Winston-Salem Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer
An insurance policy is a legally binding contract. You pay your insurance carrier a monthly premium, and they help you with expenses covered by the policy. While most insurance companies honor the policy terms in good faith, some are not so honest.
If you suffered severe property damage during a storm, natural disaster, or other unexpected occurrence, the last thing you need is a prolonged battle with a dishonest insurance carrier. Unfairly delayed or denied claims can cost you or your business significantly in the long run.
A Winston-Salem bad faith insurance lawyer at Whitley Law Firm can provide a free case evaluation and help determine whether you have grounds to sue the insurance company. Call us today to learn more during a free case review: (919) 785-5000.
Natural Disasters and Bad Faith Insurance Practices in Winston-Salem
If you own or operate a business, commercial property, or residential community, you likely carry liability insurance. You turn to these insurance policies when your property suffers unexpected damage due to a hurricane or other event.
Property liability policies may include homeowners insurance, commercial property insurance, or homeowners association insurance. Coverage is typically limited by the type of policy you carry. Before you file a claim, review your policy documents to understand the coverage you purchased. Common policies include:
- Dwelling coverage: Includes repairs to the covered building and its structural components
- Additional structures: Includes repair and replacement of unattached structures, including clubhouses and pools
- Dwelling contents: Includes repair and replacement of damaged belongings inside the covered buildings
- Additional living expenses (ALE): Includes expenses associated with temporary dwelling while the building is under repair
In addition, some standard liability policies specifically exclude certain natural disasters. Your insurer may require you to purchase specific coverage. For example, a flood insurance policy is designed to cover damage specific to flood events, but flood damage may not be included in standard homeowners insurance coverage.
If your policy specifically excludes certain damages, your insurance carrier may deny a claim that includes those losses. However, if they deny coverage included in your policy, they may violate your policy contract and North Carolina Law.
Conditions That Could Lead to a Property Liability Claim in Winston-Salem
Depending on the specifics of your liability policy, you may have grounds to file an insurance claim following a severe weather event or natural disaster such as:
- Tornadoes or derechos
- Heavy rain and flooding
- Severe thunderstorms
- Lightning strikes
- Hail, ice, and heavy snow
Whitley Law Firm’s attorneys know the tactics insurance agents and adjusters use to reduce and deny such claims unfairly. Our team can help you seek fair compensation from a dishonest insurance company via a bad faith lawsuit.
North Carolina Laws Offer Protection Against Bad Faith Insurance Practices
North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 58-63-15 protects consumers from bad faith insurance practices. Bad faith insurance practices may include the following:
- Rejecting a claim that is covered under the policy
- Failing to investigate a claim in a timely manner
- Refusing to offer a fair settlement for the claim
- Lying, misrepresenting, or falsifying information relating to the claim
- Intimidating policyholders to avoid paying valid claims
- Discriminating against policyholders
- Forcing policyholders to file a lawsuit to achieve a fair settlement
If your insurance carrier violates your contract or North Carolina laws, they could be held liable in a bad faith insurance claim. Whitley Law Firm’s insurance bad faith attorneys in Winston-Salem can help you understand your legal rights and establish a claim.
Costs You Could Recover in a Winston-Salem Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit
When you file an insurance claim, you aim to recover the losses you suffered due to an unexpected event, such as a natural disaster. North Carolina takes bad faith insurance practices seriously. If your insurance carrier acted in bad faith, you could recover the full value of your claim, including reasonable estimates for complete repair and replacement of covered structures and belongings.
You can also recover the court costs, attorney fees, and interest incurred because you had to take the insurer to court. North Carolina also imposes punitive damages up to three times the amount of your losses due to the insurer’s bad faith practices.
For example, if you lost business income because the insurance company unfairly delayed your settlement, you could receive up to three times the amount of your financial losses.
At Whitley Law Firm, we believe dishonest insurance companies should be held accountable for their actions. We aim to recover every last dollar for your bad faith insurance losses.
How Bad Faith Insurance Practices Can Cost You More
Timing is critical when you need your North Carolina property repaired or replaced. Damaged buildings may be structurally unsound or otherwise unsafe for use. If not fixed quickly, some damages may worsen and cost you more over time.
Filing an insurance claim is one of the first steps in the repair process. When an insurance company denies or delays your claim unnecessarily, you may face a slew of additional expenses, including:
The longer it takes to repair building damage, the greater the potential for complications. Water damage, mold, and pest incursions can occur when the exterior or foundation of your building is compromised. You may pay more to return your structure to its original state.
While you wait on the insurance carrier, you could be losing income from a business that cannot operate without a functional space. Ongoing expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance premiums, and property taxes may still require payment. As a result, you may experience prolonged financial hardship as you try to make ends meet without your customary income.
When you do not receive a timely insurance payment, you may opt to fund repairs on your own. You may lose interest income if you pull money from your savings account. On the other hand, taking out a loan or line of credit can also cost you in fees and interest. It is unfair to expect you to pay for these added expenses because an insurance company wants to protect its bottom line.
Late payments can also cost you. If you are waiting on an unfairly delayed insurance settlement, you may miss payment deadlines for repair services. This can harm your credit rating and your business reputation. An unpaid contractor may allocate interest and late fees for overdue invoices. Eventually, you could face collections agencies or a lien against your property.
If you are the head of an HOA, you may be dealing with angry homeowners wondering when their homes will be repaired or replaced. It can be frustrating to take the blame for something your insurer should cover.
Defending Your Legal Rights Against Bad Faith Insurers in Winston-Salem
Whitley Law Firm’s bad faith insurance attorneys in Winston-Salem are familiar with the unscrupulous tactics used by some insurers. We offer comprehensive legal assistance to help you establish and pursue your bad faith claim. With more than five decades of experience, we will not hesitate to go toe-to-toe with giant insurance companies and pushy adjusters.
When you sign a contract with Whitley Law Firm, you can expect:
When you work with us, you get the Whitley Advantage. We treat you like our own family. That means we are compassionate advocates for your legal rights. Our team provides meaningful guidance throughout your claim and remains readily available to answer your questions.
Whitley Law Firm is founded on the principles of fairness and justice. When faced with complex legal obstacles, we do not back down.
Upon signing a contract with Whitley Law Firm, you no longer have to worry about answering calls, responding to information requests, or fighting with insurance representatives. We take over all communication relating to your insurance claim immediately. In addition, we:
- Obtain expert opinions
- Seek damage repair estimates
- Investigate your claim
- Review your insurance documents
- File a bad faith insurance lawsuit
- Conduct negotiations with insurance representatives
- Represent you in hearings and at trial
With Whitley Law Firm, you benefit from decades of experience and a dedication to fair treatment and justice under the law.
Representation on Contingency
We know financial stress is at an all-time high after a natural disaster. We offer free consultations to customers who suspect their insurance carrier of acting in bad faith. If we take your case, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You pay nothing for our legal assistance unless we achieve a settlement or verdict in your favor.
Schedule a Free Case Review With a Winston-Salem Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
You do not have to face unscrupulous insurance companies on your own. If you believe your North Carolina insurance carrier is handling your claim in bad faith, Whitley Law Firm can help. We know how stressful it is to deal with an unfair denial or unnecessary delay, especially when it is an insurance company safeguarding its profits to your detriment.
Let your family help you recover the compensation you need to rebuild physically and financially. Reach out to our office today to schedule a free case evaluation with a bad faith insurance attorney in Winston-Salem or elsewhere in North Carolina: (919) 785-5000. A member of our legal team can review your case details and help you decide how best to proceed.