Tag: Bad faith insurance lawyers

health insurance

Even Doctors May Forgo Health Insurance These Days

Health insurance is a big topic in the US today, and often a controversial one, encompassing our personal lives as well as the politics of the nation. Affordability is the major challenge for many—and without the proper coverage in place, many are just forced to go without care. Along with that, medical bills are the number one reason that so many consumers in the US are forced to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. One illness or accident can be incredibly debilitating, but those affected may not be able to work either—taking the devastation beyond the physical realm. Health insurance is supposed to protect against financial ruin, but today that is not always the case—and while some consumers go without simply because they cannot afford it, some doctors and nurses are beginning to doubt its worth altogether.

Most of us associate physicians with health—and often, affluency. So, it is somewhat shocking to hear that larger numbers of medical professionals are beginning to self-insure simply because what they end up paying out over the year for medical care is less than what insurance premiums would have cost. Recent news shows that a surprising number of doctors and nurses see the health insurance system as a ‘broken model’ no longer worth adhering to, despite the obvious financial risks.

“You would think that these are educated folks who understand they’re limited in their ability to predict what kind of health events might happen to them down the road,” said Sabrina Corlette, research professor at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. “On the other hand, there’s certainly a tipping point when premiums keep rising.”

Medical professionals without health insurance may seem to be a strange irony, but like many other consumers in the US, they also tire of dealing with large companies, high premiums, and many of the headaches that come with filing claims—only to have trouble seeing them paid or being forced to provide excessive documentation. Some insurance companies may practice outright bad faith by not even going so far as to investigate claims, causing ongoing delays for paying, offering low-ball offers, or denying outright.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

insurance agent

Five Tips for Finding the Best Insurance Agent

Unless you know an insurance agent, it can be difficult to find someone who loves insurance. Although having the peace of mind and protection that insurance offers can be well worth it, most of us groan at the thought of having to purchase this safeguard—whether you are shopping for auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, liability insurance…and the list goes on. It’s rare that anyone can get by without at least one form of insurance, and although you can purchase some easily online (auto, for instance), for most other plans you will need to speak to an insurance agent—and this can be a challenging task at times.

Here are five pointers to help you find the best fit with an agent:

  1. Seek a word-of-mouth referral from trusted friends – this is often the best way to find an insurance agent who is both trustworthy and competent. If they have been working for your friends for years, you may have also found yourself an insurance agent who can help you over time as your needs continue to expand.
  2. Do your research first to make sure they know what they are talking about – while years of experience certainly help, make sure your agent is well-versed in the types of insurance you need to buy. If they were to make a mistake in your policy or forget certain coverages, you could be in for a major headache in trying to rectify the situation—and you may even end up having to sue.
  3. Make sure they are enthusiastic about the product, and about answering the list of questions you may have – you want to work with an effective communicator. Again, do your research and know what questions to ask so you can pick both the policy and agent that will work best for you. Plan to interview more than one agent for this important job.
  4. Check out their office – is it well-appointed and organized? This could speak volumes about their organizational skills, which are vital in the insurance business.
  5. Licensing – don’t be afraid to ask for proof of credentials. You agent should be properly licensed for all lines of insurance you require.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

car accident

Do Not Delay Seeking Medical Help If You Are Injured in a Car Accident

While tens of thousands are killed in the US each year due to car accident injuries (last year, those numbers hovered around 40,000 deaths annually), there are millions of traffic incidents each year. And as the numbers of motorists continue to grow, so do car crashes, along with motorcycle accidents, and those involving pedestrians and bicyclists too. Nothing is worse than hearing that sickening thud or screeching wheels as your car is hit by another motorist—but the best outcome is that of a harmless fender bender. And although that is a common occurrence on the roads, far too often there are accidents resulting in concussions or traumatic brain injuries, neck and spinal injuries, broken bones, and more.

As drivers, most of us will experience several car accidents in our lifetimes. That isn’t something most of us like to think about much. Having a healthy amount of respect for the dangers of the road and driving defensively is vital though, especially as the numbers of distracted drivers seem to grow—even with so much public safety information out there today warning about the potential for catastrophe in texting and driving along with other activities such as talking on cell phones, fiddling with other electronics, eating, engaging with passengers, and more. Distracted drivers—along with drunken, reckless, and speeding motorists—are still responsible for far too many accidents and deaths.

In the unfortunate case that you are in a car accident, after pulling over (if that is possible), ascertain whether anyone in the car has injuries. While it may be obvious that you or one or more passengers require an ambulance, if there is any question at all seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are suffering from an injury, but delay in having treatment, that could result in a big question mark for the insurer—and especially if you were hit due to the negligence of another motorist with the potential for a serious lawsuit or settlement.

