What Is Bad Faith?
Under Texas law, both the common law and Texas statutes protect you from unscrupulous insurance companies that act in bad faith.
The “common law” is based on the legal precedent established through years of case law and common-sense mores about how we should all treat one another. The common law developed over the years isn’t necessarily codified in statutes but sets basic legal standards for how parties to a contract should act in Texas. Under the common law, both parties to a contract have an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This implied covenant also applies to insurance contracts such as a homeowner’s policy. That means that your insurance company must deal with you fairly.
Texas Insurance Law
Codified Texas law also protects you from unscrupulous insurance companies. Under the Texas Insurance Code, insurance companies must not engage in deceptive practices. The Code also sets deadlines for insurers to investigate, pay, and settle claims. See Tex. Ins. Code §§ 541-42 (2005).
When Do I Need a Lawyer?
It can be hard to know when to consult a lawyer. But if you feel like your insurance adjuster is dragging their feet or giving you the run-around, consulting an attorney is a good idea. It’s probably time to talk to an insurance attorney about a bad faith claim against your insurance company if the company:
- Unnecessarily delays your claim
- Asks for repetitive paperwork and documentation
- Deliberately misinterprets the terms of your policy
- Offers you an unreasonably low settlement
- Denies your claim without explanation
How Do I Choose a Lawyer for a Bad Faith Claim?
When you’re looking for an attorney, the sheer number of advertisements out there can be overwhelming. But rather than picking a random lawyer from an ad, look for someone with experience you can trust. Ask people you know for referrals. Then use consultations to find the right attorney for your case.
Get Referrals From People You Trust
Aside from experience, one of the most important things you need is a trustworthy attorney with a good reputation and great communication skills. You need to know that you can trust this lawyer with your case. Ask your friends and family for referrals, but don’t stop there. Be sure to interview attorneys until you find the right one.
Utilize a Free Consultation
Many firms will offer you a free consultation. Take advantage of this. A consultation is a great chance to interview an attorney and how they evaluate your claim. Ask questions about their approach to negotiation and litigation and how they’ll communicate with you about your case. You want to ensure that you’ll have clear, consistent progress updates about your case.
Additionally, ask about their experience handling bad faith insurance claims. You want an attorney with extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and their bad faith tactics. They should be well versed in handling first-party insurance claims and lawsuits as well as negotiating with insurance companies.
You Need an Experienced Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer
If you’re facing a bad faith claim against your insurance company, you need skilled legal guidance as soon as possible. At The Voss Law Firm, P.C., our experienced attorneys have been representing policyholders in Texas through insurance disputes for years. And at The Voss Law Firm, P.C., you don’t pay a fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Give us a call at 888-614-7730 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.