Worker’s compensation insurance is there to provide crucial protections for employees that suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses. In Arizona, employers must provide worker’s compensation insurance to their employees that cover their medical expenses, loss of income, and other costs they might incur due to an on-the-job illness or injury.
Sadly, insurance companies have been known to deny legitimate claims, drag their feet when it comes time to make payments, and engage in other unfair practices against employees. This is known as acting in bad faith. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you are entitled to file a bad faith claim against your employer’s insurance company.
Filing Bad Faith Claims
A bad faith insurance claim could be brought by an injured or ill worker against their employer’s insurance company if that company failed to provide the benefits required by Arizona law. These bad faith claims may be common law or statutory law.
Common Law Bad Faith Claims
An injured worker has to prove the insurance company intentionally behaved in bad faith when they failed to provide required benefits, acted unreasonably, or engaged in an incongruent manner with the insured party’s valid expectations.
Common law bad faith claims may be challenging to prove since the burden of proof is on the injured party. They must prove that the insurance company behaved in bad faith.
Statutory Bad Faith Claims
A statutory bad faith claim differs from a common law bad faith claim because Arizona’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (UCSPA) has detailed rules and regulations that must be followed by insurance companies handling worker’s compensation claims. An insurance company’s violation of these rules means that their behavior has made them the subject of a statutory bad faith claim.
The UCSPA requires insurance companies to review claims to evaluate them fairly, promptly, and equitably and provide a settlement for claims covered by the policy. The UCSPA also requires insurance companies to provide a written explanation of their denial or settlement offer. Any rules violations and the company is considered to be liable for a bad faith insurance act.
Damage for a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
Injured employees who are successful when bringing a bad faith claim against the insurance company may also find that they are entitled to compensation exceeding what is available under worker’s compensation law. Punitive damages could be included, as well as attorney fees and other expenses that accrued because of bringing the bad faith claim.
Bad Faith Claims are Challenging
Often, bad faith insurance claims are challenging and complicated to navigate. It is crucial that injured employees seek legal counsel from a very experienced worker’s compensation attorney to walk them through the process.
If you are facing an insurance company that acted in bad faith, it is in your best interest to contact a bad faith insurance attorney who understands the laws surrounding injured and sick workers who had been injured or fell ill due to the job. They can understand what type of bad faith claim your case falls under and help you navigate the complicated legal process.
Reach out to a lawyer with experience in bad faith insurance claims today with Surrano Law Offices so that you may understand your options. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will guide you through the bad faith claim process.