Make sure to file the claim directly following the accident and your visit to the hospital or doctor, and consult with a skilled injury attorney who will be able to speak with insurance adjusters on your behalf.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

bad faith

Bad Faith: How Can It Be Proved in Claims Denial?

In some cases, buying insurance may be as easy as making a call, getting coverage, and paying up—only to put policy information in a drawer where it rarely comes up again. Depending on the type of insurance though, there could be other policies that involve a lot of consideration and effort on both your insurance agent’s part as well as yours; for instance, business insurance may be complex, or your home may in an area that needs extra coverage for wind or flooding or even earthquakes or landslides.

Bad Faith Practices May Be Marked by Ongoing Delays

From deciding what to buy, to parlaying cash for large premiums, and then going through a difficult claims process, you may have a sour taste in your mouth about insurance overall. You aren’t alone either as thousands of policyholders around the US have difficulty in getting claims paid for auto insurance, life insurance, general liability, and more. There is a difference though between going through what can be the normal hassle of getting paid and dealing with an insurance agency acting in bad faith. If you are concerned that the insurer has an agenda other than paying your claim expediently—and fairly—contact an experienced firm like the Bolender Law Firm as soon as possible.

Even if an insurer is acting in bad faith, the process may seem to start out normally with the adjuster asking questions (hopefully these are directed toward your attorney and not you), requesting reports, and working on a settlement. In some cases, the insurer may fail to even investigate the case at all—and as time drags on, that is a major red flag for any policyholder! If you are forced to sue an insurer for bad faith practices, it can usually be proved by pointing out that there was indeed a lack of any investigation or any care about the claim along with other practices such as offering a lowball settlement for a claim that is clearly worth much more, delaying a payout beyond the expected amount of time, or denying it altogether.

The Insurer May Hope You Will Give Up

Other bad faith practices put pressure on the policyholder, hoping they will just give up as they are forced to produce excessive amounts of paperwork. Policyholders may even be subjected to verbal abuse or threats in more extreme cases. Although again it is highly recommended that you have your attorney speak with the insurer, if you are in contact with customer service representatives, agents, or adjusters during a claims process that seems to be going south, save all documentation and take notes regarding dates, times, and content of all conversations.

Contact Us for Help Now!

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

typical bad faith practices

Typical Bad Faith Practices & Why Insurers Use Them

When you buy an insurance policy, mutual promises are being made between you and the insurer. In exchange for payment of your monthly, quarterly, or annual premiums, you are given protection in the form of insurance coverage—whether that is for health, life, home, business, or more. And while some insurance may be required, other types are just recommended, and rightly so as coverage could mean the difference between saving your home or business or finding yourself in catastrophe both property-wise and financially too.

Insurance is not only important to our finances, but often our livelihoods too. Because of this, as consumers in the US we take it very seriously and expect to be backed up by our insurers when something goes wrong. Unfortunately, in some cases there may be loopholes in policies, errors, or general misunderstandings regarding coverage. To have a claim denied can be devastating in some circumstances, and this is even more frustrating if you believe the insurance company is acting in bad faith. You may have done due diligence in shopping for policies, assessing your needs, finding a good agent, and updating policies quarterly or annually depending on changes.

Why would an insurance company act in bad faith? While it is atrocious behavior that often leaves policyholders feeling like they have nowhere to turn, the reasoning behind their actions is usually as simple as greed. Insurers churn out billions of profits each year, and they don’t do so by giving out large discounts or giving anything away; in fact, most premiums are on the increase—both continually and substantially so.

Bad faith practices, whether emanating from agents, adjusters, or other customer service representatives, must be reported and the insurer must be held accountable for such unethical actions. Typical red flags alerting you to something awry with your claim include ongoing delays; in fact, you may be shocked to find that investigative measures have not even been taken at all regarding your claim. If an effort is made to settle your claim, the amount offered may be unreasonably low, and you may find discrepancies between what your policy states and what the adjuster says. You may be wrongfully accused of fraud, asked to bring forth unreasonable amounts of unnecessary amounts of documentation, or just denied altogether.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

car wrecks

Car Wrecks: Make Sure You Have a Copy of the Accident Report

While some motorists travel as if on autopilot, commuting and running daily errands, many of us proceed with extreme caution every time we head onto the roads. With statistics showing that traffic accidents just continue to rise, everyone should be worried today whether they are traveling by car, on two wheels, or on foot. This means practicing more diligence and defensive driving than ever, along with knowing what to do if you are in an accident.

