Vista Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

Insurance will often be your primary source of compensation if you’ve been injured or suffered property damage in Vista, CA. You should be able to expect that the insurance company will deal with your claim in good faith. If your claim was denied without reason or they’re giving you the run around, call an experienced Vista bad faith insurance lawyer and get help fighting back.

At Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers, we have over 20 years of experience helping clients like you. Through our dedication and hard work, we’ve won over $40 million in settlements and verdicts.

If the insurance company is acting like they’re above the law, contact our law offices in Vista, California, at (619) 344-0360 today. We offer free consultations, so there’s no reason not to call.

Why Should I Trust Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers for Help With a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Visa?

Why Should I Trust Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers for Help With a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Visa?

When you’re dealing with insurance, you might feel like the insurance company holds all the cards. In reality, insurance companies are strictly regulated. In broad terms, they’re required to handle your case fairly.

However, insurers are also big businesses with significant resources. They sometimes ignore or manipulate the law to maximize their own profits. When insurance companies ignore their duties, they can be held accountable–and Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help.

Proving bad faith can be tough. You’ll need an experienced Vista personal injury attorney in your corner to:

  • Identify the specific bad faith acts giving rise to your claim
  • Gather evidence to prove your case
  • Present your case to the insurance company for resolution
  • File a lawsuit and fight for you in court if the insurance company refuses to play fair

Bad faith claims are complicated matters. Fortunately, our Vista personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so there aren’t any upfront costs. Call today to get the legal representation you deserve.

Overview of Bad Faith Insurance Laws in California

An insurance policy is a contract like any other. It’s subject to the same laws that govern contractual agreements. Every contract in California is subject to what’s called a covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

When a contract is executed, each party agrees to deal with the other in good faith. That can mean many different things. 

As the policyholder, you’re expected to pay your premiums on time, only submit legitimate claims, and cooperate while the insurance company investigates the claim.

The insurance company is expected to act fairly, as well, including by:

  • Addressing your claim in a reasonable amount of time
  • Providing a clear explanation if your claim was denied or delayed
  • Represent information about your insurance coverage clearly and truthfully
  • Be reasonable when investigating your claim

When the insurance company unfairly delays or denies your claim, you may have a valid bad faith claim.

What Do I Have To Prove To Win a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Vista, CA?

You must prove more than just a simple mistake to prove the insurance company acted in bad faith. Instead, you must generally prove that the insurance company was dishonest, manipulative, or intentionally disregarded their obligations.

Most victims must prove the following:

  • A valid insurance policy existed, whether your own or a third party’s
  • The benefits you sought were covered by the policy
  • The defendant had no reasonable basis to deny or delay payment
  • The defendant knew about or recklessly disregarded their obligations under the contract
  • You suffered damages

You could have a valid bad faith case against your own insurance company or a third party’s insurer. For example, if you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you may file a claim against their insurance carrier. If that company acts in bad faith, you can seek compensation even though you weren’t a named insured.

What Are Some Examples of Bad Faith Insurance Practices in California?

Most people don’t have significant experience with the insurance claims process. It can be tough to know whether the insurance company’s actions are reasonable or not. However, all insurance companies must comply with California’s Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations.

While your lawyer should evaluate the specific details, you may have a valid bad faith claim if the insurance company has:

  • Denied your claim without any explanation
  • Ignored your the claim or failed to respond to any of your communications
  • Completely failed to investigate your claim within a reasonable amount of time (generally, 40 days in California)
  • Misrepresented the terms of your insurance policy
  • Requested an unreasonable amount of documentation or information to create artificial delays
  • Altered your policy terms after you submitted your claim
  • Failed to pay your settlement after your claim was approved within 30 days
  • Failed to notify you about the need for more information
  • Pressured you to avoid consulting an attorney 
  • Revised your policy without telling you
  • Tried to coerce you into taking a lowball settlement
  • Failed to provide reasonable information about claims procedures and how to properly submit a claim
  • Discriminated against you based on your membership in a protected class
  • Made lowball settlement offers designed to force you into litigation

Generally, more than a mere showing of negligence must be shown. However, it’s not always necessary to prove that the insurance company engaged in a business practice centered around bad faith practices. 

When in doubt, call an experienced Vista bad faith insurance attorney. At Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers, your consultation is always free of charge. We’ll sit down, review the facts and offer our honest opinion about whether you have a strong case.

Can an Insurance Company in California Ever Legitimately Deny My Insurance Claim?

Winning a bad faith insurance claim can be difficult. Insurance companies can legitimately deny claims for many different reasons.

Some examples of legitimate denials involve:

  • Failure to pay the policy premiums, so the policy was allowed the policy to lapse
  • Claims where the risk or person was not covered under the policy
  • Failure to file the claim within a reasonable amount of time, as dictated by the policy terms
  • Failure to respond to good faith requests for additional information or details
  • Legitimate disputes about whether the insurance company is really liable for the claim
  • The insured hadn’t met the policy deductible
  • The amount claimed exceeded the policy limits

When the insurance company has a reasonable basis for denying your claim, they should tell you. You have reason to be suspicious if the insurance company denies your claim without any explanation

What Types of Compensation Are Available to Victims of Bad Faith Insurance Practices in Vista?

If your case is successful, you should recover compensation to cover the value of your original insurance claim.

Under California law, you can also sue for bad faith damages.

Examples of these types of damages include:

  • Mental suffering
  • Anxiety 
  • Humiliation
  • Emotional distress
  • The cost of attorney’s fees, if hiring an attorney was reasonably necessary to recover the fair policy benefits
  • Punitive damages in limited cases involving a pattern of bad faith practices or intentional misconduct

You’re entitled to recover the reasonable value of these types of losses. Of course, things like emotional distress and suffering don’t have a set financial value. These are known as non-economic damages. If your case goes to court, it’s up to the jury to decide the reasonable value of your non-financial losses. 

Of course, it’s up to your lawyer to produce evidence to prove the nature and extent of your personal losses. 

Our Attorneys in Vista Handle All Types of Bad Faith Insurance Cases 

People buy insurance for many different reasons. Some types of insurance are mandatory, such as car insurance or insurance mandated by a mortgage company. Other types of insurance are voluntarily purchased to protect against feared risks.

At Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers, we can help regardless of the type of insurance coverage involved.

We handle cases in Vista involving:

  • Car insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Property insurance covering specific risks
  • Commercial liability coverage
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Business liability insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Fire insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance

You have rights regardless of the type of risk covered by the insurance policy. Our lawyers in Vista are here to protect them. Give us a call today to explore your legal options.

How Much Time Do I Have To File a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit in California? 

Under the California statute of limitations, you generally have four years to file a breach of contract claim. If your claim involves a tort, or injury claim, you could have less time to take legal action.

Regardless of the circumstances, you lose your right to compensation if you wait too long. You may also incur further damages above and beyond your initial claim. Reach out to our law firm right away if you suspect you’ve been a victim of bad faith insurance dealings.

Contact an Experienced Vista Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer for a Free Case Review

You should be able to trust that the insurance you pay for will be there when you need it the most. If the insurance company isn’t giving you the time of day, call Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers at (619) 344-0360 to speak with a Vista bad faith insurance lawyer today.