Dallas County Insurance Lawyer
You bought an insurance policy as an individual or business because you wanted to think ahead and protect your assets from unforeseen events. So, when you file a claim that’s covered within your policy you expect your insurer to pull through. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen for every policyholder. In some instances, an insurance company will dispute, delay or deny a claim although it’s well within the guidelines of their policy.
Insurance companies are expected to act in an ethical and fair manner when evaluating claims according to the Texas Insurance Code. If an insurer engages in deceptive acts or practices to avoid providing full coverage, they may be held liable in a lawsuit. If you believe your insurance company is in breach of your contract, then consult an experienced insurance attorney as soon as possible. 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 lawyer in Dallas County, Texas
If you believe your insurer is in breach of your contract, then contact LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC. Our insurance attorneys have over collectively 30 years of practice under their belt. We have represented clients with a wide variety of claim disputes and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive what you are entitled to under your policy.
Don’t head into this ordeal alone. Contact with LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC by calling (888) 306-2119 to set up your first consultation. During your first consultation we can discuss all the possible legal routes available to you. LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC represents policyholders throughout the greater Dallas and Dallas County area including Irving, Addison, Garland, DeSoto, Highland Park and Duncanville.
Information Center for Dallas County:
- What Are My Rights as a Policyholder in Texas?
- Is My Insurance Company Is Acting in Bad Faith?
- How Long Do I Have to Sue My Insurance Company?
- Dallas County Insurance and Legal Resources
What Are My Rights as a Policyholder in Texas?
Although acquiring insurance is essential for most industries, many policyholders aren’t aware of their rights or insurance laws under the Texas Insurance Code. This disparity of information can cause insurance companies to wield quite a bit of power over their consumers. That is why it’s vitally important you’re aware of your rights as a policyholder. If your insurance company violated claim handling guidelines in the Texas Insurance Code, then they could be held liable.
Is My Insurance Company Acting in Bad Faith?
Insurance companies must remain fair and ethical when evaluating claims and determining coverage. To protect policyholders, the Texas Insurance Code has a list of requirements an insurer must fulfill when evaluating a claim. These requirements can be found under the Texas Insurance Code Chapter 541 and 542 which include, but are not limited to:
- Maintaining effective and consistent communication with the policyholder;
- Closely examining all the evidence associated with the claim;
- Conducting a thorough and honest evaluation of what the claim is about such as damaged property or business interruption losses;
- Providing a reliable and truthful interpretation of the insurance policy to the policyholder;
- Making a fair attempt to resolve the claim within a reasonable time period;
- Approving or deny the claim in a timely manner;
- Providing a detailed explanation of the denial in writing to the policyholder;
- Having good faith negotiations to discuss a fair insurance settlement; and
- Sending payments to the policyholders in a timely manner after acceptance of the claim
Insurance companies are obligated to follow these rules outlined in the Texas Insurance Code.
If an insurance company fails to uphold these duties by engaging dishonest conduct, then they are acting in bad faith and in violation of the Texas Insurance Code. The insurance company can then be held liable for penalties listed under the Texas Insurance Code. If you have reason to believe your insurance company is engaging in deceptive acts or practices, then we advise you to secure legal counsel as soon as possible. An experienced insurance attorney can file a suit for you and represent your interests in court so you can receive the best settlement possible.
When Can I Sue My Insurance Company for Acting in Bad Faith?
If you are planning to file a suit against your insurance company, it’s important you understand the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations in civil court is the deadline a person has to file a lawsuit against another party. Under Section 541.162 of the Texas Insurance Code you have two years to file a formal claim against your insurance company for acting in bad faith. . 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:
- When the bad faith practices were taking place; or
- The date you discovered or, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have discovered that bad faith conduct had taken place.
There is a possibility you can file a suit after the statute of limitations under Chapter 541 in certain circumstances. You can extend your statute of limitations by 180 days if you prove that the failure to bring legal action against the insurance company or agent was due to their misconduct, which prevented you from filing a lawsuit.
It is always best to consult an insurance lawyer to ensure that all of your potential claims are preserved in a timely way.
Dallas County Insurance Resources
Dallas County District Courts – The District Courts in Dallas County have jurisdiction over all types of court cases including civil cases where $200 at a minimum are being disputed or claimed. Access the site to view information about their judges, docket schedules, court location and the local rules they have for the civil courts.
Dallas County Clerk – The Clerk for Dallas County acts as a recorder, custodian and registrar for all documents related to the courts. You can access their site to learn how you can search official records, pay your court related fines, get public access to court records and more.
Texas Insurance Code – Visit the official website for the Texas Insurance Code and learn more about their legislation regarding insurance laws and regulation. Access the site and read more on what Texas considers an unfair settlement, the statute of limitations to file a claim against your insurance company and other relevant information.
Hazard Mitigation Plan – Dallas County in conjunction with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has developed a multijurisdictional hazard mitigation plan that identifies hazards and vulnerabilities that could happen in the future. The plan includes pre-disaster and post-disaster measures to decrease the amount of damage caused by the event.
Dallas County Flood Map Tool – Visit the official website for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine whether you are in a high-risk zone or not. Flood damage is a common claim filed by policyholders so it’s important to be aware if you are in a flood zone before a storm occurs.
Dallas County Insurance Attorney in Texas
If you believe your insurance company is in breach of contract, then it’s within your best interest to obtain experienced legal representation with LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC. Our experienced insurance attorneys will work round the clock to ensure you obtain the best coverage possible. We have decades of insurance law experience we can utilize for your case.
You can call us now at (888) 306-2119 to set up your first consultation with us. During your appointment, we will sit with you and evaluate your case. We will then discuss all your available legal options so you can receive the settlement you deserve. LeMaster & Ahmed, PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater Dallas County area including Irving, DeSoto, Lancaster, Farmer’s Branch and Garland.