Most of us would rather think about a million other things than what to do or how to prepare for the aftermath of a car wreck; unfortunately, most drivers will be involved in at least one traffic accident in their lives. For some, a car crash means debilitating and life-changing injuries—for others it can still mean substantial property damage and trauma, even if it is just emotional. Depending on the severity of the accident, there may be grounds for a lawsuit or your injury attorney may be involved in settlement talks with the insurance company. What you do right after the accident could have a major bearing on your case though, so take time now to be prepared for such an occurrence later.

Making sure there is an accident report is the first course of action. This happens after you call the police. If you were in a wreck due to the negligence of others, they may not want to call the police, or it may seem like no one is hurt. In some cases, the at-fault party may just want to offer you their personal information or even just cash in exchange for everyone leave the scene without calling local law enforcement. Unless you have been in an extremely minimal fender bender, such behavior is almost always unacceptable. An accident report should be completed, and it is vital that you have a copy to pass on to your attorney, as well as the insurance company later.

If anyone is injured on the scene, an ambulance should be called immediately. If you have any question at all that you or a passenger (or if someone seems injured and unconscious or groggy in the other car) is hurt, it is still recommended that you act immediately. Keep in mind also that waiting to be treated may look questionable later if you are involved in a lawsuit regarding the accident. Contact information and insurance information should be traded as soon as possible after the accident, and if you have access to a camera, photograph both cars, license plates, and the entire traffic scene—to include road signs, traffic signs and lights, and any other pertinent information. Contact information should be requested from witnesses too.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Fighting insurance companies

Fighting Insurance Companies When They Want to Underpay—Or Not Pay at All

If you have filed a claim against and are having trouble getting paid, it may feel like a real struggle, as is common in fighting insurance companies. Not only that, you may already be dealing with enough stress, depending on why the claim was filed. You may have endured a car crash or motorcycle accident and need to recuperate or learn to adjust to an injury that has left you permanently debilitated. There may have been damage to your business causing you to lose significant income or perhaps there was catastrophic damage to your home. These challenges may leave you drained in many ways—and having to worry about whether the insurer is going to pay a valid insurance claim (and when) can cause enormous strain.

Refer All Adjuster Questions to Your Attorney

The claims process can be simple in many cases, while others require more complex investigations due to the nature of the incident. Adjusters are brought in to compile and evaluate information regarding what happened, whether it was a personal injury, property damage, or more. While they may hope to interview you (as well as any witnesses who were on the scene and proffered up contact information), it is in your interest to work with a skilled attorney who can handle the insurance company. And it is best to do so from the onset.

While the adjuster’s questions may seem harmless enough at first, keep in mind that their agenda is to see that the insurance company pays out as little as possible. They may begin delving much deeper, asking when you received medical care (examining how long it took you to seek help), requesting release of medical records, all related reports, and they may even want to tape your conversation(s). Hopefully all these requests, and all communication, are referred to your attorney who can decide what it is appropriate to share.

The Adjuster Assesses & Comes Up with Settlement Amount

Afterward, the adjuster should arrive at a figure for a settlement. If you are working without an attorney, you may find that they offer you a very low settlement; and while there may be greater respect from the insurer toward your case if you have legal representation, the adjuster may still offer a very low amount. There are various reasons behind this: that may be all you are owed realistically, they may not have gathered all the proper evidence, or sadly and more likely, it may just be that they are attempting to get out of paying the settlement you are owed. Insurance companies make billions of dollars in profits each year, and unfortunately, they are not your friend.

Contact Us for Help!

Even worse, the insurer may delay your claim or deny it altogether. If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

insurance companies

Insurance Companies and How Specific Parties Are Defined

Insurance may be required in some states for businesses or automobile owners, but most of us realize the value of coverage without having to be forced into buying it from the government or insurance companies—simply because we want to be protected from financial catastrophe, whether in terms of health care during an illness or after an accident, automobile accidents and liability, commercial liability, damage to the home, lawsuits over professional negligence, and more.

Understanding your coverages as well any limits or exclusions is critical. Most of us pay our premiums and sleep peacefully knowing we have insurance in place and a policy sitting somewhere in a drawer or a file. We hope and assume we won’t ever need to file a major claim. And as for that policy sitting in that drawer, it may not only seem like some pretty dry reading, but difficult to understand too. It is a legal contract though, so while the legalese is to be expected, you may have some trouble plucking out the main details that apply to you in the case of a major crisis.

