Has an insurance company wrongfully denied your injury claim in Tampa, FL? Insurance companies are subject to strict rules and regulations.
If the insurance company is giving you the runaround, a Tampa bad faith insurance lawyer at Catania & Catania, P.A. can help determine whether you deserve compensation. Since 1992, we’ve dedicated our practice to helping families get what’s fair. We’ve recovered over $500 million for our satisfied clients over the years–and we’re prepared to fight for you.
How Catania & Catania, P.A. Can Help With a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Tampa
The insurance system only works if insured parties pay premiums and insurers pay claims when appropriate. When the insurance company doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain, they can be held liable under Florida insurance laws.
That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to get the money you need. To say that insurance companies have deep pockets is an understatement. The insurance company has virtually unlimited resources to challenge your claim–and they can make it difficult for you to fight back.
An experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer can make a world of difference in helping you get what’s fair.
At Catania & Catania, P.A., our lawyers will:
- Evaluate the insurer’s actions and gather the evidence to support your bad faith insurance claim
- Defend you against any allegations that you were to blame for the denial or delay
- Hire expert witnesses when needed
- Negotiate to recover the money you need and deserve
Our lawyers have over 28 years of experience representing clients in the Tampa Bay area. We’d be happy to put that experience to work for you. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with a Tampa personal injury attorney today.
Overview of Bad Faith Insurance Laws
Sometimes, you’re required to purchase insurance under Florida law. For example, you’ll need car insurance to drive a car. Certain homeowners are required to purchase flood and property insurance in case of a storm–and others may purchase additional coverage to protect against foreseeable risks.
As long as you pay your premiums and maintain the policy in good standing, the insurance company can only deny a claim for a legitimate reason. Suppose the insurance company attempts to deny your claim, undervalue your damages, or delay your payment without justification. These actions could constitute bad faith insurance practices.
“Bad faith” simply describes types of dishonest behavior that can give you the right to take legal action.
Signs That You’ve Been a Victim of Bad Faith Insurance Practices
Under the Florida Unfair Insurance Trade Practice Act, you may have a valid claim for bad faith insurance practices if the insurance company:
- Fails to investigate your claim in a timely manner
- Denies your claim without investigation or reasonable justification
- Denies your claim without explanation
- Reduces the value of your claim without explanation
- Attempts to settle a claim that was altered without your knowledge
- Makes a misrepresentation in an attempt to get you to accept a settlement
- Fails to communicate or answer questions about the claim
On the other hand, not every claim denial amounts to a bad faith insurance practice. Insurance companies are only required to act in good faith–they aren’t required to pay every claim they receive blindly.
Examples of when the insurance company might legitimately deny your claim include situations where:
- The risk is not covered under your policy
- There is a dispute about who was liable or at-fault
- You haven’t provided adequate information
- You fail to file the insurance claim within a reasonable amount of time
- You have not paid your policy premiums
If you suspect that the insurance company is acting in bad faith, our Tampa bad faith insurance attorneys at Catania & Catania, P.A. can help.
We’ll evaluate your case for free. Call our law firm for a free case review today to learn more about your legal rights and the insurance company’s obligations.
What is My Tampa Bad Faith Insurance Case Worth?
Once you establish that an insurance company has violated your legal rights, it’s important to know what your claim is worth. After all, the losses you’ve suffered could be much more significant than the amount of your initial claim.
Some relevant factors in the value of your bad faith insurance claim might include:
- The amount of time you’ve spent trying to get the insurance company to respond appropriately
- Whether you’ve sustained additional property damage because of delayed payments
- Any impact on your health or wellbeing
- The nature of the insurance company’s actions
You pay your premiums on time. You expect that your Tampa insurance company will be there to write a check when you need help. If you’ve suffered damages because of an insurance company’s wrongful conduct, give us a call today. We’ll fight to recover the maximum compensation available.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Victims of Bad Faith Insurance Practices?
Insurance companies are required to honor a valid insurance claim. If the insurance company engages in bad faith insurance practices, you may be entitled to damages under Florida law.
Victims of bad faith insurance practices are entitled to recover economic damages–or special damages. These damages make up for the financial losses you’ve suffered because of the insurance company’s actions.
Your economic damages can vary widely depending upon the type of insurance coverage, but they may include:
- Additional property damage caused by delayed repairs
- Interest charges you’ve incurred because your damage claim was denied or delayed
- Lost wages and income
- Attorneys’ fees and court costs
You’re also entitled to demand non-economic damages in some cases. Non-economic damages represent the non-financial losses you’ve suffered because of the insurer’s actions.
Examples of non-economic losses may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If the insurance company’s actions amounted to willful misconduct, courts may also award punitive damages. Punitive damages do not compensate for any specific loss or harm. Instead, they punish the insurance company for engaging in bad faith practices.
Types of Bad Faith Insurance Claims in Tampa, Florida
Insurance claims fall into two categories: first-party insurance claims and third-party insurance claims.
A first-party insurance claim is one that you file with your own insurance company. A third-party insurance claim is one that you file with a third party’s insurance carrier.
For example, under Florida no-fault car insurance laws, your initial claim will be a first-party claim with your own carrier. If someone else caused your auto accident and your damages exceeded your policy limits, you may be entitled to file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
Bad faith insurance practices can occur in both first-party and third-party insurance cases.
Catania & Catania, P.A. Handles All Types of Bad Faith Insurance Claims in Tampa
At Catania & Catania, P.A., we handle all types of bad faith insurance claims in Tampa, including those involving:
- Car insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Renter’s insurance
- Flood insurance
- Wind insurance
- Fire insurance
- Business liability insurance
- Life insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Commercial insurance
- Medical insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
Florida is particularly prone to storms and severe weather. Often, homeowners purchase different types of insurance to protect their homes and property. As many homeowners already know, the insurance company rarely steps up and takes responsibility for paying a claim. Instead, they might even fight amongst each other to avoid liability.
If your insurance company is trying to pin the blame on someone else, an experienced Tampa bad faith insurance attorney can help. With our team by your side, you’ll greatly increase the chances that the insurance company will take you seriously.
How Long Do I Have to File a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit in Florida?
In Florida, most accident victims have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for injuries and damage to property. However, courts have only recently clarified the statute of limitations in bad faith insurance cases. You may now have five years to file a bad faith insurance claim under Florida law.
That said, the insurance contract itself might contain terms that limit the amount of time you have to take legal action. Because of that, it’s always a smart idea to consult an experienced lawyer if you think the insurance company is violating your rights.
Missing the deadline has serious consequences. You could lose your right to compensation entirely. Our lawyers can start the legal process and take steps to preserve your right to compensation. Just give us a quick call to schedule a free case review today.
Contact a Tampa Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Did a Florida insurance company wrongfully deny or undervalue your insurance claim? Are you having a difficult time getting answers? Call a Tampa bad faith insurance lawyer at Catania & Catania, P.A. for a free consultation today. Our experienced legal team will do everything we can to get the fair compensation you deserve.