Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys in York, PA
Legal help when your insurance company denies or delays your claim in PA
Every day we face a tsunami of advertising from insurance companies promising they will take care of us if we buy one of their policies. Sometimes we must take these claims with a grain of salt. For all the promises insurance companies make about being good neighbors or putting you in good hands, it is important to remember these are for-profit companies. They do not have your best interests at heart — at the end of the day, insurance companies are there for themselves and their shareholders.
When you are facing a dispute with an insurance company, whether a wrongfully denied claim or an insufficient amount to cover your losses, the York attorneys at KBG Injury Law can step in and help. Our almost four decades of experience working with bad faith claims puts valuable knowledge and power on your side. Contact us today for a consultation about your particular case and see what we can do for you.
What is an insurance bad faith claim?
Bad faith is the legal term for when an insurance company tries to renege on its duties to a customer, even though it has a contract (or policy) with that customer that promises certain benefits. For example, your insurance company might:
- Withhold benefits due under the policy.
- Offer an unreasonable explanation for why the benefits were withheld.
- Refuse to defend you against a third-party claim, like a car accident.
- Refuse a reasonable settlement, even when it is advantageous to you and them (avoids a lawsuit).
- Make an unreasonable, lowball offer on a claim.
- Misrepresent important facts about your case or provisions in the actual policy.
- Receive your claim but fail to act promptly or even acknowledge receipt.
- Conduct an inadequate or a faulty investigation and subsequently deny your claim.
- Refuse to provide a reasonable answer for why they rejected your claim.
- Utilize methods that are demeaning or invasive while investigating your claim.
- Make an unwarranted claim of arson against you if your claim involves a fire.
- Deny a health care benefit because it says the cost is too high, even when your policy covers it.
- Advise you not to hire legal assistance.
However, not every disagreement with an insurance company rises to the level of bad faith. Clients disagree with their insurance companies from time to time, and a difference of opinion is not a sign of bad faith. For example, if a company makes a mistake, but corrects it as soon as they discover it, that is not an act of bad faith. States created bad faith law to balance the interests of insurance companies and the insured, and insurance companies have the right to reject invalid claims. On the other hand, you have the right to fair payment for legitimate claims.
It becomes an act of bad faith, however, when you see any of the signs mentioned earlier.
Reputable insurance companies settle claims promptly and pay quickly. An insurance company that dabbles in bad faith tactics, however, looks for ways to avoid paying the full amount, deny your claim, or delay it to the point that you give up. The York insurance attorneys at KBG Injury Law are here to ensure you never give up.
How do you prove a bad faith claim in Pennsylvania?
While the reasons for bad faith insurance claims remain relatively consistent across the country, the ways state regulators and the courts deal with them vary from state to state.
- Some states require you to prove the insurance company did not thoroughly investigate your claim before denying it.
- A few other states require you to show the insurance company ignored state regulations about investigating claims.
- Still other states require you also to prove the insurance company deliberately ignored facts that would’ve verified your claim.
- The strictest states require you to prove the insurance company deliberately acted against you in bad faith.
As you can see, the legal process isn’t consistent nationwide.
Here in Pennsylvania, the state’s Supreme Court historically tends to side with policyholders, recently ruling a claimant does not need to prove malicious intent on the part of an insurance company to win a bad faith lawsuit.
Determining how Pennsylvania interprets the insurance bad faith laws is just one reason hiring an attorney to help you makes a lot of sense. Most bad faith insurance claims are a David-vs.-Goliath situation, since insurance companies have virtually unlimited funds to fight claims, while you may not. However, with the power of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney, you can level the playing field.
How do you file a bad faith insurance claim?
If you believe your insurance company has acted in bad faith, you should contact a York insurance lawyer immediately to help you with your case. In the meantime, take the following steps to protect your claim:
- Review your insurance policy thoroughly.You must review your insurance contract. You cannot file a lawsuit unless you know there has been a violation of terms. Get a complete, up-to-date version of your policy from your company before you file a claim.
- Record everything.Keep all your evidence and documents together. Keep a log of every interaction you have with the insurance company, every letter you write, every text you send to your agent, every phone call you make. If you have a meeting, record the names of everyone who was there and what you discussed; taking notes during the meeting so you do not miss any details.
- If the insurer denies you, ask for a review.If your insurance company denies your claim, immediately ask for a supervisor to review your claim. During this new look, they may reverse the decision. However, if they deny the claim again, it is time to consider consulting with a lawyer.
- Advise the insurance company you have legal representation.Our York attorneys will show a judge and jury you went out of your way to work with the insurance company before you filed a lawsuit. We will write a letter demanding they pay the claim. If they don’t respond, or if they still refuse to pay your claim, we will proceed with legal action.
- File an insurance bad faith claim.KBG Injury Law can advise you on the damages to which you are entitled and help determine how this act of bad faith has impacted your and your family’s life. We can handle everything and take the burden and stress off your shoulders until the issue is resolved.
The York insurance bad faith attorneys at KBG Injury Law know how to help consumers when their insurance company refuses to pay a valid claim. We can help you, too..
How can a York, PA insurance bad faith attorney help my case?
When you are a consumer dealing with bad faith from your insurance company, working with an experienced attorney simply makes sense. Your lawyer:
- Can help review your insurance contract and pinpoint the exact violation that took place and what to cite in a lawsuit.
- Will prepare all filings and documentation properly and according to deadline.
- Knows which level of court and jurisdiction in which to file.
- Works to secure the proper and fair damages to which you are entitled, including punitive damages (if appropriate).
- Is on your side. When you are fighting a big company, likely for the first time, having an experienced advocate working for your best interests is a reassuring comfort.
Working your way through the complex rules and documentation needs of an insurance bad faith lawsuit can appear daunting and confusing. Our team of knowledgeable lawyers can help you determine the best course of action for your unique situation. Our job is to ensure you are receiving the maximum benefits to which you were entitled under the policy you signed with your insurance company.
Talk to an honest York, PA insurance bad faith lawyer today
At KBG Injury Law, we do not see you as just another client, but as a person who needs our help. We aim to treat each person that comes through our doors as an individual, and give them the attention they deserve. Our insurance bad faith attorneys understand how a wrongly denied claim can affect you emotionally and financially, and how important it is for you and your family to be able to resolve all issues as quickly as possible. To schedule an appointment, call 717-848-3838 or 800.509.1011 (toll free) or fill out our contact form. We have offices in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hanover, and Gettysburg, and serve clients throughout South Central Pennsylvania.