We trust that the companies we pay for insurance will be there for us when the time comes. Unfortunately, insurance companies have a bad reputation for unfairly denying claims and leaving their customers in a difficult situation.
If your insurance company wrongfully denied your claim, you can file a lawsuit against them. There might be multiple reasons behind a wrongful denial. Although mistakes in the claims process or violations of normal claims procedures are problematic, bad faith claims are especially difficult. To prove that your insurance company wrongfully denied your claim in bad faith, you usually must prove that there is no legitimate reason to deny the claim. How you prove your case depends on the nature of your insurance claim and the supposed reasoning the insurance company provides for the denial. When arguing your case, we can claim damages related to the wrongfully denied claim. These damages may include economic and non-economic losses.
If your insurance company denied your claim, but you believe the denial was made in bad faith, our Alabama personal injury lawyers can help you file a lawsuit. For a free evaluation of the case, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
Reasons to Sue Your Insurance Company for Denying Your Claim in Alabama
There might be multiple possible reasons behind a wrongfully denied insurance claim. In many instances, the case comes down to bad faith dealings by the insurance company. In other cases, the wrongfully denied claim results from a mistake or a failure to follow procedures. While a claim denied in error is not inherently wrongful, it might become wrongful and provide grounds for a lawsuit if the insurance company becomes aware of the mistake and refuses to correct it.
Bad faith is a somewhat broad allegation against an insurance company. There is no exact legal definition we can look to that sums up the elements of bad faith. Even so, a bad faith claim often involves the insurance company denying claims for no legitimate reasons. In these cases, insurance companies often provide baseless or outright false reasons for denying the claim.
For example, suppose you were in a car accident and turned to your insurance company for coverage. Next, suppose the insurance company denies your claim because you provided insufficient evidence. The claim might be wrongfully denied in bad faith if the evidence you provided clearly indicated that your insurance should cover the accident and that sufficient evidence existed to support your claims.
Mistakes and errors are known to happen and sometimes lead to bad consequences for insurance claimants. Whether there was a clerical error, a failure to investigate properly, or a failure to review submitted evidence, the mistake could lead the insurance company to wrongfully deny your claim.
For example, suppose you submit numerous pieces of evidence about your claim to the insurance company, but several key pieces of evidence are accidentally lost before they can be reviewed. As a result, the insurance company denies your claim for insufficient evidence.
Our Birmingham personal injury attorneys can review the case and talk to the insurance company to determine what happened. If your claim was truly denied in error, we can help you bring the error to the insurance company’s attention and appeal and hopefully correct the situation. If the insurance company is made aware of the mistake and refuses to fix the problem, the denial becomes wrongful, and we can help you sue the insurance company.
Procedures Not Followed
In other cases, claims are wrongfully denied because the insurance company did not follow proper claims processing procedures. Although Alabama has not adopted the model Unfair Claims Settlement and Practices Act, there are laws regarding how insurance claims are to be processed. Exactly how your claims should have been processed depends on the type of insurance and the nature of your claim.
One example of a failure to follow procedures is neglecting deadlines. Claimants are often aware that they must submit their claims by certain deadlines, but deadlines also bind insurance companies. Under Ala. Admin. Code § 482-1-124-.04(2), which applies to life, accident, and health insurance, the insurance company must begin processing a claim within 15 days of when the claimant submits evidence of their losses or injuries. If the insurance company failed to begin processing a claim within the deadline, and the late processing led to the claim being denied, you can sue the insurance company.
Proving Your Insurance Company Wrongfully Denied Your Claim in Alabama
Proving your insurance claim was wrongfully denied is easier said than done. Not only do you need evidence of your original claim, but you need some proof that the claim was wrongfully denied. This can be difficult, as insurance companies often try to shield themselves behind lots of bureaucratic red tape.
Ala. Code § 482-1-124-.04 provides numerous rules and processes that life, accident, and health insurance companies must follow. Our Alpharetta personal injury attorneys can help you review these laws and determine if the insurance company denied your claim in violation of any of these laws.
To prove your claims, we need evidence. To start, you must keep a thorough record and copies of all communications between you and the insurance company. If possible, avoid providing important details over the phone. Sending information in emails is a much better way to create a paper trail we can use as evidence.
Next, we need a copy of your policy. The policy is more than just a list of rules regarding coverage. It is a contract between you and the insurance company. If the insurance company wrongfully denies your claim in violation of the policy terms, they are in breach of contract, and you can sue them.
Damages in a Lawsuit Against Your Insurance Company for Denying Your Claim in Alabama
Damages in a lawsuit for wrongfully denied insurance claims often include the value of your original claim. For example, if your original claim that should have been approved included coverage of $25,000, you can claim the $25,000 you were denied as part of your damages.
Depending on the situation, punitive damages might also be available. These damages are designed to punish defendants for exceptionally bad behavior. When insurance companies act in bad faith, they hurt their customers, and the case might be eligible for punitive damages. Our Georgia personal injury attorneys can help you determine the extent of the potential monetary damages in your case.
Call Our Alabama Personal Injury Attorneys for Help Now
If your insurance company wrongfully denied your claims, talk to our Atlanta personal injury attorneys about starting a lawsuit. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.