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Bakersfield Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers

If you have been nickeled and dimed by an insurance company or wrongfully denied an insurance claim, contact the Bakersfield insurance bad faith attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark today. 

It is illegal for an insurance company to wrongfully deny and undervalue your claim. We will make sure that justice is done, and you receive the compensation you deserve.

Experienced Kern County Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers

Insurance bad faith is the term used to describe mistreatment by insurance companies towards consumers and businesses. All insurance companies owe their policyholders an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. 

Sometimes, insurance companies fail to honor their contractual obligation, which means the policyholder may have the right to bring a lawsuit against the insurance company. Some examples of insurance fraud include:

  1. Denying consumer benefits due under the policy
  2. Offering less money than is due under the policy
  3. Delayed payment to an insured individual
  4. Mistreatment by an insurance adjuster

When an insurance company commits one of the actions above, the policyholder is denied the right to benefits under the insurance contract. Oftentimes, insurance companies search for ways to deny claims, even if their reasons for doing so are unsubstantiated. If they are caught in the process, their conduct can be punished in a court of law.

The Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark have vast experience regularly dealing with insurance companies. When insurance claims are wrongfully denied, and/or when policyholders are victimized by insurance broker negligence, we know how to fight back and win. 

If you—or someone you know—have been the victim of insurance bad faith, contact the Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark immediately.

What Is Insurance Bad Faith?

Insurance bad faith is a situation in which an insurance company does not respond honestly or fairly to an insurance claim. The bad faith claim is a breach of contract between the insurance company and the policyholder.

Types of Bakersfield Insurance Bad Faith Claims

One of our knowledgeable Chain | Cohn | Clark Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyers will represent you in your fraudulent or unfair insurance case. If you suspect that you have such a case, contact us today. 

We will start by evaluating your case and taking a thorough look at the breach of contract. Below are some common cases of insurance bad faith claims that happen in Bakersfield and the greater Kern County area.

Life, Disability, and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)

Life insurance and AD&D policies are a great way to ensure that your family is protected in the case of an unexpected death. The unfortunate truth of life insurance policies, however, is that insurance companies may scour your policy, looking for ways to either deny claims or lower the expected payout. Insurance companies may claim the policy holder provided false information about their medical history, when, in reality, the person was unaware of certain medical conditions. 

Life insurance claim case payments are decided by a judge or jury. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced attorney at Chain | Cohn | Clark to make sure you are fairly compensated.  

With disability insurance, insurance companies look to prioritize their profits. Disability insurance bad faith claims happen when people with a disability are denied their rights or disability compensation. 

If your disability insurance is through your employer and you have been denied your rights, contact a Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyer at Chain | Cohn | Clark today. We are Kern County’s leading workers’ compensation law firm and will ensure that you receive the full and fair compensation that you deserve. 

Auto Insurance Property Damage Coverage

For auto insurance policies specifically, there are six main types of coverage:

  1. Liability coverage, which may include bodily injury liability and/or property damage liability
  2. Comprehensive coverage, which comes with a deductible
  3. Collision coverage
  4. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  5. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  6. Medical payments coverage 

When you are involved in a car accident, it’s essential to know the details of your policy. That way you’ll have a clearer picture of whether or not you are being fully compensated. 

Car accidents can lead to physical, mental, emotional, and financial hardship. Our Bakersfield car accident lawyers and insurance bad faith lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark are here to make a strong case to get you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Claims 

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) covers most individuals who receive life or disability insurance through their employer. Your insurance will not fall under ERISA if you work for federal, state, county, municipal, or school boards. If you are covered by ERISA and you’re denied insurance benefits by your employer, contact an attorney as soon as you can. ERISA claims have a very short time period in which the insurance company’s decision can be challenged. 

If the decision is not challenged quickly, it can become final, meaning the information presented to the court may be limited only to the documents the insurance company has. You are not entitled to a jury trial in an ERISA case, so the insurance company will resolve the dispute with their own evidence. 

Our Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyers have experience disputing ERISA insurers to get you the full and fair review of your insurance claim. Do not hesitate to call Chain | Cohn | Clark if your claim is denied or if you receive a lower settlement than you deserve. 

