Although they may seem similar, these ‘Bad Faith’ insurance attorneys and ‘Malpractice’ insurance attorneys are not quite the same thing.
You pay an insurance company to provide coverage so that you are insured in the situation that a qualifying event takes place and you suffer a covered loss.
Unfortunately, because those insurance companies are in business to make a profit, it is to their advantage to decline to cover your losses if there is a legitimate reason to do so. Logically, the less they pay out in claims, the more money they make for their company.
Legitimate and honorable insurance companies do this by charging enough for their premiums to cover the claims they need to pay out, and still making enough money to stay in business by spreading out the losses across all the clients they insure.
However, some less reputable insurance companies might underbid their competitors for insurance premiums (making their policies seem more attractive because they offer the same coverage for less money), but then attempt to decline to cover losses which they should cover.
That’s an insurance company acting in ‘bad faith.’
They pretended to be willing to cover certain losses, but declined to cover those losses so they would make more money for themselves.
In general, insurance companies have the responsibility to provide the following to their clients:
- Respond to client inquiries and correspondence in a timely manner
- Conduct timely and reasonable investigations into claims
- Approve, deny, and pay claims within a reasonable or state-specific timeframe
- Provide an explanation for claim denials, citing specific policy provisions applicable to the denial
- Defend the insured in a liability action where at least one of the claims is potentially covered by the insurance policy
- Pay for damages in a liability action up to the policy limits
If they fail to do so – if your insurance company fails to act reasonably in processing, investigating or paying your claim, you may have the right to file a lawsuit
In Texas, all insurance contracts have an implied covenant of good faith. This means that, even though it’s not expressly stated in your policy, your insurance company is required to treat you (the “insured”) honestly and fairly.
If your insurance company breaches this implied covenant, you can sue the company for the tort of bad faith. A good bad faith insurance company takes cases on a contingency basis. And in Texas and Louisiana the insurance company is responsible for the attorney fees if the insurance company is acting in bad faith!
Malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance intended to cover healthcare professionals.
Patients can file lawsuits against healthcare professionals seeking damages for medical negligence that resulted in further health problems or death.
Medical malpractice cases might include such things as:
- surgical errors
- medical misdiagnosis
- mistakes with anesthesia
- avoidable and unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed condition
- failure to obtain informed consent
Malpractice is based upon the idea of negligence.
That means the person suing the healthcare professional needs to show the duty of the doctor to the patient – that they had a doctor-patient relationship.
They also need to show that the medical professional violated the applicable standard of care.
Then they need to show that the injury was caused by the breach of the standard of care.
Which leads to the final point – they must prove they have sustained actual injuries as a result of the doctor’s deviation from the standard of care.
If you believe you have been injured by either ‘bad faith’ from your insurance provider or by malpractice from a healthcare provider, talk to us – we are highly experienced in both of these areas of law. You can reach us by calling or texting 361-980-6150 or contact us through our website here at CarriganAnderson.com.
We’re here to help people like you in difficult situations like these.