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Insurance Disputes

We are experienced attorneys serving insurance dispute victims in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado and we produce the results to back it up.

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Insurance Dispute

$900k +

Our clients’ home burned down in the High Park fire. After the fire, the insurance company tried to cancel our clients’ homeowner’s insurance policy. We stepped in and helped our clients recover over $900,000.00.

About Us We are a collaborative team with the ability to deliver for you.

All of our lead attorneys have extensive litigation experience against insurance companies. Our attorneys have secured multi million-dollar judgments and settlements. Many of our attorneys previously worked defending insurance companies. Now we use their experience and insight to advocate for our clients against those same insurance companies.

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FAQs

We know how confusing it can be after an accident. Who will pay for your medical treatment? Should you talk with the insurance company? Here’s some common questions and answers as a starting point.

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  • If you do not hire an attorney after an accident, then you will likely be contacted by the insurance company for the at-fault party. Most of the time the insurance adjusters are friendly. They will ask you to tell them about the accident and ask you to sign a release so that they can access your medical records to evaluate the claim. Although the insurance adjuster will encourage you to sign a medical records release, you should not sign one. If you signed a medical records release before speaking to an attorney, be sure to inform them so they can promptly revoke the release.

    There are many reasons that we do not have clients sign medical releases for the at-fault insurance company. Signing a release potentially reveals your entire medical history to the insurance company and violates your privacy. It also allows the insurance company to use unrelated medical conditions as an excuse to undervalue your claim. It may also give them access to your health insurance information, which is irrelevant to your claim and will only result in a lower settlement amount.

    If an insurance company is asking you to sign a release, you should talk to an HSD attorney immediately. Once you hire HSD Law the insurance company will stop calling you, and it is required to talk to your attorney instead. An attorney at HSD Law will determine which medical records the insurance company receives. This preserves your privacy and avoids giving the insurance company information to use against you.

  • Trials are sometimes necessary to get a fair recovery, but they are rare. You always have the choice of whether or not to go to trial. We see our role as providing you with the best possible information so you can make an informed choice.

    We prepare every case for the possibility that it could end in a trial. Most of the time, we prove our clients’ claims to the insurance companies or at-fault parties with the evidence gathered during our investigation. We then negotiate to determine if a fair settlement can be reached. We’ll advise you whether, based on our extensive experience, a settlement offer is fair or not. We’ll explain the pros and cons of pushing forward with filing a lawsuit. We’ll answer your questions and recommend a course of action.

    It’s important to note the difference between litigation and trial. Litigation is a word we use to mean anything after the filing of a lawsuit. We usually try to settle your case without even filing a lawsuit. Most cases are settled without filing a lawsuit. But sometimes it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. The defendant might be denying fault. The insurance company might not believe that you are hurt as badly as you are. Filing a lawsuit provides the opportunity to make witnesses answer questions under oath and provide documents and other evidence. We may need to get a court to order someone to provide information they are refusing to provide. All of these steps and much more are considered litigation, but they are not a trial. After these information gathering steps, we will again try to negotiate a settlement in your case, often in a mediation. Even most lawsuits are settled without a trial.

  • Clients sometimes do not want to submit a claim on their Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage because their think it will result in an increase in their own insurance costs. This should not be a concern. The Colorado Division of Insurance forbids insurance companies from penalizing injured people who collect money under an UM / UIM policy. If you have been injured and the at-fault party has no insurance, or very little insurance, then you should submit a claim under your UM / UIM policy. Your insurance company cannot raise your rates or refuse to renew your insurance policy because of that claim.

Overview Here’s everything you need to know.

As an insured, you have a contractual agreement with your insurance company.  Insurance policies are contracts between the insurance carrier and you, as the insured.  The insurance companies are obligated to provide you with certain coverage based on the terms of the insurance policy.  When the insurance company fails to meet its obligations under the insurance policy, you may have a claim against your insurance company and may be entitled to money damages.

How disputes arise

Insurance dispute claims are also known as insurance bad faith claims.  Bad faith claims can arise in a variety of instances depending on the type of insurance policy you have.  Below are examples of bad faith claims the attorneys at HSD Law can handle for you:

  • Homeowner’s insurance policy disputes
  • Automobile insurance policy disputes
  • Commercial General Liability insurance policy disputes
  • Renter’s insurance policy disputes

What are the insurance company’s duties under the insurance policies and current law?

The insurance company’s duties to you are defined by the insurance policy language, and each insurance policy contains different policy language.    Your insurance company owes you a duty of good faith in adjusting your claim.  Colorado law provides that your insurance company may have breached this duty if the following occurs:

  • Misrepresenting pertinent facts to insurance policy provisions relating to coverage issues
  • Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies
  • Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies
  • Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under insurance policy by offering substantially less than amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by such insureds.
  • Failing to properly settle claims where liability has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the policy, in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy
  • Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer and compromise settlement

When Can Bad Faith Claims Arise

  • Refusal to provide coverage for your claim
  • Refusal to defend you in a lawsuit against you for a claim covered by your policy
  • Failure to settle a claim against you within the limits of your insurance policy
  • Failure to promptly investigate your claim
  • Unreasonable delay of payment to you under your policy
  • Unreasonable denial of your claim under your policy

What do these scenarios look like in real life?  Here are some examples:

  • You are injured in an accident and you submit a claim for recovery under your uninsured, underinsured auto policy.  Your medical bills for related treatment are $50,000 and your insurance company only offers to pay $10,000
  • You ask your insurance company to provide you an evaluation for your claim as a basis as to why it would only pay $10,000 of your $50,000 in medical bills and your insurance company refuses to do sue.
  • Someone sues you for an injury they sustained as a result of a car accident caused by you.  The injured party offers to settle her claim for $50,000 and your policy limits are $100,000
  • You incur hail damage to your home.  You submit the claim to your homeowner’s insurance policy.  Your insurance carrier refuses to make payments under the policy, under values the claim, or delays payments for months or years

What if your insurance company blames you for its delay or denial of a claim?  Here are some tips as to how to work with your insurance company to preserve your bad faith claim:

  • Cooperate with your insurance company.  Almost every insurance policy in Colorado includes a duty for you to cooperate with your insurance company.  Your cooperation is not required without limitation.  You should seek legal advice to determine the extent of your duty to cooperate.
  • Do not delay in reporting a potential claim to your insurance company.  If you delay reporting a claim to your insurance company, the company can claim that it was prejudiced by not knowing of the claim near the time that it occurred.
  • If the claim arises from your negligence, do not make statements that can be used against you, and do not attempt to resolve the claim on your own.
  • If your claim is for property damage to your own property, allow the insurance company the ability to inspect the damaged property prior to repair

Insurance disputes are complex.  Bad faith claims are difficult to pursue because the insurance company does not like to admit it is wrong and will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to prove otherwise.  Contact the experienced attorneys at HSD Law to evaluate your bad faith claim.  Our attorneys have recovered millions against insurance companies for the bad faith.

970.294.3429