Insurance Bad Faith Attorney
Law Offices of Scott Glovsky in Pasadena & Claremont
Liability insurance is a broad category of insurance coverage focused on legal claims against the insured. When someone gets hurt and they sue you, your liability insurance is the coverage used to defend the suit and pay for damages. As an individual, if you own a home, your homeowner policy is likely to have a general liability provision. As a business owner, your business insurance generally provides liability provisions.
Homeowner liability coverage protects the insured in the event of a claim brought by someone who is hurt on his property. Automobile insurance often includes liability provisions that pay for suits and damages filed against an insured by someone they injured. Liability policies typically cover negligent behavior and not willful or intentional acts by the insured.
Businesses are often vulnerable to lawsuits. They invite customers onto their premises and often serve the public. Both situations involve possibilities of others being hurt. Liability policies generally protect you when a customer is harmed at your business or outside your business due to the negligence of one of your employees. These policies may also cover damages for libel, slander, false arrest, and false imprisonment.
Liability policies usually cover the following kinds of perils:
- Bodily or personal injury to others, which includes physical injury, pain and suffering, sickness and death;
- Damage to other people’s property, including both destruction and loss of use;
- Medical costs arising from the accident; and
- The cost of your defense if you are sued. The insurance company generally will pay for your defense even if the suit is groundless or the person who is suing you is lying about what happened.
Your Rights When You Have General Liability Insurance
As an owner of an insurance liability policy, your insurance company owes you duties. The most basic duties fall into two areas: a duty to defend and a duty to pay damages. First, the insurance company has a duty to defend a claim or lawsuit. This is generally true even if some or most of the claims in the lawsuit are not covered by the policy. In addition, the insurance company must pay for all the costs associated with this defense, unless the policy is expressly structured so that defense costs reduce the policy limits (“self-consuming” or burning limits policy). Second, the insurance company has a duty to pay damages on behalf of the insured up to the policy limit. This is often referred to as the insurance company indemnifying the insured. And, California requires the insurance company to accept a good-faith settlement offer within the policy limits.
For additional duties owed to insurance policyholders see Duties of the Insurance Company in Insurance Law 101. When an insurance company breaches one of its duties and caused you damage, you have a right to sue the insurance company for the damages that breach has caused.
How a Los Angeles Liability Insurance Denial and Bad Faith Attorney Can Help You
A Los Angeles insurance lawyer can help you maximize the coverage and benefits of your liability policy. Like most insurance contracts, liability insurance policies are often complex. Agreements contain exclusionary clauses and language that may be difficult to decipher, much less understand. The process itself is often complicated and confusing.
An insurance company may agree to defend your lawsuit but send you a letter suggesting that they are currently paying for your defense (hiring and paying lawyers on your behalf), but reserve the right at a later date to cancel these efforts if the insurance company determines that the suit is not covered by your policy. When this occurs, they have certain obligations. An experienced Claremont and Pasadena insurance lawyer can help you understand your rights.
An insurance company may simply refuse to pay your claim. They may claim that the event that occurred is outside the policy coverage. They may claim the event that occurred was caused by your willful or intentional acts.
When a jury’s damage verdict exceeds the policy caps, the insured can be financially ruined despite having insurance. During the defense, your attorneys may engage in a strategy that suggests to the other side that they are happy to go to trial because, in the end, the insurance company is only obligated up to their policy limit. They may hope this intimidates the other side into giving up a long fight. This strategy can backfire, however, if they lose. This impermissible gambling strategy that can expose the insured’s personal assets to an excess verdict.
The Law Offices of Scott Glovsky can help when these situations arise. We’ve worked for the other side, so we know bad faith and conflicts of interest. And as trial attorneys with a history of taking insurance companies to court, insurance companies know we mean business.
We Help Individuals and Businesses Fight Insurance Companies That Have Denied, Delayed or Underpaid Liability Insurance Claims
If you need legal representation in a denied liability insurance claim call us at (626) 604-6973 or send us an inquiry form by clicking here or completing the form below. Our Claremont, Pasadena, and Los Angeles lawyers are ready to discuss your situation.
There is no cost for this initial consultation. We handle most individual claims on a contingency basis – no fee unless you recover. We also handle a select group of business cases on a contingency basis. Call us now.