Insurance companies are bound by law to cover legitimate claims made by policyholders. Your policy is a contract between you and your insurance provider. However, when an insurance company acts in bad faith, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages.
An Escondido auto insurance claims lawyer from Sargent Law Firm Injury Lawyers may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve for a claim that you have coverage for in your policy. We will handle your case in Escondido so you can focus your attention on other matters. Contact us at (844) SARGENT to find out what our firm can do to advocate for you.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim With Our Lawyers Serving Escondido
It isn’t always easy to recover the compensation you need following a car accident in Escondido. Your policy covers the damage your vehicle sustained, so you should be able to file an insurance claim and trust that the insurer will honor the policy and approve the claim.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Their goal is to make money and pay out as little as possible for claims. So, you may discover that your insurance company made you an offer that appears to be far less than what you need to cover your losses, or you were sent a letter denying your claim for a variety of reasons.
While the insurance company is protecting its bottom line, you have numerous out-of-pocket expenses causing you financial hardship. You can count on our team to advise you on your legal options, file your claim, or help you dispute a claim denial.
Benefits of Having a Lawyer Handle Your Auto Insurance Claim in Escondido
It can be a hassle dealing with an insurance company, especially when the insurer refuses to cover your claim per the terms of your policy. Luckily, you don’t have to do it all by yourself.
Our auto insurance claims attorney routinely handles these types of cases, and we may be able to help you. If you hire our firm to handle your insurance claims case, you can expect us to do the following:
- Investigate the accident or the reasons you are making an insurance claim to determine the facts of your case.
- Review your policy to determine if you have a legitimate claim that the insurer must cover by law.
- Collect evidence that proves your claim and the bad-faith behavior of the insurer.
- Calculate the value of your claim by determining what damages apply to you so we can pursue an amount of compensation that adequately covers your losses.
- Negotiate with the insurer on your behalf to reach a fair settlement and review the terms of an agreement with you.
- File a lawsuit and represent you in court if necessary.
We understand that you may not be familiar with how your policy or the legal process works. That’s why we will explain both to you using non-technical terms so you know what your policy says and what to expect as your case progresses.
Our law firm will also work to protect your rights and prevent the insurance company from intimidating you or taking advantage of you. Having an attorney means having an advocate who looks out for your best interests and evens the playing field against any bad-faith tactics.
We Can Protect You Against Bad-Faith Insurance Tactics
When your insurance provider or the other party’s provider refuses to cover a legitimate claim, they are acting in bad faith. California law requires insurance companies to work in good faith with their policyholders and honor the terms of the contract between them.
When you file a valid claim, the insurer must protect you by covering the cost of the damages in the claim, whether they include property damage, medical bills, or other expenses.
If your insurance provider unreasonably denies your valid claim, you can move to enforce the contractual obligations in your policy through the legal process. An auto insurance claims lawyer from our firm has the experience and training to recover compensation to pay for your damages.
Damages an Auto Insurance Lawyer Can Recover in Escondido
If you were in a car accident, your auto insurance policy should cover many of your expenses depending on the amount of coverage you purchased. If you were not at fault for the accident, you may be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to cover your losses.
All drivers must carry insurance in California, with a minimum liability of $15,000 for personal injury or death to one person, $30,000 for personal injury or death to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Potential damages an auto insurance claims lawyer may be able to recover for you through a claim or lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses: This typically includes surgery, medication, transportation, devices, equipment, diagnostic tests, lab work, and hospitalization. Medical bills are typically the largest financial loss an accident victim can suffer, and the American Bankruptcy Institute reports that medical costs are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the nation.
- Property damage: Your vehicle may require minor or major repairs, or it could be a total loss and you need a replacement. Insurance will also usually cover lost or damaged items inside the vehicle such as your phone.
- Household services: You might require the services of another person to clean your home, walk your dog, perform yard work, and complete other services to maintain your home and lifestyle.
- Lost income: If you are temporarily or permanently unable to work, you could recover compensation for your lost income and future earning capacity. You can also recover compensation for lost benefits.
- Pain and suffering and mental anguish: You may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering after an accident. We may also pursue other non-economic damages, such as mental anguish or lost life enjoyment.
- Punitive damages: The court could penalize the insurance company for acting in bad faith by awarding you punitive damages. You must also prove the insurance company’s conduct was malicious or fraudulent, according to CIV § 3294.
