A bad faith insurance claim could be pursued if policy benefits are wrongfully denied, delayed or diminished. As a result, not only could the claimant be entitled to what was originally owed by the insurance company, but there may be other damages recoverable as well.
Securing legal representation will be important, as there can be many challenges when going up against an insurer. An attorney not only understands the difficulties that may be encountered, but can also explain what legal options are available, the person’s rights and how to protect them. When attending an attorney consultation, come prepared with helpful documents and evidence of insurance bad faith.
Evidence That May Help in a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
There are numerous documents that can establish a plaintiff’s claims. One of the most critical, when it involves a first-party bad faith insurance claim, is the policy itself. All pages, including the terms and exclusions should be gathered.
Any correspondence with the insurance company should be submitted. It’s important to date stamp any paperwork that doesn’t already have this information on it, as it can help piece together the timeframe in which the insurer responded.
If there were phone conversations, these should be logged in a notebook, these should include the:
- date and time;
- name of the insurance agent; and
- what specifically was discussed.
If calls weren’t returned or there was a failure to get through to someone, this should also be noted.
Any evidence surrounding the circumstances of an accident should be brought to an attorney consultation. Let’s say someone was seriously injured when a drunk driver ran a red light. There might be a copy of the police report indicating a DUI ticket was issued, statements from witnesses or photographs of the accident scene.
Medical records may be necessary documentation as well, especially if a claim is being denied based on the types of injuries sustained, some examples are:
- prescription medications;
- discharge papers; and
- copies of X-rays.
Pursuing a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
Before pursuing legal action, efforts should be made to resolve the issue directly with the insurance company. A letter should be written (with a copy for evidence) that indicates why it’s believed payments or benefits are owed.
When attempts to resolve a dispute with the insurance company are unsuccessful, then a complaint should be sent to the state’s insurance commissioner. In Colorado, that is the Department of Regulatory Agencies – Division of Insurance. If these steps have already been taken, any communications (verbal or written) should also be brought to the attorney consultation.
Schedule Your Attorney Consultation
These types of cases can become quite complicated. The more documentation that can be presented to an attorney, the easier it may be to pursue the case. If it’s believed that an insurance company has acted in bad faith, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Call 303-300-5060 to set up an attorney consultation with D.J. Banovitz to discuss a bad faith insurance claim.