Denver Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
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What to Do in an Insurance Claim
Cooperate with your Insurance
Bad faith claims should be a last resort. Before you reach that point, you take all reasonable steps to assist your insurance company in evaluating your insurance claim. Almost all insurance contracts contain cooperation clauses, so this is not just a good idea, it’s required. If you have done everything you can to help your insurance company do the right thing, and they still unreasonably delay or deny your claim, then it is time to consider a first-party insurance bad faith lawsuit.
Gather Relevant Evidence
You should gather any evidence that might be relevant to your underlying insurance claim. This includes photographs, videos, witness information, receipts, medical records and bill, repair estimates, incident reports, or anything else that could be important to the evaluation of your claim for damages. You will also need to obtain and review the full insurance policy and any supplements, renewals, or exclusions.
Keep Records of your Communications
Keep logs of your communications with your insurance company. These should include dates and times along with what information was provided and whom you talked to. Whenever possible, try to communicate via email or in writing. If you speak to your insurance company by telephone, send a follow-up email confirming the conversation. Keep a record of the information you provided to your insurance company. Document any denial of your claim. A Bad faith insurance lawyer can use these records to defend your case.
Call a Colorado Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
Contact a Colorado Bad Faith Insurance Attorney to protect your legal rights. An insurance bad faith lawyer will help protect your interests if your insurance company is failing in its contractual obligations to you or committing bad faith. If your insurance company refuses to do the right thing, one of the best insurance bad faith lawyers can hold them accountable by filing an insurance bad faith lawsuit.
Work with a Colorado Accident Lawyer You Can Trust
Eisenstein Law is devoted to our bad faith clients. We will make sure your rights are protected every step of the way. Our Denver personal injury law firm will guide you through procedural issues and the insurance claims process. If a settlement is not possible, we are ready to take your case to trial. Don’t settle for less, contact one of the best Denver bad faith insurance attorneys today.
Frequently Asked Insurance Bad Faith Questions
What is bad faith insurance law?
Regardless of whether your insurance claim involves property damage, bodily injury, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or other benefits, every insurance company in Colorado has a duty to act in good faith and deal fairly with its insureds. This creates a “quasi-fiduciary” relationship beyond a mere contractual one. If an insurance company breaches its duties to you, it acts in bad faith. Insurance companies can commit bad faith by unreasonably undervaluing your insurance claim or delaying or denying payments of your claim. If this happens, they could be liable to you for damages under theories of breach of contract and statutory and common law bad faith.
What are the rules that insurance companies have to follow?
Colorado case law helps establish the standards that govern insurance companies’ conduct. These “rules of the road” require insurance companies to investigate claims promptly and adequately for benefits; base decisions related to claims on actual information rather than speculation or conjecture; not deny claims without substantial justification; communicate honestly and promptly with their insureds; not “low-ball” claims for unreasonably low amounts; promptly tender amounts which are not in dispute; and not place its own interests above those of its insureds.
If you think your insurance company is not following the rules, call a Denver bad faith insurance attorney to talk about your case. We can help you determine if the insurance company is acting reasonably or is placing its interests over yours.
What does it mean if a claim is fairly debatable?
An insurance company has not committed bad faith just because it denies or assigns a low value to a claim. Bad faith requires more than denial or even a breach of contract. The insurer’s conduct must be “unreasonable” for there to be a potential bad faith case. When evaluating an insurance company’s conduct, Colorado Courts apply the “fairly debatable” standard. This means that an insurance company does not necessarily commit bad faith by challenging claims where reasonable minds could disagree.
What is the difference between common law and statutory bad faith?
Colorado insurance bad faith claims can rise from both common law theories and from statutory violations. In order for an insurer to be liable for common law bad faith breach of an insurance contract, the insurer has to breach its duty of good faith and fair dealing in a way that the insurer either knew was unreasonable or recklessly disregarded the fact that its conduct was unreasonable. This can be harder to show than a statutory violation. An insurance company commits statutory insurance bad faith by violating C.R.S. § 10-3-1115 which states that an insurance company shall not “unreasonably deny payment of a claim for benefits owed to or on behalf of any first-party claimant.”
Common law insurance bad faith and statutory bad faith are not mutually exclusive and most Colorado insurance bad faith lawsuits will include both claims.
What is my Colorado insurance bad faith case worth?
The value of your insurance bad faith case depends on many factors including the underlying damages claimed and the conduct of the insurance company. If there has been a statutory violation you may be able to recover additional damages. The penalty provisions of C.R.S. § 10-3-1116 allow for the recovery of two times the covered benefit and reasonable attorney’s fees. E.g., if an insurance company unreasonably delayed paying a covered benefit of $100,000.00, you could bring an action to recover that $100,000.00 plus two times the covered benefit, $200,000.00, plus bad faith lawyer’s fees that could be tens of thousands of dollars or more.
What are unfair claim settlement practices?
C.R.S. § 10-3-1104 enumerates several “unfair claim settlement practices” that may support a finding of insurance bad faith. These practices generally involve an insurance company placing its own interests above those of its insured. Misrepresenting facts or policy provisions, failing to acknowledge or act reasonably promptly upon communications about insurance claims, failing to reasonably investigate all available information, failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable amount of time, and forcing insureds to file lawsuits to recover fair amounts under an insurance policy could all be violations.
What is the statute of limitations for Colorado insurance bad faith?
The statute of limitations for insurance bad faith claims is two years in Colorado. However, it can be difficult to know when that period starts or whether other laws might affect the applicable claim period. E.g., an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim usually has to be made within three years, but if the at-fault party makes a payment for damages for the motor vehicle accident, there could be an additional two years from the date of payment within which an insured can pursue an underinsured motorist claim. A Denver bad faith insurance attorney can help you determine what statute of limitations date applies to your case.
Do I need a lawyer for my insurance bad faith case?
Insurance bad faith laws are complicated and filled with potential pitfalls. Insurance companies are well versed in these laws and have significant resources devoted to protecting their interests. If your insurer has acted in bad faith with respect to your claim, you will need an experienced Denver bad faith lawyer to even the odds and help you navigate the complicated web of insurance bad faith laws. Contact our personal injury lawyers today for a free insurance bad faith case evaluation.
Find Your Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Through Eisenstein Law
Eisenstein Law has bad faith lawyers who are experienced in mitigating the stress of dealing with a bad faith insurance case. With more than a decade of experience in personal injury litigation, Eisenstein Law works hard to get you the compensation that you are entitled to. Our practice areas also include Denver car accident, slip and fall, and pedestrian accident attorneys.