Bad Faith Cases Are Complex
The Clock is Ticking
Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To
You Deserve All Available Damages
Valuing a Bad Faith Claim is Tough
In Oklahoma, you can potentially recover compensation if an insurance company acts in bad faith and you suffer as a result. However, what conduct rises to the level of bad faith? Did your insurance company really act in bad faith, or was their conduct acceptable under Oklahoma state law? If they did act in bad faith, how do you prove it? The answers to these questions will be fundamental to your injury case. However, they’re not always easy to find. That’s why it can be critical to enlist the help of a lawyer in Oklahoma City who has extensive experience handling bad faith practice cases.
Our attorneys will ask you to recount your side of the story several times. We’ll listen closely to identify any potential bad faith practices. Then we’ll conduct an exhaustive investigation into your underlying claim and analyze how the insurance company handled it. Did it make it difficult to communicate about your claim? Did it delay their response or require you to provide a lot of unnecessary information? Did it provide a reasonable justification for denying or devaluing your claim? Was the company fully transparent throughout the claims process? We’ll dig deep to answer these and other questions as we work to determine if the insurer has violated the law.
You will only have a limited amount of time to file a bad faith injury lawsuit. In Oklahoma, bad faith practices are considered to be a breach of contract. So, the statute of limitations for contract disputes would apply. That means that you’d have up to five years to file your claim and demand compensation. The clock will begin to run the moment your contract is breached. In other words, you will have five years to assert a claim from the date the insurance company engages in bad faith.
There are certain exceptions to this general rule of thumb. However, you must understand that failure to file your claim on time will bar you from recovering any compensation, at all. So, the best course of action is to contact an experienced Oklahoma City bad faith lawyer as soon as you suspect that your insurance company has deceived you or misled you in any way.
The last thing insurance companies want is for you to get an attorney involved. When you bring an attorney into the equation, you’ll be casting a light on everything the insurer does. You’ll be bringing in someone who knows what the rules are, knows what insurance companies are legally obligated to do under the law, and can spot violations of the duty they owe to claimants like you.
By hiring an attorney, you’ll put an incredible amount of pressure on the insurance company. You’ll force them to take your claim seriously and play by the rules. Depending on your choice of attorney, you might even be able to scare the insurance company into offering more money than it normally would in an effort to compensate for its illegal and unethical behavior.
In Oklahoma, you can be entitled to an award of both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages can include money for:
- Your initial claim for benefits
- Lost income or wages
- Lost business revenue
- Damage to your reputation
- Emotional distress
- Attorney’s fees, and
- Any other financial losses or costs related to the insurer’s bad faith practices.
Punitive damages can be awarded in addition to any compensatory awards to punish the insurer for their conduct. In order to receive punitive damages, the insurer must have “demonstrated a wanton or reckless disregard” for your rights.
You’re entitled to damages, but how much is your case worth? This is a challenging question. It’s something that the insurance company will undoubtedly fight you on. So, it really helps to bring in an attorney who has tons of experience dealing with insurance company bad faith practices.
At McGuire Law Firm, our attorneys will scrutinize your bad faith case from every possible angle. In addition to seeking damages to compensate for the value of your original claim, we’ll also seek damages for any additional financial and/or emotional suffering you’ve experienced because of the insurer’s conduct. In valuing your damages, we won’t hesitate to turn to experts for help. This might include psychologists and mental health authorities, economists, forensic accountants, and other specialists. If someone can help us understand how you’ve been affected and might be affected in the future, we’ll draw on their expertise. This will help to ensure that we know what your case is worth.
If the insurer acted recklessly, intentionally, or maliciously, we will also seek punitive damages. Oklahoma caps punitive awards. You can recover up to $100,000 or an amount equal to your actual damages if the insurer was reckless or up to $500,000 or twice the value of your actual damages if the company was malicious.