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a form of insurance that covers many of the individual expenses after a car accident; PIP covers medical expenses, lost wages, and a variety of other associated costs regardless of whose fault the accident was. Personal injury protection coverage is required with different minimum amounts by certain states. 

California is an “at fault” state, which means that at least one driver must always be held responsible for an accident. For this reason, PIP isn’t really necessary and is rarely available in California. Most insurance companies offer something called MedPay for medical expenses, but MedPay is less comprehensive than PIP. 

If your California insurance company does not provide you with sufficient compensation to handle your medical bills—regardless of whose fault an accident is—you should hire an experienced Bakersfield insurance bad faith attorney to help you navigate your insurance claim. It’s possible that you may be getting less than you deserve to cover the total costs of medical treatment. 

Do I Have the Right Coverage to File a Legitimate Claim?

You may have the right to file a claim against your insurance company. Your right to do so is based on the kind of coverage you have. Depending on your coverage, you may be able to file a legitimate claim. 

It is often a misconception that just because your insurance claim is denied you automatically have an insurance bad faith claim. This is not always the case, as your policy may not cover the specific kind of damage done. If your insurance case is wrongfully denied, then your Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyer will need to assess the breach of contract and build a case from there. 

Common Examples of Insurance Bad Faith in Bakersfield, CA

When you are wrongfully denied insurance, the insurance company needs to face legal consequences. When the settlement offer you receive is unreasonably below the amount you deserve, the insurance company is acting illegally. 

Insurance companies who deny you the settlement that you deserve need to be held accountable for their illegal actions. Look for these signs when dealing with your insurance company:

  • Indefensible denial happens when your insurance claim is denied for no justifiable reason.
  • Indefensible delay happens when you are not paid or provided with confirmation or denial in an appropriate time frame from your initial claim.
  • Your insurance company should not fail to engage with you about your claim by ignoring communication. Insurance companies are required to make sure you know their decision regarding your claim and provide reasonings about their decision.
  • Your insurance company should not fail to perform a thorough investigation into your claim, or fail to investigate your claim at all.
  • Your insurance company should not change policies after you have already filed your claim. 

For these reasons and more, your insurance company may be acting in bad faith. If you are a victim of bad faith insurance claims, then contact our Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyer so we can start on your case right away.

Recoverable Damages for Insurance Bad Faith

There are three main types of recoverable damages for insurance bad faith cases:

  1. Contact damages 
  2. Extra-contractual damages
  3. Punitive damages

When you receive contract damages, you can recover the amount that the claim denied, as well as any interest on that denied amount. 

Extra-contractual damages are the economic and non-economic losses you faced because of the insurance bad faith claim. Economic damages are measurable amounts, such as medical payments and loss of income. Non-economic damages are the losses that do not come with a specific dollar amount, such as pain and suffering and emotional damage.

Recovering Punitive Damages

According to California Civil Code § 3294, punitive damages against insurance companies can be made if the bad faith insurance company acted with fraud, malice, or oppression. This must be proven with evidence. If this applies to your case, your Chain | Cohn | Clark Bakersfield insurance bad faith attorney will build a case against the insurance company and make sure that justice is done.  

Chain Law Can Help With Denied Insurance Claims

Our knowledgeable, experienced Bakersfield insurance bad faith attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark are here to represent you when you have been unrightfully denied or underpaid by insurance companies. Our team has been practicing law in Kern County for over 85 years. We proudly support the community members of Bakersfield and Kern County, providing personal attention to each and every one of our clients. 

Standing Up Against Insurance Companies

We are all too familiar with insurance companies’ tactics to underpay their policyholders. It’s our job to put those insurance companies in their place and get you the compensation that you deserve. Throughout the years, we’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients. If you have been taken advantage of by an insurance company, contact us today. 

Why Would a Car Insurance Claim Be Denied?

Having car insurance is a state requirement. When you get into an accident and have insurance, you expect that insurance to cover the damages that you have paid your insurance company for. It is an insurance company’s duty to make sure an insurance claim is accurate and the policyholder is compensated for damages. 

