Texans work hard to provide for and protect themselves and their families. They know that accidents and natural disasters happen unpredictably, and they take steps to prepare themselves for all of life’s challenges.
Purchasing insurance is one easy and effective way to ensure that when disaster strikes, recovery is possible. Unfortunately, there are times when insurance companies attempt to undermine these agreements and refuse to pay. Even when consumers have faithfully paid premiums and followed the insurance company’s rules, these businesses may attempt to evade their responsibility.
Policyholders have rights, however, that can be protected. If you are looking to file a claim for damages after an injury-causing accident, a storm that caused property damage, or another type of incident, but your insurance company refuses to cooperate, the attorneys at Parker Law Firm are here to help. This experienced legal team is dedicated to providing aggressive representation to protect victims of bad-faith insurance denials.
Insurance Companies Must Act in Good Faith and on Time
In Texas, insurance companies are required to act “in good faith.” This means that they must be honest in their business dealings. They should not mislead or withhold information from their customers about a contract or its terms. An insurance policy is a promise to provide the protection for which consumers have paid, and when companies fail to meet their end of the deal, they are acting in bad faith.
Bad-faith handling of insurance claims can occur when an insurance company:
- Denies a valid claim.
- Delays the claims process.
- Fails to investigate a claim.
- Makes it difficult to file a claim or obtain payment.
- Engages in improper settlement tactics.
Texas insurance companies have a fiduciary duty to their customers. Their job is to find coverage where it exists and provide the proper reimbursement; it is NOT to search for reasons to avoid paying on the policy. This is true for all types of insurance—from health coverage to homeowners’ policies.
Additionally, the Texas prompt-pay statute requires insurance companies to provide the compensation promised by the policy in a timely manner once the claim is approved. Failure to do so could result in penalties for the insurance company.
Pursuing a Claim After a Texas Storm Damages the Home
Often, a Texas homeowner will file a claim with his insurance company to provide for repairs after a storm or other natural disaster. In many of these situations, an insurance company will try a number of tactics to minimize its financial obligation to the homeowner. It may employ technical details to justify denying all or part of a claim. For example, when a hailstorm blows in from the northwest, the insurance company may say they it only pay for damage on the north and west sides of the home, and they may deny that damage could have occurred elsewhere.
Other times, the insurance company will attempt to bargain with the policy holder. “We’ll cover this, if you don’t take as much for that.” This is not acting in good faith. When a homeowner pays his policy on time and follows the procedure set forth by the insurance company, the company has a duty to provide the coverage and payments owed in full.
When a home is damaged by a natural disaster or in an accident, it is important to document everything—from the damage inflicted on the home to every interaction with the insurance company’s representatives. It is a good idea to take photos of the damage to the home. Also, write down the names of insurance representatives and the date of the conversation. Record the calls, if possible. Finally, state law mandates that homeowners mitigate the damage as much as possible so that no further problems occur that can be avoided.
The attorneys at Parker Law Firm offer information and guidance on many different types of home insurance claims, including:
- Storm damage.
- Fire damage.
- Hail damage.
- Wind damage.
- Flooding damage.
Even if you aren’t sure if you home claim is something this legal team handles, don’t hesitate to reach out. Take a moment to fill out the online contact form to learn more about policyholders’ rights and how an attorney may be able to help.
Medical Bills, Insurance, and Negotiations in a Personal Injury Settlement
Insurance companies have the same responsibilities in matters involving health insurance. When a policyholder is injured, medical bills should be paid. In personal injury cases, the insurance companies will often want to be repaid from the settlement. When someone else causes an injury, the insurance company also wants to hold that person responsible, and they may seek to recoup the money they spent on the victim’s care.
Once a victim is completely healed, it is possible to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Settling before maximum recovery has been reached can leave a victim vulnerable and out of options if further complications develop later. When a victim understands the full scope of his injuries, an experienced attorney can help negotiate medical bills to retain the maximum amount of the injury settlement. A lawyer can help victims in a number of situations, including those with:
- Private health insurance.
- No health insurance.
At Parker Law Firm, this experienced legal team develops a strategy for every situation. They are committed to aggressively advocating for clients so victims can retain as much of their settlement as possible and no one is left with any outstanding medical bills. They also help surviving family members address the death of a loved one and fight to ensure families can obtain the life insurance benefits they deserve.
When Texans act responsibly by securing insurance, those companies should not fail victims when they need them most. Hard-working people rely on the protections insurance provides, and they have a right to receive that compensation. Following an accident, natural disaster, or any other incident that requires insurance coverage, contact the experienced insurance claims attorneys at Parker Law Firm. Call the Bedford office directly at 817.440.3888 or take a moment to fill out the online contact form to schedule a free strategy session and learn more about your legal options.