Bad Faith Litigation
Recover everything the law and your policy promises. Through bad faith litigation, I work hard to recover not only money for your property damages, but also bad faith penalties and attorney fees. Read below to find out the reason for bad faith penalties, your rights to good faith and fair dealing, your rights to bad faith damages, and what you can do to recover bad faith damages through litigation.
Why We Have Bad Faith Penalties
Bad faith penalties are a way to keep insurance companies motivated to properly pay property damage claims. Without legal recourse for policyholders beyond recovering the actual property damages, insurance companies would be especially incentivized to underpay and deny claims. Substantial statutory bad faith penalties deter insurance companies from mishandling your claim.
Your Rights To Good Faith and Fair Dealing
Insurance companies in Louisiana are required by law to act in “good faith” when processing property insurance claims. That means when you file a claim, your insurance company must conduct a thorough examination of the damage, evaluate your claim, compensate you fair market value for the damages you have sustained and send payment in a timely manner. Under Louisiana Revised Statutes 22: 1892 and 22:1973, as amplified by interpretive case precedents, insurance companies owe policyholders like you a duty of good faith and fair dealing. Some of these duties include:
- Paying the claim within 30 days of receipt of satisfactory proof of loss
- Timely initiating the loss adjustment process, usually within 14 or 30 days
- Offering to settle your insurance claim within 30 days of receipt of satisfactory proof of loss
- Paying written settlements within 30 days
- Promptly and thoroughly adjusting your claim
- Providing you with accurate information about your claim and insurance policy
Your Rights to Bad Faith Damages
If the insurance company acts in “bad faith” when they process your claim by not adhering to the applicable laws, you are entitled to compensation under Louisiana’s bad faith litigation laws. Not only do you have the right to receive payment to cover the cost of the necessary repairs, but you may also be entitled to punitive damages that go above and beyond what is required to repair the damages to your property.
Bad faith damages can be substantial. Under Louisiana Revised Statute 22:1892, 50% of the amount found to be due plus reasonable attorney fees can be awarded in the appropriate case. under Louisiana Revised Statute 22:1973, consequential damages x 3 can be awarded. Our frequently asked questions page shows an example of how a mishandled $100,000 claim can possibly result in a $275,000 total recovery. Browse our home page for an illustration of a bad faith settlement I recovered for a client in Metairie, Louisiana.
How You Can Seek Bad Faith Damages
When you hire me, I review your insurance policy and claims documents in view of the bad faith laws. If there is a valid case for bad faith damages, I present it in a thoroughly documented demand package. When necessary, I draft a lawsuit on your behalf and pursue bad faith litigation.
Leveraging Louisiana’s “bad faith” statutes, I have a strong bargaining chip to negotiate with the insurance carrier on your behalf to obtain an appropriate settlement based on the coverage granted to you in your insurance policy.
Speak With a Louisiana Lawyer About Your Case
This is general information only. If you would like to discuss your insurance claim, contact me by phone or email.