that written correspondence is often the “smoking gun” in Raleigh bad faith cases. We encourage you to share anything that suggests that the insurance company isn’t taking your case seriously and intends to cheat you. These could include text messages, on-the-record statements, and emails.
- Make a demand. Your lawyer may proceed with sending a demand letter that outlines the bad faith practice, your expectations, and how you want the matter resolved. Generally, insurers have a couple of weeks to respond. The insurer’s response may dictate what happens next.
- File a lawsuit. We hope that the insurer will give you the compensation you need after learning that you have legal representation. If not, however, we file a complaint in the jurisdiction where your property is.
Filing a lawsuit may seem intimidating, but remember: you’re not alone. You have Whitley Law Firm to manage litigation and everything it entails. We decide whether to file your lawsuit in state or federal court, then guide the trial to completion.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Bad Faith Insurance Case
You’re in a tough spot right now. You could be losing thousands every day as your office building remains shuttered. You may be facing angry condo owners wondering when their homes will be repaired. You may be displaced from your own home, spending days in a cramped hotel room with your family. You could be paying hundreds to have your pets boarded, all while the insurer drags its feet, refusing to uphold its end of the contract.
It’s understandable to wonder about your next steps at a time like this. If possible, we suggest that you:
- Mitigate further damage to your property. Imagine that a tropical storm ripped the roof off your office building. While your claim is pending, prevent the damage from worsening. For instance, you may put a tarp over gaps in the ceiling. The insurer will only pay for losses stemming from the covered event—not damages stemming from what happened afterward.
- Have a lawyer present during any recorded statement. The insurance company may request a recorded statement—commonly referred to as an examination under oath (EUO). In most cases, sitting for an EUO is a condition in your insurance policy, and you have no choice but to comply. However, if you are represented by a lawyer, you have the right to have that lawyer present during your EUO. Additionally, your lawyer can adequately prepare you for the loaded questions you will undoubtedly field during your EUO.
- Document everything. There’s no such thing as a useless piece of evidence in a bad faith insurance claim. For example, take photos of the damage to your home or commercial property. You could even use Ring doorbell recordings to show exactly how the damage occurred (if possible). Be sure to save every letter and email and take detailed notes about when you speak to your insurer and what you discussed.
- Call an insurance bad faith lawyer from our firm. Don’t attempt to handle this process yourself. Insurance policies are needlessly complex, and one misunderstanding could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Let our team handle it.
Get Support and Peace of Mind With the Raleigh Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys at Whitley Law Firm
You invested significant time and money into maintaining your property––and you purchased insurance to protect your interests. If the insurance company isn’t treating you fairly, you have rights under state law. Our Raleigh insurance bad faith lawyers are here to help you uphold them.
To connect with our team and set your case in motion, call (919) 785-5000.