Can I Sue an Insurance Company for Bad Faith?

Posted on January 28, 2024


Hayden Haskins | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

When an insurance company wrongs you, the natural next step is to take legal action and claim what you rightfully deserve. The question that many homeowners have when filing an insurance claim, though, is whether you can actually sue the insurance company simply for acting in bad faith.

At Insurance Claim HQ, we take bad faith claims very seriously and spare no effort in holding insurance companies accountable for questionable behavior. Our bad faith insurance lawyers serve New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. We can walk homeowners like you through the process of how to sue an insurance company for bad faith in Louisiana using a step-by-step approach.

How To Sue an Insurance Company for Bad Faith

If you suspect that your insurance company is acting in bad faith, the first thing to do is make sure you understand your policy. Being fully familiar with the terms of your coverage will put you in a stronger position during future negotiations. Working closely with a bad faith insurance lawyer will ensure you have the expertise you need on your side.

Your legal team can also help you with the next step, which is to file a formal complaint with the state’s Department of Insurance. State-level services can help you resolve a dispute with the insurance company through mediation. Bring all records of your correspondence and interactions with the insurance company to the table to help strengthen your position.

If you follow all appropriate measures and are still unable to reach a favorable resolution, your lawyer can advise you on how to sue an insurance company for bad faith.

An insurance company that is not amenable to your claim, your attempts at negotiation, or state-facilitated mediation might only admit to their wrongdoing if a court’s verdict demands it. When filing your suit, you should include any claims of fraud, negligence, or other examples of bad faith behavior, as well as documentation to support those claims.

What Is a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit?

A bad faith insurance lawsuit is a type of legal action you can pursue when the insurance company breaches its duty toward you as the insured party. An insurance policy is ultimately a form of contract.

As with any contract, it comes with the expectation that both sides will act in good faith toward one another and make sure to uphold the other party’s right to receive the agreed-upon benefits.

An insurance company acts in bad faith when they violate the terms of your policy, deny you your rights on an unreasonable basis, or intentionally mishandle your claim. These types of behaviors can be valid grounds for pursuing a bad faith insurance lawsuit.

A successful bad faith lawsuit can enable you to recover the settlement you deserve for your original claim, as well as additional compensation for any pain and suffering you sustained as a result of the insurer’s bad faith behavior.

When Can You File a Lawsuit Against an Insurance Company for Bad Faith?

It is important to keep in mind that if the insurance company denies your claim or offers a lower-than-expected settlement, it does not necessarily mean they are acting in bad faith. The first step in understanding how to sue an insurance company for bad faith is to know what constitutes wrongful or underhanded behavior.

You can file a lawsuit against an insurance company when they:

  • Deny a claim with no explanation
  • Delay their response to your claim for an unreasonable amount of time
  • Refuse to negotiate after a lowball settlement offer
  • Fail to communicate effectively throughout the claims process
  • Fail to adequately investigate your claim

Another common reason to sue for bad faith is if the insurance company maliciously misrepresents your policy. This can refer to an unreasonable interpretation on the part of an insurer that is to the detriment of you as the covered party or a harmful misrepresentation of the policy’s terms.

Any dishonest or unfair act that puts the policyholder at a disadvantage is an act of bad faith that may fully justify the decision to file a lawsuit.

Why Get a Property Casualty Lawyer To Sue an Insurance Company for Bad Faith?

Dealing with the insurance company on your own can be a daunting prospect, especially if your insurer is willing to resort to bad faith practices to get the outcome they want.

A bad faith insurance lawyer can explain how to sue an insurance company and level the playing field during complex negotiations. An attorney can carry all the legal burdens of a complicated case while you focus on being safe and comfortable after an accident befalls your home.

If you are suing an insurance company for bad faith, your lawyer can:

  • Investigate the insurance company’s actions for signs of bad faith
  • Collect evidence to strengthen your claim
  • Handle any paperwork and other administrative tasks for you
  • Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
  • Represent you during all courtroom proceedings

When an insurance company acts in bad faith, they are doing nothing less than violating your rights to a timely claim and fair settlement.

Contacting a bad faith insurance lawyer from Insurance Claim HQ is an important step toward protecting those rights, as we understand the intricacies of insurance policies and the surrounding laws just as well as the insurance providers themselves.

If an insurance provider attempts to abuse their unique position to twist your policy in their favor or take advantage of you during a vulnerable time, your legal team can protect your interests.

Contact Our Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys in Louisiana

When Louisiana homeowners experience serious property damage due to hurricanes or other disasters, the insurance company should be an ally who helps those affected get back on their feet. If you instead meet with blatant bad faith behavior from the insurance company when you file a claim, the team at Insurance Claim HQ can give you the support you need to make things right.

We know how insurance companies can act in bad faith and understand how frustrating it can be. It is our mission to fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our bad faith insurance lawyers serving New Orleans and Louisiana to learn more about your lawsuit options.