However, your relationship with your insurance company can become contentious, especially when your insurer denies your claim, or when they refuse to pay you the amount that you need or deserve. A claim may be denied when the damages done to you—or to your vehicle—don’t exactly match the insurance policy you have been paying for. 

Disastrous Insurance Issues

Problems that arise from insurance claims often involve accepting a settlement offer right away without first consulting a Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyer. Insurance companies want to pay you the least amount that they can, meaning they will likely make you an offer that doesn’t fully cover what you are actually entitled to.  

Below, we will cover some of the issues to look out for when it comes to dealing with insurance companies:

  • Saying too much: Insurance companies pay very close attention to the words you use when speaking with them. One little phrase could be twisted and used against you. An apology or any form of “sorry” can be damaging to your entire settlement. Even saying that you are doing fine during opening greetings can be used as evidence that you are in good health and do not need certain coverage. 
  • Timing is everything: Accepting a claim right away does not allow for you to recognize all of the potential repercussions of your accident, meaning you could miss out on settlements you are entitled to. But if you wait too long to make a claim, there could be major complications and consequences. Determining the right time to talk with an insurance company is key. Your Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyer at Chain | Cohn | Clark can help you with timing and communication with your insurance company.
  • False positivity: Just because the customer service call is a positive experience does not mean that your insurance company is treating you fairly. Being met with sympathy over the phone does not correlate with promises of maximum or even partial compensation. 
  • Insurance companies taking advantage of your compromised state: Because of a combination of the previous reasons, insurance companies may take advantage of your state of emotional despair, confusion, or frustration to offer you a settlement that is less than you deserve. 
  • Wanting you to work alone: All too often, insurance companies will try to isolate their policyholders and keep them from seeking the help of an attorney. No matter the size of your claim, this is wrong to do. If an insurance company encourages you to work without an attorney, that is a major red flag. If your insurance claim is denied, you are offered a settlement less than you deserve, or you even receive a settlement offer you are unsure about, contact our Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark

Insurance companies are meant to protect you. However, there are many ways that an insurance company may try to get you to accept a settlement offer that is unfair, less than you deserve, or is in bad faith. 

How to Avoid These Issues

When dealing with insurance companies, it’s important to do the following:

  • Be honest without oversharing; you want to be transparent about your situation, but avoid phrases that may place false blame on you (ex: “I’m sorry,” “I’m doing well,” etc.).
  • Provide any requested documentation. 
  • Reach out to a California insurance bad faith lawyer at Chain | Cohn | Clark.

If you are truthful and have representation from a Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyer, you can avoid a bad insurance experience. 

It’s important to remember that if you’ve been in an accident or altercation with another person, you may be dealing with not only your insurance company, but also the insurance company of the other individual. The other insurance company will also likely present some challenges and may not want to pay you the amount you deserve.

If something doesn’t seem right about your insurance settlement or if you notice any of the insurance issues we’ve previously discussed, contact a Bakersfield bad faith insurance attorney at Chain | Cohn | Clark right away. We are here to represent you and make sure you are being treated fairly by your insurance company. 

Our Results

The Chain | Cohn | Clark attorneys in Bakersfield have worked hard to fight for justice for the people of Kern County. Our multi-million-dollar case results speak for themselves. Take a look at some of the successful results we’ve achieved in our quest to get our clients the maximum compensation that they deserve. 

Contact a Chain | Cohn | Clark Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer in Bakersfield, CA

As Kern County’s leading accident, injury, and workers’ compensation law firm, we believe in protecting the rights of the hard-working men and women of our community. If you have questions about your insurance bad faith claim and would like to work with a Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyer at Chain | Cohn | Clark, give us a call at (661) 616-9829 or fill out an online contact form today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Meet the Bakersfield insurance bad faith lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark, and learn why they decided to serve the people of Kern County. Click here to see all of our attorneys’ stories. 

Chain | Cohn | Clark also specializes in other legal practice areas. Contact us if you are in need of Bakersfield farm accident lawyers or Bakersfield dog bite lawyers.

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