Can I sue my insurance company?

Yes, but only for certain things. One of these is breach of specific duties that the insurance company owes you. Those duties are very different if you bought the insurance policy (a “first-party claim”) or if you did not buy the insurance policy (a “third-party claim”).

If an insurance company denies your claim wrongfully, this can be a breach of the insurance company’s duty under the insurance policy. You can sometimes sue the insurance company to get the money that is owed to you for your claim plus your attorney’s fees. Please call Lewis Coppedge, P.C. to talk about your specific situation because there are many important details to these cases.

Can I sue if the Insurance Company isn’t treating me fairly?

That depends. You usually can’t sue someone else’s insurance company (a “third-party claim”) for treating you badly. If the other driver’s insurance company will not offer you a fair value to settle your car accident case, you can’t sue that insurance company directly for that, but you can sue the other driver and force his/her insurance company to pay your damages. Sadly, most insurance companies will not offer you a fair settlement for your accident injuries. They know you don’t want the hassle of a lawsuit related to the wreck so they will stall and run you around and hope you will give up and finally take whatever they offer you. Insurance adjusters take advantage of naive, innocent, and inexperienced car crash victims. The insurance companies offer less than your medical expenses for your total settlement on your car accident, and no money at all for your very real pain, suffering, and mental anguish damages (which Texas law specifically allows). And they will completely ignore all your painful and expensive long term health problems caused by your car wreck. If they can avoid it they won’t pay you for your out-of-pocket expenses, or the decrease in value of your car (which is now worth less because of the crash). Or your pay while you missed work. Or the cost of a rental car while your car was being repaired. Or storing your wrecked car until they could look at it.  

You don’t have to let the insurance company jerk you around. You can fight back. You can take them to Court where a Judge or Jury will decide the fair value for all your damages for your car accident.

The other driver’s insurance company will fight you about the costs of repairs to your car from the car accident. They will argue the cost of a rental car and storage of your car. They will dispute the value of a totaled car. You can expect to fight about the cost and amount of your medical care for your injuries. Your own insurance company may even do the same. It is different with your own insurance. They have a legal duty to act in good faith and treat you fairly. If they don’t, you can sue your own insurance company. Please call Lewis Coppedge, P.C. to talk about the details of your claim. Let us see if we can help.

Are there any specific laws to keep Insurance Companies in line?

Yes, but they are very limited. Insurance companies must treat their own policyholders fairly and in good faith. Chapter 541 of the Texas Insurance Code prevents unfair competition. They prevent sneaky acts and deceptive business practices. They also prevent certain unfair settlement practices. Chapter 542 gives deadlines and other rules for how insurance companies must handle their policyholders’ claims. Payments for breaking these rules can cover money for losses caused and interest. They can also cover attorneys’ fees and court costs. Under the right circumstances, you can sue for up to three times the amount if your own insurance company “knowingly” treated you badly.

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Lewis Coppedge, P.C.
Amarillo Attorney
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