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Unfortunately, whether you are dealing with your own insurance company or the at-fault party’s insurer, you may not receive the treatment you are entitled to under Texas insurance law. You are entitled to have the insurance company treat you with good faith and fairness. When the insurer fails to uphold this duty, their unethical and illegal conduct is known as bad faith.

If an insurer’s bad faith conduct causes you economic harm, your best option may be to call lawyers who sue insurance companies. You may have a bad faith claim against the insurer that is separate from your original claim for compensation. With over $700 million recovered, to learn more about your legal rights against bad faith, call the San Antonio personal injury lawyers at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers at 210-921-2200, or reach out through our online form to schedule a free and confidential case consultation with our highly-skilled bad faith attorneys.

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San Antonio Insurance Companies Should Act in Good Faith

When you make a claim against another person’s insurance policy, the law requires a certain degree of fairness. This does not mean your claim will automatically be approved and you will receive a payout. Insurance claims are denied for valid reasons every day. What good faith means is that the insurer must quickly look into your claim, honestly determine whether it is valid or not, and then make a reasonable attempt to negotiate a settlement with you. All of this is laid out in the 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 law of good faith and fair dealings requires insurers to:

  • Promptly investigate a claim
  • Use proper investigative methods
  • Fairly consider the evidence derived from the investigation
  • Honestly evaluated the policy holder’s liability for a claimant’s injuries
  • Honestly interpret the policy
  • Correspond with the claimant
  • Consider the likelihood of the claimant suing and winning
  • Consider the amount a jury may award a claimant
  • Honestly attempt to resolve the claim within a reasonable period of time
  • Approve or deny the claim
  • If denying the claim, provide a written explanation
  • Conduct honest negotiations to reach a fair insurance settlement

If you filed an insurance claim, your insurer is supposed to be handling a claim against you, and you have noticed that the insurer is not doing its job properly, call a San Antonio insurance dispute lawyer right away. Trying to handle an insurance claim dispute on your own is a bad idea. The insurance company knows what it is doing, and whether their actions are technically legal. The insurer knows how to misrepresent the policy or the law to try and gain the upper hand. They also have attorneys who can waste your time, confuse you, or stonewall you.

When you are seeing signs that an insurance company is acting in bad faith, the most effective approach is to contact a lawyer. You need someone who knows Texas law and can push for your original claim to be resolved appropriately. And if necessary, a San Antonio insurance lawyer can sue the insurance company for denying your claim.

With trillions in assets, insurance companies are profit driven business.
1 i n 7

Of insurance claims are initially denied, on average, despite being completely valid.

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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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Your Rights During a Third-Party Claim: Stowers Doctrine

If you are the insurance policyholder and you are dealing with a third-party claim against your insurance, then your insurer’s duty toward you is known as the Stowers Doctrine. Are you unsure if this concept applies to you? Consider this example: you and another vehicle were in a crash. The other driver blames you for the accident. They are asking your insurance to cover their property damage and injuries through an auto insurance claim. That other driver is the third-party claimant. You are the policyholder, and your insurer has to investigate the crash and determine whether that person’s claim for compensation is valid.

The Stowers Doctrine requires your insurer to exercise the degree of care and diligence an prudent person would in managing their own affairs and negotiating a settlement. This duty is particularly relevant when the other person makes a settlement demand and when:

  • The other person’s claim is within the scope of your policy’s coverage
  • The demand is within the policy’s limit
  • The terms of the demand are such that a prudent insurance company would accept it considering their potential liability in court

This means that if you caused an accident and the person hurt makes a rightful claim for compensation, and that claim is covered by your insurance policy, then your insurer needs to be prepared to try and settle the claim appropriately. If your insurer refuses to settle the claim when they clearly should, they are putting you at risk for greater liability in court. You may have a claim for bath faith against your insurer, and you should speak with our San Antonio bad faith attorneys right away.

What is Bad Faith in Insurance Claims?

The definition of bad faith is when an insurer fails to uphold its duty to respond to a claim with good faith and fair dealings, and in doing so, violates one or more provisions of insurance law in Texas.

Texas law specifically requires an insurer to treat you with good faith and fairness. Whenever an insurer fails to do this, it may amount to bad faith. When an instance of bad faith causes you harm, you may have a legal claim against the insurer.

However, you should never assume that you can sue an insurer and win. Insurance companies are well-versed in insurance law, and they know how to toe the line or work in the grey areas. What they did may have been unethical, but it may not have been enough to prove bad faith in court.

To determine if you have been the victim of bath faith, call a San Antonio insurance bad faith attorney for advice.

Common Bad Faith Insurance Practices

Our insurance attorneys at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers have handled many bad faith claims over the years.

Examples of bad faith include:

  • Delayed investigations without reasonable justification.
  • Failure to conduct efficient and appropriate investigations.
  • Unreasonably delaying processing a claim.
  • Unreasonable demands on claimants for duplicate information and documentation.
  • Unreasonably transferring claimants among several adjusters to delay the claims process.
  • Misrepresentations, misinterpretations, and lies regarding policy language and coverage.
  • Misrepresentations and misinterpretations of Texas law to avoid liability.
  • Alteration or cancellation of a policy after a claim is filed.
  • Denied claims without proper investigations.
  • Denied claims in violation of the policy.
  • Denied claims without reasonable justification in writing.
  • Unreasonable accusations of fraud against claimants.
  • Threatening or inappropriate statements made to claimants.
  • Not resolving claims within a reasonable period of time.
  • Not maintain reasonable communication with claimants.
  • Bad faith insurance settlement negotiations.
  • Harassing claimants to accept unreasonably low settlement offers.
  • Unreasonably delayed settlement payments.

How a San Antonio Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Can Help

If you believe an insurance company is not properly handling your claim or a claim made against your policy, call an experienced insurance claims attorney right away. If you are dealing with a third-party claim against you, it is important not to rely on the lawyer the insurer provided for your defense. That lawyer is looking out for the insurer’s best interest. They may be part of or aware of the insurer’s bad faith conduct. Instead, you should hire an independent San Antonio insurance claims attorney from The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers to thoroughly review the circumstances of your situation.

If you are still in the midst of the claim process or you have the opportunity to appeal a wrongly denied insurance claim, then a skilled attorney may be able to rectify the situation. Once you have legal representation, the insurance company may be less likely to push the issue. They may become more aware of their potential liability for not handling your initial claim properly. This can lead to a successful appeal of a denied claim, or to more fruitful settlement negotiations.

However, you may be beyond the time when a lawyer can resolve the dispute. If you have suffered a financial loss due to the insurer’s bad faith, then your San Antonio insurance dispute attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit against the company. You may have the right to file a claim against the insurer and demand compensation for the losses they caused you.