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Washington, DC Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

A lot of sweet talk is offered when you are shopping for insurance plans - low deductibles, excellent customer service, trustworthy leadership. However, too many people know firsthand that when you go to make an insurance claim it can be an entirely different story. Your insurance agent is nowhere to be found and an insurance adjuster is sent to offer you a payment that is substantially less than you deserve, or deny your claim altogether. When this happens, your insurance company is acting in bad faith.

The Regan Zambri Long bad faith insurance attorneys know insurance companies acting in bad faith need to be held accountable for their actions. Call today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and take the first step to securing the compensation that is rightfully yours.

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You, as the policyholder, expect your insurance company to uphold their end of the bargain – you pay the company a premium for coverage and in turn, they financially compensate you in the event of an accident or disaster. If you were the victim of a car accident, a house fire, a slip and fall accident, or a medical error, chances are you and your family are going through an extremely stressful time. You have to cope with physical injuries, property damage, loss, and even grief. The last thing you need on your plate is your insurance company trying to lowball you.

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What Does Bad Faith Insurance Mean?

Bad faith insurance is when an insurance company fails to meet its contractual obligations to its clients, either by refusing to pay a policyholder’s legitimate claim, or failing to investigate the policyholder’s claim within a reasonable period of time. Bad faith can happen on a number of insurance policies including homeowners insurance, auto insurance, business insurance, health insurance, and disability insurance.

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What Are the Duties of an Insurance Company?

In order to understand how an insurance company can act in bad faith, it is important to first understand how an insurance company acts in good faith.

There are two types of claims that can be made to your insurance company- a first party claim and a third party claim:

What is the Difference Between a First-Party and a Third-Party Insurance Claim? 

First Party Claims

A first party claim is when an insurance claim is filed by you, the insured. For example, if you are involved in a single car accident and you file a claim for property damage to your car, this is a first party claim.

In a first party claim, your insurance company has a duty to promptly investigate and process the claim, and then offer a reasonable settlement. If your claim is denied, your insurance provider must include a written explanation for the denial, according to the terms and conditions of the policy you hold with the company.

Third Party Claims

A third party claim is an insurance claim brought by someone other than the insured. This happens when someone else sues you for an accident. They aren’t really suing you, they are suing your insurance company. For example, if someone sues you for a slip and fall accident on your premises, that insurance claim is a third party claim, as it was brought by someone other than you, the insured.

In a third party claim, your insurance company has the duty to defend you against the claims brought by the third party. If it is found that the third party is owed a settlement, your insurance company has a duty to indemnify, which means they have a duty to pay out the settlement to the third party.

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What Are Common Bad Faith Tactics?

Insurance companies are for profit companies who are always looking to lower their own costs. There are a number of ways they can deny a claim to simply avoid paying the policyholder or the third party the money that is owed to them. Some common bad faith tactics insurance companies try to pull are:

If any of these sound familiar to your case, contact the Regan Zambri Long bad faith insurance lawyers today. They will be able to confirm whether or not your insurance company’s actions are in bad faith. If they are, the attorneys guide you through the claims process to secure the financial compensation you deserve.

How Do I Prove Bad Faith?

Proving bad faith can be complicated, so it is essential to have a Regan Zambri Long bad faith insurance attorney by your side. In order to prove the insurance company acted in bad faith, your lawyer will prove that your insurance provider refused to compensate you, the insured, for a loss covered by your policy. The lawyer will bring forth evidence that the insurance provider acted in one of bad faith measures listed above – they denied your claim without investigation, delayed your claim, offered less money than the claim was worth, etc.

The strongest evidence your Regan Zambri Long bad faith insurance lawyer will use in your claim is documentation of each step of the claims process with your insurance company. Keep all the correspondence you have with the provider:

What Damages Can I Collect from a Bad Faith Claim?

Your Regan Zambri Long bad faith insurance attorney will work to secure the following damages from your claim:

  • Compensation from the original claim: the insurance company will owe you the money it should have paid from your original claim.
  • Third party damages: You can recover the amount of damages you owed to a third party in the event that the third party made a claim against your insurance company. These recovered damages could extend beyond the coverage limits in your policy.
  • Consequential damages: The damages that occurred as a result of the bad faith insurance claim.
  • Emotional distress: These are damages that can be paid to you for the emotional trauma and mental anguish you suffered resulting from the original claim denial.
  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages are typically rewarded in order to punish the defendant and change their behavior. If the insurance company intentionally withheld coverage and harmed the policyholder as a result, your Regan Zambri Long bad faith insurance attorney will work to recover punitive damages.
  • Attorney fees: Your bad faith insurance attorney can add in the legal fees that he or she will charge so you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Your insurance company, because they acted in bad faith, will end up paying the very lawyer who forced them to pay you what you deserve!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Bad Faith Insurance in Washington, DC

Q:How do I file a bad faith insurance claim?

There are a number of steps to filing a bad faith insurance claim. The first and most important step is to enlist the help of a seasoned Regan Zambri Long bad faith insurance attorney. Your attorney will make sure all paperwork is filed correctly and in a timely manner. While you focus on getting your life back on track, your lawyer will take care of all the correspondence with the insurance company. Once you have your lawyer by your side they will begin the process of the bad faith insurance claim in the following steps:

Q: What are basic policyholder rights in Washington DC?

The rights of DC policyholders, regardless of what coverage was purchased are:

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Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

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