Atlanta Insurance Bad Faith & Fraud Lawyers
Choose the Experience of Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
Life is full of unexpected events. Most of us have the foresight to purchase
insurance policies that offer a degree of protection when these unexpected
events occur. But what happens when your insurance company - the very
entity you expect to act in your best interest - bullies, harasses, or
otherwise denies your claims without a legitimate reason? Where can you turn?
Our Atlanta insurance bad faith attorneys at
Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. have decades of experience dealing with insurance companies acting in
bad faith. We can answer your questions and help determine whether you
have a case against your insurance policy provider.
Signs of Bad Faith by an Insurance Company
Individuals who have made an insurance claim may start to get the runaround
from their insurance company. This may be a bad sign, and the beginning
of a bad faith insurance claim.
- Following are signs that your insurance company may be dealing with you
in bad faith:
- Delaying, discounting, or denying payments without a reasonable excuse
- Denying a claim without a reasonable explanation or on the basis of wrongful
or inaccurate information
- Failing to affirm or deny a claim of coverage within a reasonable amount of time
- Attempting to settle a claim for an unreasonable amount
- Requesting burdensome document demands not required by the policy
- Employing harassing or intrusive investigative techniques that victimize
- Conducting an investigation in a biased manner
- Intentionally withholding or misrepresenting claims information
- Failing to inform an insured of provisions and covered benefits associated
with a policy
- Issuing wrongful threats to pay claims
- Advising or threatening an insured not to get an attorney
- Significantly raising a premium on a policy when the claimant was not at fault
- Cancelling a policy when the claimant was not at fault
- Unreasonably interpreting policy language
- Intentionally misrepresenting the law to benefit the insurance company
- Harassing, pressuring, or otherwise wrongfully encouraging an insured not
to pursue a claim
There may be other ways beyond what is listed above that demonstrates how
an insurance company acts in bad faith. In short, a good faith insurer
finds ways to accept legitimate claims and pay them out promptly. A bad
faith insurer will find ways to delay, diminish, or flat out refuse such
claims. The Atlanta insurance fraud attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes,
P.C. possess the legal proficiency to identify when an insurance company
is acting in bad faith.
Insurance Companies Owe You a Legal Duty
According to Georgia law, insurance companies are required to act in good
faith toward their insured. This requirement is due to the fact that insurance
companies and their insured are part of a “fiduciary” relationship.
Thus, each party must act in good faith and trust when upholding obligations
required by the contract that binds them (e.g., the insurance policy).
Where an insurance company breaches this fiduciary relationship and acts
in bad faith is when that company delays, withholds, or denies benefits
based on reasonable claims.
- Under this legal fiduciary obligation to act in good faith, insurance companies must:
- Be responsive to questions and inquiries by claimants
- Pay or deny any claim within a reasonable amount of time
- Explain the basis for any claim denial
An insurance company cannot unreasonably delay or deny a claim, nor can
they require a burdensome amount of paperwork in order to process a claim.
There are other ways that an insurance company may act in bad faith when
dealing with an insured. Many of these instances depend on the type of
insurance policy and the nature of your claim. Our skilled Atlanta personal
injury attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. can examine your policy,
answer your questions, and help you determine whether you have been treated
unfairly by your insurance company.
Life Insurance Claims
Life insurance is a type of insurance that provides money in the unfortunate
event that a holder of the policy dies. Upon the death of the policyholder,
the life insurance company is obligated to pay the policy proceeds to
a designated beneficiary. The insurance company must also pay any applicable
interest accrued since the insured’s death.
Although there may be legitimate reasons for denying a life insurance claim
- such as the policyholder failing to disclose a serious medical condition
when applying for the policy - you should be on the lookout for any bad
faith actions on the part of your life insurance company. Make sure you
call an attorney if you feel you have been victimized by an insurance company.
- For example, a life insurance company acts in bad faith when it:
- Fails to investigate your claim within a reasonable amount of time (usually
30 to 60 days)
- Avoids paying the full amount without a valid reason
- Offers a reduced payment for no legitimate reason
- Discourages you from seeking an attorney
Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Policy Claims
Accidental death and dismemberment insurance is a type of life insurance
that compensates a beneficiary when the policyholder’s death is
an accident. It is often cheaper than other types of life insurance, which
cover policyholders who have died under a broader array of circumstances.
The key to determining whether an insurance company will pay out based
on an AD&D policy is determining whether or not the death qualifies
as an accident according to the policy.
- Many of the following causes of death are often not considered accidental
in AD&D policies:
- Illegal drug use
- Participation in a crime
Where an insurance company may act in bad faith is when they determine
what does or does not constitute an accidental death. The language in
many AD&D policies is technical and confusing, and bad faith insurance
companies may take advantage of this confusion to wrongfully deny a claim.
The Atlanta attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. have the experience
and knowledge necessary to decipher such policy language and ensure that
you are treated fairly.
Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.: Top Litigators, Dedicated Advocates
The skilled bad faith insurance attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
recently prevailed on behalf of one of our clients against Monumental
Life Insurance Company. Our success was based, in part, on some ambiguity
in the language of an accidental death policy. Monumental Life Insurance
Company is a member of the AEGON Group, an association of insurance companies
worldwide. Many of these companies offer identical accidental death policies,
which may have resulted in the wrongful denial of claims for death benefits
based on the same policy language ambiguity.
Some of these AEGON companies may include: Transamerica Life Insurance
Company, Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company, Transamerica Advisors
Life Insurance Company, Monumental Life Insurance Company, Western Reserve
Life Insurance Company, Stonebridge Life Insurance Company, and Stonebridge
Casualty Insurance Company.
When you have purchased insurance for the unexpected events of life, such
as injury or death, you expect your insurance company to act in good faith
when you have to make a claim. Do not waste a minute more dealing with
an insurance company that is bullying, delaying, stonewalling, or otherwise
seeking to deny your benefits without a legitimate reason.
If an insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim, please contact
us as soon as possible. Our insurance fraud lawyers have a unique perspective
on how to effectively bring bad faith insurance companies to justice.
We can review your policy, hear the details of your case, answer your
questions, and help you receive the benefits that are rightfully yours.
free consultation with an experienced Atlanta insurance fraud attorney,
call Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. at (888) 425-6070.