- Wrongful death: It can be especially painful if the insurance company denies a wrongful death claim, but if you lost someone you love in a car accident, you are likely entitled to recover compensation. We offer you and your family our sincerest condolences for your loss, and we would consider it a privilege to handle your case so you can take time to grieve.
Insurance exists to protect policyholders when things go wrong. They only make things worse by acting in bad faith. Valid claims must be paid, and a lawyer from our firm is ready to help you when you are ready to discuss your case with us.
Steps to Take If Your Insurer Is Acting in Bad Faith
If the insurance company denies your claim and you believe they are acting in bad faith, there are steps you can take to begin the process of overturning the decision or building a potential legal case.
Our Escondido car insurance claims attorney recommends that you:
- Write a letter to the insurance company informing them that you are appealing their decision. We can cite your policy and request approval of your claim when you hire us.
- Document communication with your insurer and save any proof of your claim and the insurer’s decision to deny it.
- Record the names of insurance company representatives you communicate with as well as the dates and times you spoke with them.
- Consult with an auto insurance claims attorney who can provide you with legal options and negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement on your behalf.
You have the right to appeal the denial of your claim. Keeping records of the process provides evidence your lawyer can use in court demonstrating your efforts to work with the insurer in good faith.
Filing a Lawsuit If Your Insurance Claim Is Denied
You may have the option to sue a private insurance provider for a bad faith claim. You must be able to prove that the insurer acted in bad faith during the claims process and that your claim is valid under your policy.
A resolution could take weeks, months, or years if your case goes to trial, so you should take time to consider your options before making a decision. A lawyer with experience handling auto insurance claims can help you explore these options and can file a lawsuit for you.
An Auto Insurance Claims Lawyer Can Calculate the Value of Your Claim
You have a valid claim, but the insurance company won’t approve it or is offering a lowball settlement that won’t cover your losses. A lawyer from our firm can calculate the value of your claim after reviewing your policy in Escondido.
We will determine which damages apply to you, including pain and suffering, and send a letter to the insurance company demanding compensation. The value of your claim could be worth more than the insurance company initially offers you.
Your policy could restrict how much compensation you can receive for a claim depending on the amount of coverage you have, but if your injuries and financial losses are due to the negligence of another driver, there are no caps on the amount of compensation you can receive for damages in California.
Cost of Hiring Our Auto Insurance Claims Lawyer in Escondido
When you think about hiring an attorney to handle your case, you probably have concerns about the cost. This is normal, and we understand that you may be under financial strain. However, you don’t have to worry about the cost of hiring our firm to handle your auto insurance claim because we work on a contingency-fee basis. This means you don’t pay us until we win compensation for you.
When you choose Sargent Law Firm Injury Lawyers to handle your case, there are no surprise fees, and we will never ask you to pay us out-of-pocket.
If you are unsure about talking to us about your case, you should also know that we offer free consultations to evaluate your case and answer your questions. Everyone should have access to legal representation regardless of their financial status, especially when an insurance company will likely have a team of lawyers at their disposal.
Statute of Limitations for Escondido Cases
Insurance companies have deadlines to adhere to after you file a claim. For instance, an insurance provider has 85 days to settle a claim after you file one. They have 15 days to acknowledge your claim and send you further instructions or paperwork. Insurance companies also have 40 days to decide on your claim and 30 days to pay out upon approval of a claim.
If your case requires a personal injury lawsuit, you generally have two years to it, according to CCP § 335.1. Failure to file by the deadline will result in you losing the right to file a lawsuit. The court would dismiss your case upon a motion by the defendant and you would be unable to recover compensation through the legal process.
Our firm recognizes that there are deadlines to meet. We make it our obligation to keep your case on track and inform you of the statute of limitations, so you retain the option to file a lawsuit.
Consult an Auto Insurance Claims Lawyer in Escondido Today
Obtaining legal representation would not be necessary if the insurance company would simply honor the policy you have with them. Insurance companies are bound by law to act on claims in good faith and cover valid claims in a timely and fair manner.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are also for-profit businesses and often work to pay out as little as possible on a claim, even if it is legitimate. An auto insurance claims lawyer from Sargent Law Firm Injury Lawyers can review your policy and may be able to help you recover compensation.