Atlanta Insurance Bad Faith & Fraud Lawyers
Choose the Experience of Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC
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 personal injury claims without a legitimate reason? Where can you turn?
Our Atlanta insurance bad faith attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC 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 the insured
- 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 & Lina, LLC 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 insurance bad faith attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC 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 & Lina, LLC have the experience and knowledge necessary to decipher such policy language and ensure that you are treated fairly.
Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC: Top Litigators, Dedicated Advocates
The skilled bad faith insurance attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC 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.
For a free consultation with an experienced Atlanta insurance fraud attorney, call Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC at (888) 425-6070.
Brain & Spinal Cord Injuries Requiring Extensive Treatment $30 Million
Medical Negligence: Medical Malpractice $20 Million
Medical Negligence: Traumatic Brain Injury $9 Million
Medical Malpractice: Traumatic Brain Injury $7.5 Million
Catastrophic Brain Injury: Medical Negligence $6 Million
Medical Negligence: Wrongful Death Case $5.25 Million
Premises Liability: Wrongful Death Case $4.5 Million
Swimming Pool Accident / Drowning: Wrongful Death $4.5 Million
Medical Negligence: Traumatic Brain Injury $4 Million
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