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St. Petersburg Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

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St. Petersburg Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

Recovering from an injury, accident, or natural disaster is difficult enough. If the insurance company has unfairly denied your claim or is creating artificial delays to avoid paying a fair settlement, you may have legal options. An experienced St. Petersburg bad faith insurance lawyer at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight for the money you need and deserve.

Collectively, our lawyers have over 119 years of experience helping clients like you get justice. We’ve secured tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts to hold big corporations accountable over the years.

When an insurance company refuses to pay the fair value of your claim, we know how to help. Call our law offices in St. Petersburg, Florida, to schedule a free consultation today at (727) 314-5988.

How Can Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Help With Your Bad Faith Insurance Claim in St. Petersburg, FL?

How Can Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Help With Your Bad Faith Insurance Claim in St. Petersburg, FL?

You pay good money for insurance coverage. You expect the insurance company to do the right thing when the worst happens.

Unfortunately, many insurance companies will do anything they can to avoid paying a fair settlement. Our St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers know how to deal with unethical insurance companies. We’ve been protecting victims like you since 2001–and we’re up to the challenge today.

When you hire our law firm, we will:

  • Conduct an investigation and gather evidence to prove your case
  • Identifying everyone liable for your damages
  • Hiring top experts to strengthen your case
  • Negotiate with the insurance companies for a fair settlement
  • File a lawsuit and fight for full compensation in court

Every case is different. You deserve an attorney who will put in the hard work to fight for every dollar you deserve. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in St. Petersburg, FL, to learn more about how we can put our skills to work for you.

What Is Bad Faith Insurance in Florida?

A total of 394,230 car crashes were reported across the state in 2023. That’s a lot of insurance claims–and it doesn’t even begin to account for homeowners’, health, and life insurance claims. 

However, insurance is a $1.4 trillion dollar industry in the U.S. Insurance companies are well equipped to pay those claims. Insurance companies in Florida wrote about $76 billion in property and casualty insurance premiums during 2022 alone.

While insurance companies have every right to investigate to make sure claims are legitimate, they don’t have the right to deal with policyholders in bad faith. Insurance policies are contracts. When you pay your premiums on time, the insurance company must make a good faith effort to settle any claims fairly.

Insurance companies act in “bad faith” when they engage in practices that are dishonest or deceptive. 

Unfortunately, some insurance companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying a fair settlement. If they think they can get away with denying your claim outright, they probably will. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced lawyer by your side if you think the insurance company is giving you the runaround.

Overview of Bad Faith Insurance Laws in St. Petersburg, Florida

Florida law gives policyholders the right to sue the insurance company for financial compensation if they suffer harm due to bad faith insurance practices. 

“Bad faith,” under Florida insurance laws, means that the insurance company did not attempt to settle your claim in good faith “when, under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly toward its insured and with due regard for her or his interests.”

You also have a right to seek compensation if the insurance company:

  • Paid claims without a statement about the coverage under which payments are being made
  • Failed to settle claims under one portion of the insurance policy’s coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy’s coverage

Generally speaking, you may have a valid bad faith insurance claim if the insurance company refused to pay a legitimate claim or acted unreasonably to delay or undervalue your claim.

How Do I Know Whether I’ve Been a Victim of Bad Faith Insurance Practices in St. Petersburg?

Many different scenarios can give rise to a valid bad faith insurance claim. As the victim, you probably don’t have much experience handling insurance claims. You may not be entirely sure whether you have a valid claim.

Some common examples of bad faith insurance practices include:

  • Denying your claim without stating a reason
  • Failing to investigate your claim within a reasonable time frame
  • Failing to respond to your calls or emails
  • Lying about your case to pressure you into taking a lowball settlement
  • Lying about the terms of your insurance contract
  • Creating artificial or unreasonable delays to avoid paying your claim
  • Requesting unreasonable amounts of information to avoid paying your settlement or to delay your settlement
  • Trying to pressure you into not consulting an attorney about your legal rights
  • Failing to tell you about the need for additional information to process your claim

If you suspect that you were a victim of bad faith insurance practices in St. Petersburg, call our law firm to discuss your case. We offer free case reviews, so there’s no risk in seeking legal advice.

What Do I Have To Prove To Recover Compensation Based on Bad Faith Insurance Practices in Florida?

Most civil lawsuits are based on negligence. However, in Florida, you must prove that the insurance company acted intentionally to recover compensation under the state’s bad faith insurance law. 

That said, you don’t have to prove that acting in bad faith is a part of the insurance company’s general business practice.

Our Experienced Insurance Lawyers in St. Petersburg Handle All Types of Bad Faith Cases

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers is a full-service law firm that’s equipped to handle any type of bad faith insurance claim here in St. Petersburg.

We often handle cases involving:

  • Car insurance
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
  • Flood insurance
  • Wind insurance
  • Hurricane insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Property damage coverage
  • Life insurance
  • Fire insurance
  • Business liability insurance
  • Commercial insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Medical malpractice insurance and other professional liability coverage
  • Workers’ compensation insurance

We can help whether you’re dealing with your own insurance company or someone else’s. For example, if you were hurt in a car accident, you may have a valid claim against the at-fault driver’s insurer. That third-party insurance company also has a duty to act in good faith when handling your claim.

Can the Insurance Company Ever Deny My Insurance Claim in St. Petersburg?

Yes. Insurance companies have every right to deny improper claims.

Your claim could be justly denied if:

  • The policy lapsed after you failed to pay your premiums
  • The risk wasn’t covered
  • The individual wasn’t covered under the policy
  • You failed to submit your claim within a reasonable amount of time
  • You failed to submit additional information reasonably requested by the insurance company
  • The insurance company had some justifiable reason to dispute liability 

There are many reasons why an insurance company might deny a claim. However, they are required to state why they did so. If they didn’t, it might be a good idea to call an experienced bad faith insurance attorney.

What Types of Damages Are Available to Victims of Bad Faith Insurance Practices in St. Petersburg?

Laws may prohibit insurance companies from acting in bad faith, but that doesn’t always stop them. That doesn’t mean you’re powerless. As the victim, you have the right to seek compensation.

If you were a victim, you may be entitled to recover compensation for:

  • The amount of your valid insurance claim
  • Additional damage caused by the delays, including property damage
  • Interest charges you incurred if you covered the costs through a loan or credit card
  • Attorney’s fees and court costs
  • Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses
  • Non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, inconvenience, stress, frustration, etc.

The types of damages you recover will ultimately depend on how the bad faith dealings impacted your life.

How Much Time Do I Have To File a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit in Florida? 

Under Florida law, you have five years to pursue compensation based on bad faith insurance practices. The five-year statute of limitations starts to run on the date the violation occurred. After five years pass, you cannot sue for damages.

The law also requires you to give the insurance company 60 days’ notice before you can file a formal lawsuit. The notice tells the insurance company about what happened. They then have 60 days to fix the mistake. If they fail to do so, you can file your lawsuit. 

Contact a St. Petersburg Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer for a Free Case Review Today

Insurance is supposed to be there when you need help the most. When your claims are unfairly denied or delayed, our attorneys at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you get justice. Call today to learn more about how a St. Petersburg bad faith insurance lawyer can help.

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