What can I recover in a case of insurance bad faith?
Under Arizona law, you are entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are basically the benefits you are entitled to receive under the insurance policy or contract. Non-economic damages include items such as emotional and financial distress, and when they are actually suffered and can be proven, you can recover a monetary amount to compensate for those damages.
Also, punitive damages may be awarded in some instances. Punitive damages are awarded by the jury to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct and to set an example to other would-be wrongdoers. Punitive damages are generally available when deliberate, bad motives can be proven on the part of the insurance company.
Finally, attorney’s fees may sometimes be recovered from the other party, such as when the case is based on contract, or if the other party was found to be in bad faith. Court costs may also be awarded to the successful party.
Who can I sue?
An insurance bad faith claim can be pursued against your own insurance company, but not against the insurance company of another party. This is because the bad faith claim is based on the contractual relationship between you and your insurance company, and no such relationship exists between you and the insurance company of another party. If another party is liable to you but their insurance company is being unreasonable, it may require extensive negotiations or a lawsuit to obtain your recovery, but it will not involve a claim of insurance bad faith per se.
In addition to handling claims of insurance bad faith, our lawyers also represent plaintiffs in negligence cases involving serious or catastrophic personal injury, and can help you obtain a recovery against recalcitrant negligent defendants or their insurance companies.
Can I sue if my insurer denies my claim or cancels my policy?
You need to have an Phoenix insurance lawyer examine the specific facts of your case. Not every unfavorable action by an insurance company is illegal. The terms of the policy may be very specific as to what is covered and what is excluded. Also, insurance companies may sometimes cancel or rescind a policy if the application was not filled out truthfully or correctly. When dealing with claim denial or policy rescission, the motives of the insurance company as well as the correctness of its actions must be carefully examined.