Albuquerque Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer
Insurance policies exist to protect you when facing a catastrophic or life-changing event. Whether you are involved in a car accident, house fire, burglary, or other unfortunate events, you should expect your insurance company to treat you fairly and impartially. After all, insurance companies are meant to protect your investments and help you in times of need. However, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to fail to meet their policyholders’ basic duty. It may be in your best interest to file a bad faith insurance claim when this is the case.
When your insurance company refuses to pay out on a lawful claim, you need a team of seasoned attorneys who understand the pertinent insurance laws and business practices. At Dominguez Law, we know the tactics used by insurance companies to force you to settle for less than what you deserve. Armed with this knowledge, we may be able to fight the insurance company and bring you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about your options.
What Is Bad Faith Insurance?
The laws surrounding bad faith insurance claims vary from state to state. In New Mexico, all insurance contracts offer an implied agreement of fair dealing and good faith. If the insurance company breaches this agreement, a tort claim can be initiated against the company. The New Mexico Statutes 59A-16-20 outlines standards of conduct that must be followed by insurance companies. If the insurance company fails to meet these specific standards, it may be reprimanded for unacceptable business practices by the Superintendent of Insurance.
It is in your best interest to contact an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer promptly if you suspect bad faith. There is a four-year statute of limitations, which begins the moment the insurance company acts unfairly.
This could encompass numerous behaviors, including:
- Not attempting to carry out fair, prompt, equitable settlements where liability is clear
- Settling a claim for less than the fair amount that is entitled to by referent to written or advertised material
- Denying certain property that is covered by the policy
- Persuading policyholders to accept settlements less than they deserve
- Failing to respond or settle claims promptly
- Failing to disclose coverage
- Paying partial claims
Insurers can and should be held legally accountable for bad faith. You will need a skilled Albuquerque bad faith insurance lawyer at your side to help fight for your rights, as insurance companies are skilled at using every possible piece of evidence to avoid the repercussions of their actions.
Should You Speak to the Insurance Company?
When you have been seriously injured and begin to accrue medical costs, getting insurance payments is probably a high priority. However, you need to be sure you can successfully receive these payments, or you could create an even worse financial situation for yourself later. If you believe an insurance company has denied your claim without a basis for the denial, it may be possible to file a lawsuit.
However, it is important to note that an insurance company has the right to deny your claim, but only if the following is true:
- You have violated the terms of your contract
- The claim you filed is fraudulent
- Your demand is not in accordance with the terms of your policy.
Likewise, you must be able to prove that your insurance company’s conduct was dishonest and egregious to establish a valid bad-faith lawsuit.
At Dominguez Law, we have extensive experience communicating with insurance companies and aggressively seeking the complete coverage they owe you. Before speaking to an insurer yourself, you may want to ask an attorney how to proceed. To avoid making a mistake when talking with the insurance company, wait for the advice of a lawyer who has extensive experience with these kinds of cases.
How to Prove a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Albuquerque
In order to prove a bad faith claim in court, the victim must prove that there was not a sensible basis for denying benefits in an insurance policy and that the insurer knew that they were required to provide coverage. The lack of payment is not unreasonable if there is a justified argument as to whether the claim was valid after a thorough investigation.
The standard by which the court deems if there is a case of bad faith is reason or rationality. The following circumstances are deemed unreasonable by Albuquerque courts:
- A reasonable investigation was not conducted by the insurance company before denying a claim.
- Claim payment is delayed by the insurance company to try to get the insured to settle for a lesser amount than they deserve.
- The insurance company unjustifiably delays working on the claim.
- The insurance company depends on the part of a policy that has formally been ruled invalid.
- The company unjustifiably delays compensating a portion of a claim that is undisputed to try to get a disputed portion resolved.
- The insurance company fails to educate the insured of the responsibility to submit relevant forms.
If you think you may have the right to file a claim, contact Dominguez Law as soon as possible. Even if the insurance company does eventually pay the claim that you are owed, it does not negate the bad faith claim if there is an unjustified delay to benefits.
What Damages Can You Recover From a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Albuquerque?
When collecting damages from a bad faith insurance claim, the insurance company has to do more than just rectify their mistake on the benefits you deserve. When they have lost in a bad faith insurance case, they must pay for compensatory damages and possibly punitive damages.
The following are some damages that the insurance company must pay when they break the duty of good faith and fair dealing:
- The money that is overdue to you by the insurance company under their policy.
- Attorney’s fees
- Emotional distress
- Defense costs that a policyholder had to pay when the insurance company could have settled a claim against them
- Any other economic losses that the victim suffered because the insurance company did not pay the claim
- Punitive damages
If you believe you have a right to file a claim against your insurance company for bad faith, speak to an experienced Albuquerque bad faith insurance lawyer at Dominguez Law. You may be able to recover the necessary damages you are owed because of their unreasonable and unjustifiable delays in coverage.
Ensure You Get the Coverage You Need With Dominguez Law
From car accident claims to mass tort cases against corporations, the experienced team at Dominguez Law has found success fighting for injured clients against any entity. We know the ins and outs of insurance company tactics, as well as the best strategies in the courtroom to obtain the most favorable outcome. Our skilled bad faith insurance lawyers have experience protecting victims who have faced similar situations and will stand by your side throughout the legal process. Contact us for a legal team focused only on your needs.
At Dominguez Law, we offer free consultations and work throughout Los Ranchos, Albuquerque, and the surrounding New Mexico areas. To discuss your case with a best-in-class legal professional, call us at (505) 317-9837 or complete our contact form. Se Habla Español.