Can You Sue an Insurance Company for Taking Too Long?
If your insurance company is keeping you at arm’s length and causing you to feel avoided or deceived, you may be wondering “Can you sue an insurance company for taking too long?”
Whether you were involved in a car accident, were affected by a natural disaster, or had a medical emergency, the insurance companies are supposed to stand as a line of defense when you need it most — after all, it’s what you pay them for.
When insurance companies don’t give people the aid that they deserve in a timely manner, they may be acting in bad faith, and you may be able to sue them.
To that end, the insurance claims lawyers from Grimes & Fertitta are here to discuss some legal complexities to consider before you decide to sue the insurance company. If you believe that your insurance company is taking too long to settle your claim, call Grimes & Fertitta today at (713) 224-7644 for a case evaluation.
What can you do if an insurance company is taking too long?
It’s natural to be frustrated, anxious, or angry when your insurance company is taking too long to settle, but what should you actually do about it? Here is a partial list of what to do if the insurance company is stalling in Texas:
- Call your insurance company. First and foremost you should give the insurance company every opportunity to fulfill your claim. Sometimes insurance companies are late because of administrative issues, and sometimes mistakes happen, but it is almost always ideal to get your claim sorted without having to sue if you do have that option.
- Review your policy with a different agent. Read your policy closely and go over it with a different agent. Have them explain to you why resolving your claim is taking so long, and ask them to detail specific sticking points.
- Request a formal denial letter. As well as documenting everything that you can from your conversations with the company, if your claim is being denied, you should ask for a formal denial letter. Maintaining proper records and detailed documentation can be the difference between a win and a loss against the insurance company in court.
- Call an experienced lawyer to sue the insurance company. If your insurance company continues to delay your claim (or denies it) without a valid reason, they may be acting in bad faith, and you may need to hire an attorney who sues insurance companies.
The steps to suing your insurance company for taking too long to settle your claim or denying your claim in bad faith are simple, but how do you know when to apply the pressure? How long is too long to wait for an insurance claim?
How long is too long to wait for an insurance claim?
In Texas, insurance companies have 35 business days to settle a claim once it has been filed. Overall, the clock on your claim is set to 35 days, however, there are time frames in which they must complete the individual parts of this process:
- They have 15 days to acknowledge a claim and send you your paperwork.
- They have 15 more days to make a decision on the claim after receiving the completed forms.
- They have 5 final business days to make a payment on approved claims.
Can insurance deny a claim for taking too long? The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas is two years from the date of your accident. As long as you make your claim within two years, you should be owed a timely and efficient decision on your claim — if not, you may be able to file a bad faith lawsuit against the insurance company for the original settlement amount plus any applicable penalties.
Reasons to sue your insurance company
There are plenty of reasons that a person would want to sue their insurance company — unfortunately, many of those reasons don’t always amount to having legal grounds to sue. There are however a number of scenarios in which a victim does have a legal basis to sue their insurance company, including:
- They violated their duty of care
- They violated their contract
- They wrongly denied your claim
- They failed to adequately investigate your claim
- They deceived or misinformed you about your policy or claim
- And more
There are a number of ways in which an insurance company can be negligent, act in bad faith, and cause you pain and suffering, but you only stand a chance at getting what you deserve if you work with attorneys who can prove it.
Continue reading: Can I sue my insurance company for emotional distress?
How long does a bad faith lawsuit take?
Due to their complexity, bad faith lawsuits can take anywhere from several months to several years to successfully resolve. We understand that you likely need your settlement now, and are currently dealing with the fallout of the matter of your original insurance claim, but suing your insurance company for bad faith is often the only way to get what you deserve.
The timeline you can expect when suing your insurance company will include some of the following:
- Your attorney will file a complaint against the insurance company.
- Your attorney will gather evidence and conduct depositions during the discovery phase of the lawsuit.
- Pretrial proceedings will take place and motions will be filed.
- The insurance companies will often try to settle before going to court because going to trial is incredibly costly for them. Your attorney will discuss with you whether or not this is the right move for your case rather than going to trial.
- If you do not settle, you and your attorney will go to trial.
- After the court makes a decision either party may appeal that decision.
- The lawsuit will conclude after a verdict is reached.
As we said, these lawsuits can take years to resolve but can be the only way to find justice for you and your family. The length of time that it takes to sue an insurance company often works to the insurance companies’ advantage. Do not be discouraged. Call an experienced and aggressive attorney to get what you deserve.
Feeling played by the insurance company? Call the insurance lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta.
Can you sue an insurance company for taking too long? Yes! Everyone is entitled to a timely and reasonable decision after filing an insurance claim, and those whose decisions are neither reasonable nor timely may be able to sue for bad faith.
If you’re looking for lawyers to sue your insurance company, you might want to hire lawyers who have worked at insurance companies, like the attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta. They know exactly how the insurance companies (and their large teams of lawyers) will attempt to draw out your case and get you to take less than you deserve. Don’t let them. Hire the best insurance lawyers Houston has to offer, like those at Grimes & Fertitta.
Whether you’re looking for a Houston car accident lawyer or an attorney to represent you following a serious workplace injury, the personal injury pros at Grimes & Fertitta are here to help. Call Grimes & Fertitta today at (713) 224-7644 or contact us online to begin getting what you deserve.
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