One thing that can be very confusing is understanding how parties are defined by insurance companies and in the insurance policy itself. Mainly, differentiating parties is important for describing who would be getting paid by the insurance company in the event of a claim. It is actually very simple though by definition: the first party is the individual or business purchasing the policy from the insurance company. In such a ‘transaction,’ your insurance company is considered the second party as they take care of following through on the promises outlined in your contract/policy. The third party is another party who you are protecting yourself from, basically, as they may file a claim against you; for instance, if you own a business, there may be a claim filed by a third party if they experience a slip and fall accident on your property.

As the first party (say as the owner of an automobile insurance policy), if you have an at-fault accident where your car needs repairs, you must pay the deductible and deal with the insurance company—as well as repercussions such as increased premiums and possible points against your license. Are you concerned about a recent claim, or are you trying to understand your insurance policy? If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, the Bolender Law Firm will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation.

Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Bad Faith Insurance Practices

Five Reasons You May Need to Sue for Bad Faith Insurance Practices

You may have several different insurance policies you are responsible for, including auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and a range of different insurance coverages for your business–none of which you probably ever expected to have to deal with bad faith insurance practices on. And although the details of each policy may sometimes seem overly complicated and hard to understand, the idea behind purchasing insurance is simple: you pay your premiums and the insurer agrees to pay out for the agreed upon items if there is a loss. And although some claims may seem to have some understandable gray area or offer ways for the insurer to wiggle out of paying, there are many cases where they are just hoping to settle for as little as possible, and with minimal time and effort expended.

The best-case scenario is for a claim that is cut and dry—and one that leaves you with as little trauma as possible in the end. Unfortunately, bad faith insurance practices are not uncommon today. Here are five reasons you may need to consult with a skilled bad faith attorney from a firm like the Bolender Law Firm though if you are not able to reach a suitable agreement:

  1. Lack of investigation – this can be incredibly frustrating for you as a policyholder if you are left waiting endlessly for resolution to your case, only to find out that the insurer has not even performed an investigation or that the claim has been denied with virtually no research or attention paid to the details.
  2. Delay tactics – again, being made to wait indefinitely with no results can make for a tortuous experience as the insurer tries to ‘wait you out,’ hoping you will have weakened resolve when it comes to accepting a settlement, or that you will forget about the process altogether.
  3. Lowball offers – if you have been injured and unable to go back to work or are in financial straits, insurers may hope to take advantage of your situation with a quick and lowball offer. Their goal is to make big profits each year and paying out as little as possible is almost always their mission.
  4. Denied claims – when an insurer outright denies a claim that may be completely valid, it may be an example of bad faith practices. Such behavior means that you must work with your attorney to uncover the problem and prove that your case is indeed valid and that you should be compensated.
  5. Intimidating or threatening behavior – it is no secret that while adjusters usually start out in a very friendly manner, they could become quite intimidating while collecting details about the case. You need a skilled attorney to field all questions and give out information; not only that, insurance companies usually have much better behavior when they realize they are dealing with legal professionals.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Automobile accident

Automobile Accident: Do You Know What to Do Afterward?

You and your family probably spend a lot of time in the car, usually without the worry of an automobile accident; in fact, you may feel like you live there more than your own home due to what could be a lengthy commute every day, further travel for business trips, typical errands, and drop-offs and pickups for kids. It is easy to let your guard down and almost drive on auto pilot sometimes, but with traffic incidents continuing to rise in the US, extreme diligence and defensive driving are more important than ever. This goes for anyone on the road too, whether you are in a car, driving a motorcycle, riding a bike, or walking.

The reality is that in nearly any journey you will pass distracted drivers who can’t tear themselves away from their cell phones, those who are speeding, ignoring traffic rules, or even driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Their negligence may put you at risk for a car accident at any time, meaning that you should be prepared far ahead of time to know what to do afterward. Here are five of the most important tips:

  1. Stop the car and take just a few moments to catch your breath and collect yourself after the trauma of an accident. The adrenaline flow afterward will be significant, and it is important to try and get your bearings, so you can then establish whether you or anyone else in the car are injured, as well as checking on the other parties involved.
  2. Call the police immediately and file an accident report, as well as making sure medical help is on the way in the case of injuries. Make sure to note the police officer’s name and badge number and ask for a way to get in touch with them afterward.
  3. Trade all pertinent insurance information and contact information with the other motorist(s).
  4. Take pictures. If you can snap photos of damage to both cars, along with the license plate of the other vehicle. It may also be helpful to have any photos of the entire traffic area, including where the accident occurred, traffic signs, crosswalks, and stoplights.
  5. Ask any possible witnesses for contact information also, as this may be the only time you ever see them again and they could be vital to your case.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!