<![CDATA[When filing a personal injury claim with your insurance company, your claim runs the chance of being denied. While most cases are denied rightfully so, an astounding 10 percent of individuals filing a personal injury claim are denied unlawfully. Of those individuals with wrongly denied claims, a large majority believes that there is nothing they can do to get their insurance companies to honor their policies; however, this is simply not true. As a policy holder, it is essential that you understand the terms of your policy when filing a personal injury claim, so you are able to challenge the insurance company should you believe they are not abiding by the law. For those that choose to work with a Phoenix tort lawyer to file a lawsuit, the probability that the court will rule in their favor is rather high because insurance companies aren’t looked at in a positive light by most Americans. According to a recent national telephone survey conducted by the Defense Research Institute (DRI), more than half the individuals surveyed indicated they would favor an individual in a lawsuit against an insurance company. The DRI found 59% indicated that they would side with the plaintiff over an insurance company, while 21% said they would favor the insurance company. Further, nearly 20% believe they could be impartial. With this information, you should feel less intimidated taking on your insurance company if you believe they are in the wrong in regards to your policy. The first step is to consult with a Phoenix tort lawyer who can help you determine the next steps should he or she feel that you have a legitimate case. When it comes to filing a lawsuit, your Phoenix tort lawyer will review two options:
- Breach of Contract. With this type of lawsuit, you and your Phoenix tort lawyer must thoroughly review the terms of your policy and prove that these terms were not honored by your insurance company. While breaches of contract are easier to prove, they do come with a smaller reward than the other option because most states limit damages to the value of the contract itself. This means that the most you can be awarded is the amount you should have received from filing a personal injury claim to begin with. In some cases, courts also grant consequential damages and attorney’s fees.
- Bad Faith. With this type of lawsuit, there are a variety of damages that can be included in addition to breaches of contract, such as mental or emotional stress and punitive damages. While these types of lawsuits present a high danger for insurance companies due to the larger amounts of money that can be rewarded, bad faith lawsuits are much more difficult to prove. You must go above simply proving that coverage was wrongfully denied, and show the court that the company was purposely acting in a deceptive way.