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When taking out an insurance policy, you trust that the insurance company will make good on your claim. However, insurance companies typically don’t want to pay, as any payouts decrease their profits. Insurance companies use all sorts of tactics to try and avoid honoring claims. This includes:
If you’re a victim of bad faith insurance, you could have the legal grounds to file a lawsuit against your insurer. Bad faith insurance is when the insurer wrongfully refuses a reasonable settlement within policy limits, forcing you into bankruptcy for defending the suit and paying a judgment.
If you have reasonable grounds that you are a victim of bad faith insurance and have a valid claim that your insurance company is refusing to honor, a Lawrence bad faith attorney could help you get the compensation you deserve. Palmer Law Group offers free consultations to bad-faith insurance victims in Kansas. We will take the guesswork out of determining whether you have a case.
Call us today at (785) 233-1836 to schedule a time to speak with a bad faith insurance lawyer in a free and confidential consultation. Our attorneys don’t fear going up against insurance companies when they renege on their obligations to their clients.
Since our establishment in 1979, Palmer Law Group has provided exemplary service that always puts our clients first. We are committed to getting victims of bad faith insurance practices the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. We have won many settlements in bad faith insurance cases, allowing our clients to get what is due to them.
When you decide to trust our firm with your case, you will be represented by attorneys who are:
See what satisfied clients have to say about us here.
To speak with a bad faith insurance lawyer in a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Palmer Law Group by calling (785) 233-1836.
Once you have filed a bad faith insurance claim against an insurance company, their lawyers will do everything they can to disprove your allegations. Without a knowledgeable bad faith insurance lawyer helping you, you will be disadvantaged. We know what it takes to prove insurance claims and can advise you throughout the claim process. Bad faith can be shown by pointing out that the insurance company’s actions are unreasonable. We will:
Our attorneys are fighters. If the evidence is in your favor, we will fight for your right to maximum compensation.
First-party claims are made by an insured person against their insurance company — and they are not recognized in Kansas. So, you cannot file a bad faith tort claim against your own insurance provider, although it may be possible to file a breach of contract claim.
Third-party claims are where someone other than the insured files the claim, usually for liability. So, for instance, under Kansas personal injury law, where a motorist has been injured in a car accident and claims compensation, and that claim is rejected, underpaid, or otherwise improperly handled, the injured party may file a bad faith insurance claim against the insurer.
Damages are the losses you have sustained because of your rejected claims. Damages awarded in bad faith insurance claims may include payment for:
This list is not all-inclusive, and your claim may involve additional damages. We can help you recognize what you may be able to ask for because of the current and future harm you have suffered.
If you are, like many others, affected by a bad faith insurance claim, you may have many questions. Here are answers addressing some of the most frequently asked queries. For answers specific to your case, speak directly to a bad-faith insurance attorney from our firm.
What constitutes bad faith?
There is no specific definition of bad faith, but typically, it is when the insurance company is unfair or unreasonable to its policyholders. For example, an insurance company could be guilty of bad faith if the coverage allowed under the policy is rejected. Other common scenarios showing that an insurance company may be acting in bad faith are when it:
How to file a bad-faith insurance lawsuit?
There are state-specific laws to protect consumers from insurance companies acting out of bad faith. But it’s not always cut and dried, so we strongly suggest hiring a lawyer who focuses on lawsuits against insurance companies.
Filing a lawsuit for bad faith can also involve charges of fraud, breach of contract, negligence, and others. Your lawyer will examine your claim and decide which causes of action are valid in your case.
Once you hire a lawyer, there is no further reason to communicate directly with the insurance company. It’s advisable not to have further contact with the insurance company when you have concluded that there could be bad faith. Let your lawyer handle it. They will communicate with the insurance company to reach a settlement or proceed with the lawsuit.
What damages can be recovered in a bad-faith insurance lawsuit?
As the plaintiff in a bad-faith insurance lawsuit, you may be able to receive compensation for the following:
In most personal injury lawsuits, damages are calculated based on the sum of the plaintiff’s actual losses. This could be financial losses like the cost of medical treatments, the expense of replacing lost resources, or the sum at issue in a contractual dispute. Emotional distress and pain and suffering can also be included.
Sometimes a court will award exemplary or punitive damages. Rather than compensate a plaintiff, punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant. This applies only where the defendant’s actions are found to be wildly outrageous, grossly negligent, with intent to cause harm, or otherwise extreme or reckless.
Bad faith lawsuits are one situation when the courts will consider more than just the sum of the plaintiff’s damages. The court will consider the insurance company’s financial status to decide what penalties to impose for its bad-faith actions. Punitive damages are awarded to discourage the insurance company from engaging in bad faith in the future.
When is the insurance company allowed to deny a claim?
Bad faith doesn’t apply to every denial of a claim.
An insurance company has the right to deny a claim when:
You and the insurance company might disagree on the worth of the claim, but the insurer’s giving you a conservative settlement offer might not necessarily be an act of bad faith.
Contact us today to book a free consultation and get answers about your case.
Kansas has a five-year statute of limitations, according to K.S.A. 60-511, for filing lawsuits in bad faith insurance cases. You must file within five years of the rejected claim. Tort claims have a two-year statute of limitations, but Kansas doesn’t recognize a tort action against an insurance company for bad faith. Even with the state’s adoption of a Uniform Trade Practices Act, which includes a section identifying and prohibiting unfair claim settlement practices, this Act doesn’t allow individuals a private action to enforce it.
The Kansas Insurance Commissioner alone can enforce the Act. An individual’s only alternative related to this Act is to report the insurance company to the Insurance Commissioner. Despite exceptions to the statute, if you are considering a claim, you should not wait to file. In addition to risking getting close to the deadline and potentially losing out on the right to sue, valuable evidence could be lost or forgotten, weakening your case.
When you have paid your insurance policies in good faith, it can be shocking to discover that this trust is misplaced. If the insurance company is not fulfilling its obligations regarding your claim, you have the right to seek compensation. We can help you understand your options.
Contact Palmer Law Group to arrange a free appointment with one of our bad-faith insurance lawyers. Call us at (785) 233-1836.
LJ Leatherman passionately believes in fair and dedicated representation for individuals who have been affected by automobile negligence, electrical injuries, firearm litigation, wrongful death, and third-party claims against insurance companies and all other areas of personal injury litigation. [Read More]