Insurance companies have an obligation to pay claimants and policyholders who file legitimate claims. When companies negligently fail to pay valid claims or act dishonestly, they are likely engaging in bad faith insurance practices. When Little Rock carriers act in bad faith, victims can face months and sometimes years fighting about medical expenses, property damage, and more.
Discuss Your Case with a Bad Faith Insurance Attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas
When you pay your insurance premiums, you expect something in return. You expect the insurance company to protect and defend you if an accident occurs. When companies deny claims, they may not provide a valid reason, or they may confuse you by using policy terms you don’t understand.
Attorney Tim Reed understands victims’ confusion and anguish when a claim is denied. He understands the ways in which these companies sometimes engage in bad faith practices to keep you from recovering the compensation you deserve. He vigorously represents clients in Little Rock and throughout Arkansas who are victims of bad faith insurance company practices and has obtained favorable settlements that far exceed the value of the initial accident claim. Reach out to the Reed Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.
What Are Bad Faith Insurance Claims?
Insurance companies are legally obligated to handle accident claims fairly and act in good faith when processing claims. When they don’t, you can pursue a separate legal claim against the insurance company for bad faith, in addition to your original accident claim. Bad faith claims arise when the insurance company fails to handle your accident claim fairly, reasonably, and in good faith, as required under Arkansas law.
Bad faith claim handling occurs more than you might think and can have a disastrous effect on a person’s life. Insurance policies contain terms that are well-understood in the legal world, but seldom understood by accident victims. Because insurance companies know more about insurance policies than accident victims, they can easily take advantage of victims’ lack of knowledge.
Insurance companies often act in their own best interests, placing their financial goals above yours. They often use computer software and statistics to determine how much they should pay out under different circumstances, instead of listening to you and considering how an accident has affected your life. They may engage in unfair or deceptive practices, which often result in denials or low-ball settlement offers. Bad faith claims can arise under:
- Auto policies
- Umbrella policies
- Homeowner policies
- Commercial policies
- Casualty policies
- Business policies
- Liability policies
First-Party and Third-Party Claims in Little Rock
There are two types of bad faith insurance claims in Arkansas, first-party and third-party claims. In a first-party claim, the insured party brings a claim against his or her insurance company pursuant to his or her own policy. For example, suppose you purchased a homeowner’s insurance policy, suffered an accident, and filed a claim with your provider. If your insurance company acts in bad faith while handling the claim, you can pursue a first-party claim against your provider.
Third-party claims arise when another person’s insurance company handles a claim in bad faith. For example, suppose another person causes an accident and injures you, then you bring an insurance claim against that person’s insurance company. If that person’s insurance company handles the claim negligently and in bad faith, you may be able to bring a third-party claim against the insurance company.
Examples of Bad Faith Insurance Practices
When someone files a claim, insurance companies will typically look at the applicable insurance policy to determine whether they will pay or not. If they can find a way not to pay, they will deny the claim. If they must pay, then they will typically offer to pay as little as possible, regardless of the coverage type. It may be that the company’s decision is fair and just, but it may be that the insurance company has engaged in bad faith tactics, which may include the following:
- Unreasonably denying the insured or his or her loved one coverage under the terms of the policy
- Settling for less money than the insured deserved
- Refusing to investigate the claim in a timely manner
- Delaying the payment of the claim for a lengthy period
- Refusing to pay the claim without a reasonable basis
- Misrepresenting policy provisions, including the benefits of the policy
- Failing to consider all of the relevant facts when considering a claim
- Misrepresenting a fact with the intention of offering a lower settlement amount
- Misrepresenting a fact with the intention of deceiving
- Failing to communicate with a claimant
- Failing to provide a prompt, written reason for denial of the claim
- Failing to notify a claimant if any additional information is needed
Holding Carriers Responsible for Their Actions
When an insurance company acts in bad faith, you can pursue a bad faith claim against the insurance company, but you will be at a disadvantage if you do it alone. Insurance companies have vast resources and lawyers at their disposal. You’ll need legal counsel if you want to get compensation for your bad-faith claim.
To hold insurance companies accountable, you’ll need to show that they acted negligently or committed bad faith acts. Depending on the circumstances, a judge or a jury may determine whether an insurance company acted in bad faith after reviewing facts related to how the company handled the claim.
For example, suppose the facts suggest that the insurance company negligently failed to settle your claim for a reasonable amount or made a misrepresentation regarding coverage. In those types of cases, it is more likely you can make the insurance company pay for its bad faith acts.
Do I Have a Valid Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Little Rock?
If you’ve experienced a delay in claim handling, a refusal to communicate, underpayment, a violation of regulatory standards, a wrongful claim denial, or you simply don’t understand why your claim was denied, it’s worth discussing your case with an attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Tim Reed knows where to look to find the evidence needed to prosecute bad faith insurance claims properly. Every action he takes is calculated and designed to hold bad faith insurers accountable, and he will pursue every remedy available.
Compensation Available in a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
Proving bad faith insurance claims can be difficult, but the playing field will be leveled when you work with an experienced attorney. Attorney Tim Reed will thoroughly investigate your case and gather any evidence demonstrating bad faith practices. He will advocate for you to ensure you receive all the money you deserve, starting with payment of the coverage that was denied. What’s more, you may be entitled to much more compensation than what the company should have paid you in the first place. Additional damages may include penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs, and even punitive damages.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Little Rock Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
Tim Reed has built a reputation as an effective legal advocate for victims involved in bad faith insurance claims. He has an in-depth understanding of how these companies operate, the regulations that apply to them, and Arkansas bad faith law.
He uses his knowledge and experience litigating in the courtroom to pursue maximum compensation for his clients, holding companies fully accountable for their bad behavior. If you suspect that an insurance company is engaging in bad faith practices, contact the Reed Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.