Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys in Denver
Representing Clients Cheated by Insurance Throughout the Country
Why do we purchase insurance? To protect ourselves when things go wrong. But some insurance companies conveniently "forget" this fact and attempt to hold on to your money when they are contractually obligated to pay your claim. This is called, in essence, "acting in bad faith." It is an egregious act, made more so because it preys on your vulnerability and lack of legal knowledge at a time when you desperately need help.
Leventhal & Puga, P.C., is a top law firm that has defeated big, nationwide insurers in personal injury claims across the United States. Do not hesitate to contact us if you suspect your insurance company is not representing your interests the way it should be. Your initial consultation is free, and we will advise you if you have a strong case.
The Legal Definition of Bad Faith
Every state has slightly different definitions of bad faith, but the premise is the same. We’ll use Colorado’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, C.R.S.§ 10-3-1104, as related by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. These are examples of "bad faith" acts on the part of insurers:
- Knowingly misrepresenting facts or policy provisions to a claimant
- Failing to respond with "reasonable promptness" to claims
- Not having reasonable standards in place to promptly investigate and settle claims
- Failing to attempt a fair and equitable settlement in a case in which liability is clear
- Refusing to pay a claim without conducting an investigation
- Delaying affirming or denying coverage after an investigation is complete
- Forcing claimants to file a lawsuit by offering "substantially less" than what a claim is worth
- Making changes to a settlement agreement without the knowledge or consent of the claimant
- Failing to provide a reasonable and accurate explanation for a claim denial or settlement offer
Colorado Revised Statutes also say, "the determination of whether the insurer's delay or denial was reasonable shall be based on whether the insurer's delay or denial was negligent."
The failure to act "reasonably" is a huge factor in a bad-faith dealing. These rules, above, cover home, auto, health, and disability insurance. If your insurance company has denied or delayed paying on a valid claim, you should speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer immediately. Colorado allows you to collect double the amount the insurer was withholding in punitive damages, plus attorney fees, if you prove your claim in court.
How Bad Faith Can Impact Your Injury Claim
When you have been injured and file a claim for compensation, that money is supposed to pay your medical bills, your repairs, your lost wages, and more. When the insurance doesn’t come through, people who have already been hurt feel panicked, stressed, and inevitably are more willing to settle. The emotional strain and frustration alone can leave you feeling hopeless. We are here to help.
There are two basic types of bad faith: first party and third party. With first-party bad-faith insurance, you have filed a claim directly with an insurance company and it is denying or delaying your claim using the tactics seen above. With third-party bad-faith insurance, your own insurance company has failed to protect you against a third party who is filing a claim against you – by failing to defend you, failing to respond to them, failing to investigate the claim, etc.
If You Suspect Bad Faith, Contact Leventhal & Puga, P.C.
The more data you have collected on your dealings with the insurer, the better. Besides being liable to the victim for punitive damages, the guilty insurer faces a fine from the state insurance commissioner and may have its insurance license revoked. Call our top team of personal injury lawyers at (877) 433-3906 to schedule a no-cost consultation. If you do have a case of bad-faith insurance, we will represent you at no upfront charge.