Bad faith insurance attorneys litigate claims against the insurance companies who wrongfully deny benefits to policyholders. When someone is involved in an accident, it is usually the insurance company that settles the claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies often work on behalf of the insurer to the detriment of the claimant’s best interest.
Pursuing a bad faith claim against an insurance company takes plenty of time, resources, knowledge, and energy. Insurance companies have highly knowledgeable legal teams who are experts on insurance laws, and the best chance you have of winning a bad faith claim is to hire an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer.
Do You Have a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
Two factors establish if you have a valid claim against the insurance company:
1. The insurance company wrongfully withheld benefits due under the policy and you have documented evidence of the denial.
2. The insurance company unreasonably withheld benefits.
Here are some scenarios for common bad faith actions:
- Denying a valid claim without investigating the claim to check its validity
- Practicing what’s known as “post-claim underwriting” where the insurer finds a way to cancel the policy after the insured files a claim
- Devaluing a claim payout
- Intentionally and unreasonably prolonging an insurance claim investigation
New Mexico has laws to protect its citizens against insurance companies who act in bad faith. You may be eligible for an award equal to the value of the benefits wrongfully denied in addition to punitive damages.
How Can Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys Help?
It’s difficult to fight insurance companies alone. They know how to use pressure and scare tactics to make you feel backed in a corner and think you have no other choice but to agree to an unfair settlement. Bad faith insurance attorneys, such as those at the Valle, O’Cleireachain, Zamora & Harris Law Firm in Albuquerque, can protect you from such intimidation.
A seasoned attorney levels the playing field should you need to file a claim against the insurance company. Insurance laws are complex, and all states have different bad faith laws. If you feel that you have a valid insurance claim, contact the bad faith insurance attorneys at Valle, O’Cleireachain, Zamora & Harris. Reputable attorneys know how the court interprets bad faith insurance laws and will better understand whether you have a case and how to pursue the claim.
How to Hire a Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
First, do your homework—call the local university or law association to get local recommendations. Get recommendations from friends and family and make a list: along with the name of your recommendation, include a website, location, and the name of the person who referred you.
Review each lawyer’s or law firm’s website for information such as the size of their law firm, practice specialty, links to their social media, and client reviews. Check out their social media to see how they engage with their followers. Read their bios for consistency. Read social media reviews and check review sites such as Google for client reviews.
Once you’ve finished your assessments for potential lawyers, pick the top two or three options for consultation. Before meeting with them, write down your questions. Include the following topics:
- Fee schedule – Find out if they charge a fixed rate, hourly rate, or a percentage.
- Time – To avoid frustration or future problems, find out the approximate time it will take to complete all the proceedings.
- Availability – Don’t assume that a lawyer will start immediately on your claim.
- Success rate – An attorney can never guarantee a win. You can, though, discuss their past outcomes.
- Reputation – Should they have any infractions on their record, find out why. You can then decide if you want to keep them as an option.
Getting the Settlement You Deserve
Even if you know what your insurance coverage should be, the insurance companies have clever maneuvers to minimize their payout. If you are in Albuquerque, NM and need help to determine if you have a valid complaint against an insurance company, call the Valle, O’Cleireachain, Zamora & Harris Law Firm today to speak to one of our experienced bad faith claim attorneys.