In this article, I will explain when and how you can sue your car insurance company and what to expect from the process.
When Can I Sue My Car Insurance Company?
You have the option to take legal action against your car insurance provider for policy violations or acting in bad faith.
Valid reasons for suing include:
- Excessive delays in claim payouts
- Insufficient or prolonged claim investigations
- Denial of a properly filed claim
- Payout less than the agreed amount
- Denial of a claim in bad faith or without explanation
However, suing is impossible if your insurer denies a claim in good faith without a contract breach.
For instance, liability-only coverage doesn’t cover personal medical bills or property damage.
Similarly, lacking uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage prevents suing for damages caused by an inadequately insured driver.
How do I sue my car insurance company?
Before initiating legal proceedings against your insurance provider, explore less contentious alternatives to resolve the dispute.
Consider direct negotiations with them or mediation, paths that may preclude the need for lawsuits altogether.
Consulting an attorney specializing in personal injury cases would be prudent as well.
They can evaluate the merits of your claim and guide optimal next steps. Just keep in mind that legal action against insurance companies tends to be expensive and time-intensive, with success not guaranteed.
Thus, only pursue this course after other options have been thoroughly exhausted.
If you still decide to file a lawsuit, submit your complaint to the proper court based on relevant factors like the nature and monetary value of your alleged damages.
Proper legal protocols, like serving court documents to the defendant, need to be followed.
If you overcome these initial hurdles, the case enters discovery, where evidence gathering and interrogatories occur. You may have to partake in depositions too, answering questions under oath.
Post-discovery, either a judge or jury trial or settlement talks can occur.
Weighing the time commitment and legal fees versus potential case outcomes would be prudent before moving forward.
The decision to sue should not be taken lightly.
What Can I Expect from Suing My Car Insurance Company?
You may encounter the following obstacles:
- Litigation can be financially and emotionally charged. You may accrue substantial attorney fees, court charges, and expert witness costs. Opposing counsel could also attempt to undermine your credibility and reputation.
- Lawsuits tend to prolong, not hasten, claim settlements. Direct communication with your insurer will likely cease during legal proceedings. The court system also moves slowly, potentially delaying resolution for months or years.
- There are no guarantees you will prevail or receive adequate compensation. You may lose outright or be awarded less than expected. If your case fails, you could even be ordered to pay the insurance company’s legal fees.
Taking legal action against your auto insurer is a major, high-risk choice that warrants careful thought and guidance from legal counsel.
Lawsuits should only be pursued if you have a legitimate, provable reason and have exhausted other avenues for resolving the conflict amicably.
The time, money, and anxiety required for litigation may outweigh the potential benefits. It’s best to thoroughly understand your policy, entitlements, and duties as a policyholder.
Plus, making good faith efforts to communicate and foster positive relations with your provider is wise.
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