Representing Victims of Bad Faith and Unfair Handling of Claims in Insurance Coverage Litigation
Most North Carolinians are insured under numerous insurance policies, including health, automobile, home owners, long term disability, fire, and life. If you have complied with all of your obligations under the policy, such as paying your premiums on time, and the insurance company wrongfully denies coverage, you are entitled to bring suit to enforce your rights. Our Raleigh insurance claim handling attorneys can help you enforce those rights.
The insurance industry is a strange business; the insurer can actually benefit and make more money by not giving you what you’ve paid for under the policy. Insurers will often rely upon exclusions to the policy to issue you a denial of coverage for claims which should be covered under your policy. Insurers also may issue you a reservation of rights regarding coverage, essentially delaying the claims process. It’s important to not allow the insurer to have the final word on whether they have to pay the policy holder money or not. Insurance claim attorneys request a Court, rather than the insurer, to make a final decision and issue a declaratory judgment as to whether the act is a covered act under the policy.
Insurance companies owe policy holders like you a duty to defend against a lawsuit brought against their insurers and must pay covered claims brought that are asserted against their policy holders on behalf of their insured. Our firm can bring a third party insurance claim against the insurance company for their failure to properly handle claims against the policy holder for covered claims under the policy.
In particularly egregious cases of wrongfully denied coverage, your insurer may be liable for punitive damages. A policy holder is entitled to punitive damages for bad faith refusal to settle when there is (1) a refusal to pay after recognition of a valid claim; (2) bad faith; and (3) aggravating or outrageous conduct. Punitive damages allow a jury to award up to $250,000 or three times your actual damages, whichever is higher.
North Carolina also has a statute defining certain unfair claims handling acts. If an insurance adjuster has engaged in any of these acts, you may be able to recover under a claim known as “unfair and deceptive trade practices.” If a jury determines that the insurer engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices, your actual damages directly caused by those unscrupulous practices are automatically tripled. You may also recover your attorneys’ fees. Examples of unfair claims handling acts include:
Our insurance claim attorneys offer free consultations for insurance coverage and bad faith matters. We can handle your case under a number of fee structures, including hourly, flat rate, and contingency. We will work with you to determine the fee structure best for your particular situation. If your insurance company has unlawfully denied coverage or acted in bad faith, we may be able to help you.