Denver Bad Faith Attorney Explains Grounds for a Bad Faith Claim
You feel that your insurance company has treated you unfairly since you filed your insurance claim. Despite repeated communications with the insurer, you have yet to see a check in the mail for payment on your claim. At the same time your medical bills, car repair bills, and household bills are overdue.
If this scenario sounds familiar, your insurance company could be engaging in bad faith practices in delaying or refusing to settle your claim. If this is true, your best recourse is to hire a Denver bad faith attorney and file a bad faith claim against the insurance company.
When an Insurer Breaks the Duty Owed to the Insured
To understand the grounds for bringing a bad faith claim against an insurer, you first need to understand the fiduciary duty that the insurance company owes to an insured. Generally, under Denver law, an insurer owes its insured the duty of good faith and fair dealing. However, practicing good faith is not the same as engaging in good business practices, entitling the insurance company a favorable rating from the Better Business Bureau.
The insurance company does have to adopt pro consumer policies to comply with the law. However, if an insurer has a policy of delaying or denying claims without a reasonable basis, then their actions constitute a breach of their fiduciary duty to their policyholders.
What are the grounds to bring a bad faith claim?
Determining whether you have grounds to file a bad faith claim will depend on whether the insurance company has violated Colorado’s fair settlement practices law. Some of the illegal practices that can serve as grounds for a bad faith action include when the insurer:
- doesn’t acknowledge your claim or ignores subsequent inquiries regarding the status of your claim;
- fails to investigate your claim or investigates it in a manner that doesn’t follow proper standards for determining liability;
- insists on settling the claim for an amount considerably less than a reasonable policyholder would believe was recoverable under the terms of the policy;
- delays paying a portion of your claim where liability has been determined, such as medical coverage, while another portion of a claim, such as property damage, is still under investigation;
- denies your claim without telling you why or without giving you an explanation that is supported by facts surrounding the accident or by the law concerning your coverage and entitlement;
- uses intimidation to get you to settle for less by making it known that the insurance company has the policy of appealing all arbitration awards in favor of the policyholder; or
- leaves you with no choice but to hire a bad faith attorney to file a lawsuit because the settlement offer is so low it insults your intelligence as well as your sense of fairness.
Contact a Denver Bad Faith Attorney
If you believe an insurer has engaged in bad faith in settling your claim in Denver, D.J. Banovitz Personal Injury Law can help. If you would like to learn more about personal injury claims in Denver, order our FREE book: 7 Costly Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Colorado Injury Case. Call us at 303-300-5060 or fill out our online contact form for a free, no pressure, no-obligation consultation to get honest, compassionate answers to your questions.