Although it is possible to sue your insurance company, it is essential to have a valid legitimate claim against them in order to succeed. Before filing a lawsuit against your insurance company, consult an experienced attorney to better assist you in building your claim and determining the possibility of succeeding against them. The attorney should be experienced in litigation. Filing a lawsuit against an insurance company is considered a civil lawsuit rather than a criminal lawsuit.
It is oftentimes very difficult to sue an insurance company because they have a large amount of money dedicated to their legal department to have multiple lawyers on standby. They also have enough funding to go to trial. That is why it is very important to choose wisely when pursuing such claims. An attorney needs to be skilled and experienced in bringing claims against insurance companies.
What is a Common Insurance Policy?
At a minimum, the most common insurance policy many Californians carry is:
- Body injury liability with $15,000 minimum per person and $13,000 per accident
- Property damage liability with a $5,000 minimum to cover property damage
Do I Have to Have Insurance?
California requires that all drivers on the road must carry car insurance. You could get a citation if pulled over for not having car insurance. The DMV also prohibits registering a car without having an appropriate car insurance policy.
Why Would You Sue Your Insurance Company?
One of the most common reasons why many choose to sue their insurance company is because the insurance company refuses to pay a portion or the entire part of the claim. This occurs when the insurance company determines that the at fault party has no insurance on their own. Although it is very difficult to win a lawsuit against the insurance company, it is still very possible to have a valid claim and succeed.
Sometimes, insurance company policies include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. When you have such a policy, your insurance company will have to step in and cover the damages and injuries you have suffered instead of the at fault party. This is because the at-fault party does not have insurance. If you are involved in a car accident where the at-fault driver does not have insurance and you have uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage, you will be able to sue your insurance company to recover the damages. This policy also comes into play if you have been hit by a car that is not identified. This occurs when a hit-and-run accident happens. Keep in mind that an uninsured / underinsured motorist policy is an extra policy amount that may not be included in basic insurance plans.
Another situation where you will be able to sue your insurance company for damages is when the other driver does not have enough insurance coverage. For example, if you have sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is only $13,000 for bodily injury, you may be able to sue your insurance policy for the rest of the amount. Traumatic brain injury results in thousands of dollars in medical bills. When the other party’s insurance coverage does not cover your injuries, you will be able to pursue a claim against your insurance company for the difference.
Another circumstance where someone will file a lawsuit against their insurance company occurs when the insurance company refuses to pay the amount stated in the policy. This occurs when the company violates or fails to follow the terms of their insurance policy that they have given their customer. Examples include when the insurance company does not pay in a timely fashion, or when they do not pay proper claims.
Oftentimes, many also sue their insurance companies when the company fails to have an adequate investigation into the claim. The company may give baseless excuses for delaying the investigation until eventually they deny the claim. This gives a valid reason to pursue a claim against the insurance company.
Why Would an Insurance Company Deny My Claim?
There are several reasons why an insurance company could deny the claim. Possible reasons include, but are not limited to:
- When you fail to file the claim in a timely fashion. Some insurance companies require claim to be filed within 24 hours.
- When there has been a mistake on the claim application form
- When the claim is not covered in the insurance policy
- When you file claims that are false
- The insurance company may not give you a specific reason as to why they are denying the claim. This is called a bad faith denial on behalf of the insurance company.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney?
Oftentimes in cases like this, the insurance companies will try to downplay the claim and liability as much as possible when you are unrepresented. Having legal representation will assist in asserting your claims in putting your foot down when having discussions with the insurance company.
What Should I Do if I’m Suing My Insurance Company?
Our attorneys have advised our clients that they maintain certain records when they file a lawsuit against their insurance company. Below are some steps you can take when filing a lawsuit against the insurance company:
- Document all letters and emails that have come from the insurance company
- Document all the expenses incurred, including medical bills, attorneys’ fees, and lost wages
- Document the damages that have occurred onto the property, including photos of the car or home that have been damaged
- Hire an attorney that has years of experience representing clients against their insurance companies. Make sure you hire an attorney that is well-versed in litigation should you end up going to trial.
One of the most important pieces of advice our experienced personal injury attorneys can give is to purchase car insurance. If there’s an uninsured / underinsured coverage policy, our attorneys encourage that you purchase such a policy to protect yourself in the future. Our attorneys are on standby and have free consultations to determine the merits of your case and the different legal strategies we can take to ensure maximum compensation for your injuries. Make sure your insurance policies are adequate and the insurance company is a legitimate company that will not try to scam you.
We understand that filing a lawsuit against the insurance company could be very overwhelming. While you focus on healing from your injuries, we will navigate through the legal hurdles for you. If you believe you have a claim that has been wrongfully denied by the insurance company, contact our attorneys today to determine the different legal steps we can take to pursue your claim. We have convenient offices located in different cities in California and Nevada. Major cities where officers could be found include Los Angeles, Irvine, Las Vegas, and Sacramento.
***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.