Insurance policies can be very difficult to understand. They are full of legal jargon and can be intimidating. If you have ever felt unsure about a policy, do not worry because you are not alone. When talking to an insurance agent, you may hear several different phrases thrown around that are normal terms for the agent, but they might be new to you. In these moments, you should stop the agent and ask for clarification on the term until you are confident in your understanding. For an unbiased explanation, hire a legal professional to proofread your policies. By including a third-party's take on the information, you give yourself an extra layer of protection in the event that an insurance company ever denies your claim.
Can I Sue My Insurance Company for Denial of Benefits?
Yes, you do have the ability to sue your insurance company if the denial of a claim is unreasonable. There are many reasons why an insurance company may deny a claim, but it becomes an issue of bad faith if the denial is unreasonable, incredibly delayed, or based on faulty investigation. If you believe your claim denial falls under at least one of these categories, contact Keller, Melchiorre, and Walsh today to speak to an attorney well-versed in the issue of bad faith.
Florida State Statute 624.155 states, “bad faith is when the insurer does not attempt in good faith to settle claims when, under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly toward its insured and with due regard for her or his interests; making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under which payments are being made; or except as to liability coverages, failing to promptly settle claims, when the obligation to settle a claim has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage.”
What is a Breach of Contract?
A breach of contract takes place when one party of a binding contract breaks at least one of the terms. It is considered a breach of contract if your insurance company fails to pay the full amount of what is owed, delays the payment unnecessarily, or refuses to pay altogether. In Florida, you have the right to sue if you are the victim of a breach of contract. Not all situations involve bad faith, and your attorney can help you decide whether or not this is a part of your case.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
There is a sense of urgency applied to filing a lawsuit. You only have a certain amount of time to file a successful lawsuit, and this is known as the statute of limitations. This clock usually starts as soon as the wrongdoing takes place with common knowledge or when the victim becomes fully aware of the incident. The statute of limitations varies for different situations, and those are listed here. Specifically, for an insurance breach of contract, the statute of limitations is four years, meaning you must file your lawsuit within four years of the insurance loss. As the policyholder, you need to be mindful of the clock that is now ticking. Insurance companies can try to distract you with lengthy negotiations to kill time, so make sure you are going into those discussions with legal representation by your side.
How Much Are Attorney's Fees?
Attorney's fees are usually based on a contingency fee agreement. This means he or she is paid a sum of money as a fee only if your case is won. Many people choose to avoid obtaining legal representation simply because they assume they cannot afford the fees, but that assumption is not always valid. With a contingency agreement, the lawyer agrees to accept a certain percentage of the recovery.
When it comes to the costs of a case, advanced client costs can be handled with a temporary account. Basically, a law firm can use the account to make a payment for a client that will be billed later to the client. This method might be used in regards to hard costs and soft costs. Hard costs include things like witnessing fees, court reporting fees, deposition expenses, and medical record expenses. The soft costs include expenses for copies made, faxes, postage, delivery services, clerical services, online research, and application costs.
Contact a Lawyer Today
As you can see, there are plenty of different scenarios that can play out when seeking compensation for an insurance claim denial. With multiple scenarios comes room for error. Do not make your life any more complicated by trying to sort out the legal process on your own. Give yourself a break and contact a trusted lawyer at Keller, Melchiorre, and Walsh today to get started on your road to compensation.