New Orleans Insurance Claims Lawyer
Helping Clients File Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuits in Louisiana
You’ve suffered a catastrophic loss: the loss of a vehicle, of a business, or even your entire home. The unthinkable has happened, but thankfully, you’ve prepared for this, and you’ve spent years paying insurance premiums for just this moment. Now, all you need to do is file proof of loss and you’ll get what you need to rebuild your life. Or so you hope.
Over the last few years, numerous reports have come out regarding how insurance companies really act when disaster strikes: switching adjusters every few weeks, delaying investigations, or denying claims outright. This is unethical, illegal, and simply unacceptable.
Fortunately, you have the right to demand fair treatment by your insurance provider. When insurance companies act in bad faith and deny, delay, or underpay valid claims, they can be held accountable. In fact, in accordance with Louisiana Revised Statutes § 22:1973, an insurance company that has acted in bad faith may be held liable for the full value of the original claim, plus damages and attorney fees.
When it comes to catastrophic losses, such as those so recently caused by Hurricane Ida, insurance companies still have an obligation to act in good faith and in a timely manner when investigating and paying claims. If an insurer fails to pay a claim for catastrophic loss within 30 days of receiving proof of loss or upon reaching a written agreement with the claimant—when this failure is “arbitrary, capricious, or without probable cause,” the insurer may face a penalty of 50 percent of the total damages, or $1,000, whichever is greater (Louisiana Revised Statutes §22:1892). This penalty would be paid in addition to the full value of the claim.
Interested in finding out whether you have a case? Call a Louisiana insurance claims attorney as soon as possible at (504) 608-3211 for a free consultation.
Hurricane Ida Commercial Wind Damage Claims
When Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29, 2021, the powerful storm wreaked havoc on homes and businesses throughout Louisiana. Early estimates place damages at about $18 billion in insured losses in Louisiana alone. Total damages could exceed $50 billion.
For commercial property owners, wind damage is a primary concern. Hurricane Ida’s winds reached 150 miles per hour, literally ripping buildings and entire communities apart. Insurance claims for commercial wind damage are complex as it is, without the added challenges associated with the sheer influx of claims insurers are expected to face. This, combined with some insurance companies’ history of mishandling valid claims, makes seeking legal counsel all the more important.
Read more about Hurricane Ida commercial wind damage claims.
Damages Available in a Bad Faith Claim in Louisiana
Whether you filed an insurance claim for losses related to Hurricane Ida or any natural disaster, you have the right to be treated fairly by the insurance company you’ve faithfully paid premiums to. You could have grounds for a bad faith lawsuit against the insurance company if they failed to uphold their “duty of good faith and fair dealing,” under Louisiana Statutes.
You may have grounds for a bad faith lawsuit if:
- The insurance company misrepresented facts or provisions related to coverages.
- The insurer failed to pay a settlement within 30 days of reaching a written agreement.
- The insurer denied or settled a claim based on an application that was altered, unknown to you.
- The insurance company failed to pay a claim within 30 days of receiving valid proof of loss.
- The insurer denied an insurance claim for any arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable purpose.
The damages available in a Louisiana bad faith insurance lawsuit may include:
- Any “general or special damages” caused by the breach of good faith.
- Penalties up to two times the damages sustained, or up to $5,000, whichever is greater (§ 22:1973).
- Penalties up to 50 percent of the damages sustained, or up to $1,000, whichever is greater (§22:1892).
If you’re still interested in learning more, feel free to review the following blogs:
- What Are Bad Faith Insurance Practices & How Do They Affect Me?
- Why Insurance Companies Have a Conflict of Interest
- How Insurance Companies Make Money from Delaying Your Claim
Get the Answers You Need & Deserve
When you call Tony Clayton, you can find out more about your rights as a claimant or policyholder and learn what to do if your insurance claim is being delayed or has been denied. You can also discuss what to do if the insurance company has offered you a settlement, but you aren't sure whether it's fair. We have the answers you're looking for and the resources it takes to hold the biggest corporations accountable.
Contact a New Orleans insurance claims attorney today.