7 Steps to Take Before Bringing a Bad Faith LawsuitApril 26, 2017
Bad faith insurance lawsuits can be complicated, contentious cases. Insurance companies have deep pockets and experienced attorneys dedicated to protecting their profits.
Below, we have highlighted some of the important steps prospective plaintiffs can take (and avoid taking) as they prepare to file a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
Fighting an insurer over a hail damage claim?
Or has your claim been wrongly denied?
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Preparing to File a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit: What to Do
- DO keep all documents and evidence associated with the original claim – This can include any bills, estimates, reports, or photos provided to the insurance company as part of the original property damage claim. This evidence can establish the validity of the original claim and possibly reveal how insurers mishandled the claim.
- DO gather and retain all correspondence from the insurance company – This includes any emails, mailed letters, etc. the insurer sent when the claim was filed, during the investigation of the claim, or when the final decision for the claim was made. This correspondence can uncover exactly how the insurer violated Texas law, breached the contract (i.e., the terms of the insurance policy), or otherwise acted in bad faith.
- DO keep records of all calls or other interactions with the insurance company – Keep a log detailing each call or meeting with the insurance company’s adjuster(s). Note when the call or meeting occurred, who was involved and what was generally discussed. These details can be difficult to precisely remember weeks or months later, and they can be important to proving bad faith.
- DO consult a lawyer – An attorney can carefully review your claim and explain whether you have been subjected to bad faith insurance practices. A lawyer can also help you effectively fight bad faith and hold the insurer accountable inside (or outside) of the courtroom. Since Texas laws1 allow for attorneys’ fees in bad faith cases, the insurance company will have to cover any reasonable and necessary lawyer’s fees if the bad faith lawsuit is successful.
What to Avoid Doing before Filing a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit
- DO NOT give a recorded statement to the insurance company – Recorded (or official) statements rarely benefit the insured. Far more often, these statements work in favor of the insurance company. This is due to the facts that insurers can:
- Compare the recorded statement against other statements made and point out discrepancies between them to try to subvert the allegations of bad faith
- Use tricky language during these statements to try to get the insured to inadvertently say things that can be used to “justify” reducing or denying the claim.
- DO NOT discuss the case on social media – Anything posted online about a bad faith claim (or the original property damage claim) can be subpoenaed by the insurance company to try to justify how they handled the claim. Don’t give them more evidence they can use to refute the allegations of bad faith. Don’t post anything regarding the claim or the insurance company on social media (or anywhere else online).
- DO NOT be misguided by insurer’s threats or misinformation – Regardless of how friendly or helpful an insurance adjuster may seem to be, (s)he works for the insurer, not you. This means that you should question the explanations and information you receive from the adjuster – and that you should not automatically assume that you are being told the truth about your claim, your policy or your rights to compensation.
Get Effective Help Fighting Bad Faith Insurance: Contact a Houston Hail Damage Claim Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston hail damage claim lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to help you stand up to any insurance company that has compromised your property damage claim with bad faith tactics.
To find out more about your potential claim and how we can help you, call (713) 352-7975 or email our firm to set up a free consultation.
The lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm are proud to step forward on behalf of everyday citizens who face an uphill battle against insurance companies. Skilled at representing contractors, public adjusters and policyholders, we know how to successfully handle bad faith cases stemming from commercial and residential property damage claims.
Energetic, tireless and dedicated, our lawyers favorably resolve hundreds of insurance claims every year. Our record of success and our superior representation have earned the Amaro Law Firm 5-star ratings on Google and Facebook.