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Insurance companies and the claims process are regulated by law. You have every right to protect your interests and make the insurance company treat you fairly. The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers can help ensure you get everything you deserve.

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Insurers Should Act in Good Faith After Accidents in Brownsville, TX

If you are in an accident in Cameron County, you probably expect insurance to make it right. The most common scenario we see at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers is a car crash that causes injuries. You are hurt in a wreck, and you immediately file an auto insurance claim. Or, it could be the other party blames you for the accident and makes a claim against your auto insurance policy. In either situation, it is clear what should happen next under Texas Insurance Code, Chapter 541: Unfair Methods of Competition and Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices, and Chapter 542: Processing and Settlement of Claims.

The insurance company, acting in good faith, should:

  • Properly and promptly investigate the claim:
  • Fairly consider the evidence;
  • Evaluate the policyholder’s liability;
  • Interpret the policy honestly;
  • Correspond with the claimant;
  • Consider the likelihood of the claimant filing a personal injury lawsuit;
  • Consider a potential jury verdict if the claimant won in court;
  • Make an honest attempt to resolve the claim within a reasonable timeframe;
  • Deny the claim and provide a valid reason in writing; or
  • Approve the claim;
  • Participate in honest negotiations to achieve a settlement.

If you are going through the insurance claim process, as the claimant or the policyholder, you need to be mindful of how the insurer is acting. Is the adjuster being prompt and fair? Or does it seem like the adjuster is being evasive and underhanded? Are your calls and emails being ignored? Are you being pushed around from one adjuster or department to another? If you have any indication that the insurer is not treating you fairly or honestly, call a bad faith insurance attorney.

At The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers, we are well versed in Texas insurance law and bad faith. We will explain the definition of bad faith, analyze your situation, and advise you of whether you have a claim.

Brownsville insurers who act in bad faith should be held accountable .
8 5 - 9 5 %

of insurance providers have previously been cited for bad faith practices.

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Our Texas injury lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and skills that are necessary to ensure your rights remain protected throughout the entire personal injury claims process.

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What Is Bad Faith Insurance?

Bad faith insurance in Brownsville and throughout Texas takes many forms. In general, bad faith by insurers means they are not treating a policyholder or claimant as is required by the policy or in adherence with Texas insurance law. If the insurer violates your legal rights or breaches your policy, then you should call lawyers with a successful history of holding insurance companies and businesses accountable.

At The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers, our insurance lawyers have handled countless insurance disputes and bad faith practices. We have seen insurers act unfairly, unethically, and unlawfully. Some of the most common examples of insurance bad faith we have come across are:

  • Delayed investigations with no reasonable justification.
  • Failure to conduct proper investigations.
  • Denied claims without proper investigations.
  • Delayed claims processing by various means.
  • Unreasonable demands on claimants.
  • Misrepresentations regarding policy language and coverage.
  • Misrepresentations regarding Texas insurance law.
  • Cancellation of or changing a policy after a claim is filed.
  • Insurance claim denied in violation of policy.
  • Failure to provide reasonable justification in writing for denied claims.
  • Unreasonable accusations of fraud against claimants.
  • Threatening or harassing claimants.
  • Failure to resolve claims within a reasonable time.
  • Failure to maintain reasonable communication with claimants.
  • Bad faith insurance settlement negotiations.
  • Unreasonably delayed settlement payments.

Denying an Insurance Claim Is Not Automatically Bad Faith

A common inquiry our insurance attorneys get is whether denying an insurance claim is an act of bad faith. The answer is, not always. Insurance companies appropriately deny many claims. It may be that the claim is outside of the scope of the insurance policy. Or, it may be that the insurance company properly investigate the accident and determined their policyholder was not liable. In any case, a denied insurance claim is not automatically bad faith.

However, if you are part of an insurance claim dispute and believe a claim was wrongly denied, call us right away. You have the right to have an experienced attorney review the circumstances. If a claim was denied without any reason, this is likely bad faith. Insurers must provide reasons for denials in writing. Or, if there is strong evidence the policyholder is liable and that the policy should cover the settlement, then this is a sign of bad faith.

Your Rights During a Third-Party Claim

If you are the policyholder during a third-party claim, then your rights are known as the Stowers Doctrine in Texas. When you have been involved in an incident, and someone claims you are at fault, they may make a claim against your insurance. It could be a claim for compensation against your auto insurance, homeowners or renter’s insurance, or a business insurance policy. In any of these situations, your insurer is required to properly address the claim, and when necessary, defend you in court. However, the insurer is not allowed to automatically deny the claim, which could put you at risk for greater liability down the road.

Under the Stowers Doctrine, your insurer is required to exercise the degree of care and diligence that an ordinary and prudent person would in managing their own affairs and negotiating a settlement. Texas courts have found this doctrine becomes most relevant when the claimant makes a demand for a settlement and at the time:

  • The claimant’s demand is within the scope of your policy;
  • The demanded amount is within the policy limit; and
  • The terms of the demand are such that an ordinary and prudent insurer would accept it considering the insurers and your potential liability in court.

This means that if your insurer fails to settle a claim when it should, you may pursue legal action against the insurance company for denying a claim. You may have to file a lawsuit against your own insurance company for not protecting you as it was contracted to do. This situation typically arises when an insurer wrongly denies a claim or refuses to negotiate in good faith. This ultimately leads a claimant to sue you in court and obtain a judgment against you. Now, you may be liable for more than the claimant would have settled for months ago because your insurer acted in bad faith.

If you are a policyholder, and you believe your insurer is not acted properly and lawfully during a third-party claim, call an insurance bad faith attorney as soon as you can.

Your Right to File Suit After Bad Faith Insurance Practices

If there is evidence the insurance company acted in bad faith and violated Texas law, or violated a provision of your policy coverage, then call an insurance claims attorney right away. We will carefully review your situation and the claims process that you have been involved in, whether you are the claimant or the policyholder. We will analyze the insurer’s actions to determine whether they appear to be within the contractual and legal rights, or whether there is evidence the insurer acted in bad faith.

If there is evidence that the insurer acted in bad faith and you have suffered economically, either through the loss of a settlement or a significant judgment against you, then we can help. We may recommend filing a lawsuit against the insurance company. You may pursue compensation for the financial damages you suffered because the insurer failed to act within the law.