Collin County Insurance Lawyer
Insurance is necessary for most businesses and many individuals acquire it so they can recover financially in case some unforeseen event occurs. The purpose of an insurance policy is to provide security for the policyholder so they can be at ease if an incident happens. What an insurance company should not do is dispute, delay or deny claims that are well within the guidelines of their policy.
An insurance company who is violating the terms of its contract can be held liable. Insurers must uphold certain duties and respect the rights of policyholders under Texas law. If you believe your insurance company has breached the terms of your contract by engaging in deceptive acts or practices, then consult an experienced insurance attorney. You may be entitled to up to three times the amount of your claim, attorney’s fees and other penalties under the Texas Insurance Code.
Insurance Attorney in Collin County, Texas
If you are having issues with your insurance company and believe they are in violation of your contract, get in contact with LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC. Our insurance litigators have over a combined 30 years of experience that we can utilize for your case. The attorneys at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC are passionate about representing policyholders and will stop at nothing to ensure you receive what you are entitled to under your policy and Texas law.
Get in contact with us today at (888) 306-2119 and we will schedule your first consultation free of charge. Our attorneys accept clients throughout the state of Texas including Houston, The Woodlands, Conroe, Galveston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Plano, Frisco and Allen.
Information Center for Collin County:
- What Are Texas’s Insurance Claim Laws?
- How Do I Know My Insurer is Acting in Bad Faith?
- How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Against My Insurance Company?
- Collin County Insurance Resources in Texas
What Are Texas’s Insurance Claim Laws?
Although many insurers are in the private sector, they must follow regulations set forth by the Texas Department of Insurance and the Texas Insurance Code. Violation of the claim handling guidelines in the Texas Insurance Code could mean the insurance company is acting in bad faith and may be held liable in a lawsuit.
Insurance companies are expected to be transparent with their policyholders and follow the terms of their contract. The Texas Insurance Code Chapter 541 and 542 require your insurance company to do the following:
- Fully investigated a filed claim within a reasonable time period as set forth by statute;
- Examine all the evidence associated with the claim;
- Conduct an honest evaluation of what the claim is about such as damaged property, the policyholder’s injuries or a claim filed against the policyholder;
- Give a truthful interpretation of the insurance policy to the policyholder;
- Communicate with the policyholder in a timely manner;
- Make a fair attempt to resolve a claim within a reasonable time period;
- Approve or deny the claim promptly;
- Give a thorough explanation of the denial in writing to the policyholder;
- Enter in good faith negotiations to discuss a fair insurance settlement; and
- Ensure payments are sent to you in a timely fashion after acceptance of your claim.
When an insurer violates your rights as a policyholder it may be liable to you for certain penalties under the Texas Insurance Code. If you believe your insurance company has breached the terms of your contract and violated the Texas Insurance Code, get in contact with an experienced insurance lawyer as soon as possible. An insurance attorney can assess your claim to determine if your insurer is violating its duties. They can then file a suit for you and represent your interests in court so you can receive the best settlement possible.
How Do I Know My Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith?
Insurance companies who use deceptive or unfair settlement practices to avoid full liability or to deny a claim are acting in bad faith. An insurer who is found to be acting in bad faith by a court is liable to pay damages to any policyholder who may have suffered due to their dishonest actions. An insurance company can use various bad faith practices to delay, dispute or deny a claim. Some examples of bad faith practices by insurance companies include:
- Unnecessary delays to payments after the claim has been accepted;
- Unreasonable delays in processing your claims;
- Low settlement offers while refusing to negotiate;
- Failing to communicate with the policyholder;
- Accusing the policyholder of fraud, arson or misbehavior without justification;
- Withhold important information from the policyholder about their claim;
- Misrepresenting laws or policy provisions to avoid full liability;
- Failing to conduct a comprehensive and timely investigation of your claim; or
- Altering your policy or cancelling the policy after the claim is filed
How Long Do I Have to Sue My Insurance Company for Acting in Bad Faith?
It’s important to understand that civil courts also have a statute of limitations, which is a deadline for a person to file a claim against another. Under Section 514.162 of the Texas Insurance Code you have two years to file a formal claim against your insurance company for acting in bad faith and violating your contract. The statute of limitations for a pure breach of contract claim is four years from the date of the breach; however, a prudent policyholder always pursues a claim within the two-year statute of limitation to preserve all of its claims, including contract and tort. Tort and contract claims, combined, are only valid if they are filed upon within two years of one of the following dates:
- The date the bad faith practice took place; or
- The date you discovered or, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have discovered that bad faith conduct had taken place.
In some cases, you can file a claim under Chapter 541 after the statute of limitations in some circumstances. The statute of limitations can be extended by 180 days if you prove that your failure to bring legal action against your insurance company or adjuster was due to their actions, which were solely made to prevent you from pursuing a claim.
It is always best to consult an insurance lawyer to ensure that all of your potential claims are preserved in a timely way.
Insurance Resources in Collin County, Texas
Collin County District Courts – The Collin County District Courts is where all civil suits occur where the minimum amount involved is at least $200. Access their site to view their docket schedules, court locations, their court rules and other relevant important information.
Collin County Clerk – All relevant court records and documentation are stored by the Collin County Clerk’s Office. You can access their site to learn more about how to pay a court related fine, file important documents, search public records and access court records.
Texas Department of Insurance – The Texas Department of Insurance ensures all insurance companies are following the regulations set forth by the Insurance Code. They also overlook the administration of worker compensation systems as provided by the Texas Labor Code.
Texas Insurance Code – Visit the official website for Texas laws and legislation to read the Insurance Code, which lists all the regulations insurance companies must follow. Access the site to learn more about unfair settlement practices defined under Texas law and other important insurance law information.
Collin County Hazard Mitigation Plan – Since Collin County is susceptible to a number of natural hazards that could cause significant damage, the county has developed a mitigation plan to reduce losses. Access the Collin County site to learn more about this plan and what pre and post measures the government has in place to protect its citizens from disasters.
Collin County Floodplain Maps – Visit the official website for Collin County and view their map that details all the floodplains in the area. A floodplain is a low area of ground that is prone to flooding. It’s important to understand if you are near one in case you are in a high-risk flood zone. Flood damage is one of the most common claims denied by insurance companies.
Collin County Insurance Attorney in Texas
If you are having difficulty getting your insurance company to pay your covered claim, get in contact with LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC. Our attorneys are litigators with over 30 years of combined experience. We have represented clients with a wide variety of claim disputes and will work diligently to ensure you receive the best settlement possible for your claim.
You can contact us at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC and we are available at any time. We can set up your consultation free of charge and inform you of all your possible legal options. LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex area including Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant County.