Who Represents the Insurance Company During a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit?
Insurance companies are obligated to handle claims in good faith, meaning with due care toward the interests of the claimant and in an honest attempt to resolve the claim. Unfortunately, it is common to encounter problems with an insurance claim, such as an insurance company avoiding a payout with deny and delay tactics. If you wish to stand up for your rights with a bad faith lawsuit in Arizona, find out who you will be going up against.
What Is a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit?
A bad faith insurance lawsuit is a civil claim brought against an insurance company for violating its legal obligation to settle a claim fairly and reasonably according to the circumstances and the language of the policy. This is known as bad faith by the insurer. In Arizona, the victim of an insurance company that is acting in bad faith can file a lawsuit in pursuit of financial damages. If successful, a lawsuit can result in financial compensation awarded to the victim for his or her financial losses, inconvenience, emotional distress, lost wages and other losses connected to the insurance company’s bad faith.
How Do You File a Bad Faith Claim in Arizona?
Bringing a cause of action for insurance bad faith requires filling out and submitting the appropriate forms with the civil courthouse in your county. You may need an insurance claims attorney to help you with this process. Once your claim has been filed, a notice of the lawsuit and summons will be served upon the insurance company. The insurance company will have the chance to respond to your claim, either by accepting or rejecting liability for bad faith.
If the insurance company accepts your bad faith claim, it will offer a settlement. At this point, you or your lawyer can negotiate the value of the settlement for a fair amount based on your losses. If the insurance company denies liability for the bad faith claim or refuses to offer fair compensation for its wrongful acts, however, your case may have to go to trial in Arizona.
Who Are You Up Against in a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit?
When you file a lawsuit against an insurance company for bad faith, the insurer will typically hire a local law firm that has insurance litigators for legal representation. If you file a claim in Phoenix, for instance, an insurance company will search for insurance litigators in Maricopa County to take its case. Insurers rely on local lawyers for their knowledge and understanding of local laws, as well as their experience with local judges and precincts. Insurance litigators are lawyers who specialize in representing insurance companies during legal disputes.
The lawyer – or, more likely, a team of lawyers – who is representing an insurance company in a bad faith lawsuit is known as the defense. They represent the defendant, which is the party against which a civil claim has been brought. The defense’s goal is to defend the insurance company from the bad faith allegation. It will do this using an appropriate defense strategy based on the circumstances.
What Do You Have to Prove as a Plaintiff in a Bad Faith Action?
As the plaintiff, or filing party, in a bad faith lawsuit, the burden of proof is yours. This means it is your responsibility to prove based on a preponderance of the evidence (the “more likely than not” standard) that the insurance company is guilty of bad faith. Since the burden of proof is yours, this means the defendant does not have to prove that he or she did not commit bad faith. Instead, the defendant simply has to show that you don’t have enough evidence to meet the burden of proof.
The defense lawyer representing the insurance company in your case could use multiple defense strategies. One example is alleging that you missed your deadline to file a bad faith claim and therefore should not have the right to bring the lawsuit at all. The insurer’s attorney may also argue that you were in a breach of contract or that your policy has lapsed. The best way to be prepared for the opposing party’s defense is by hiring an experienced attorney to represent you as a plaintiff in an Arizona bad faith claim.