Coverage/Bad Faith Litigation
Medina Seto Law Group understands that we buy insurance for peace of mind; to protect ourselves, our family, our businesses and our property in the event of an unfortunate occurrence or accident that results in illness or death to a person, or damage or destruction of property. When disaster strikes, we hope and expect the insurance policy that we paid for to make us whole. To add insult to injury, many times insurance companies delay paying a claim, pay only a portion of the claim, or deny a claim in its entirety – making a difficult situation even worse.
When an insurance company breaches the contract (insurance policy) by, for example, denying a legitimate claim or delaying paying on a legitimate claim, this gives rise to a bad faith claim against the insurance company. Insurance “bad faith” refers to a legal tort claim that an insured person or insured business has against an insurance company for its bad acts, including a breach of the insurance company’s duties under the insurance policy. In a first party claim (i.e., a claim made by an insured), such breach can include, for example, refusing to pay a claim without a reasonable basis, failing to defend or indemnify the insured in a lawsuit, or settle a third party claim without reasonable basis. Because of the special duties that an insurance company owes to its insured, when an insurance carrier commits bad faith, it can be liable for punitive damages that ordinarily are not available in breach of contract actions.
Insurance policies are notoriously difficult to understand and interpreting provisions therein usually require vast knowledge of statutory authority and state and federal case law. Medina Seto Law Group has years of experience in a range of insurance breach of contract and insurance bad faith matters. In addition to our litigation and trial experience, we have vast experience in a range of insurance coverage matters, such as analyzing insurance coverage and insurance claims under general liability, professional liability, multi-peril business, homeowners, auto insurance, commercial liability, builders and customized insurance policies. We utilize to our clients’ advantage our expertise and invaluable prior experience in the insurance defense industry when representing our clients in claims, in examinations under oath and in litigation.