Orange County Insurance “Bad-Faith” Attorney
Irvine/Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside
There is only one reason you buy insurance. You want the assurance that if an accident happens, you have the backing of the insurance company. You want to be sure that when something goes wrong (a car accident, a fire, flood, disability, death or a lawsuit) your insurance company steps in and protects you against the harm. But what happens when your insurance company refuses to do the right thing?
Insurance ‘Bad faith’ occurs when an insurance company, who has been collecting your premium month after month, does not provide you with benefits under the policy.
The insurance company acts in bad faith, if they commit any of the following acts:
1. Refusal to settle liability claims: When an insurance company refuses to settle a claim against you, within policy limits, that can constitute insurance bad faith. By refusing to settle such a claim, you may be exposed to the risk of a judgment more than the policy limit against you. It is California law that an insurance company must give your interests as much value as their own interests.
2. Refusal to pay policy benefits; When an insurance company refuses to pay you benefits under the policy, this may constitute insurance bad faith. Insurance “bad faith” happens when you are denied insurance benefits. This happens when you are in a car accident, your home is damaged in a fire or you become (temporarily or permanently) disabled, etc.
There are two types of claims under an insurance policy:
First Party Claims: When a policyholder makes a claim against their insurance company for a damage they suffered, that claim is considered as a first-party claim. If the insurance company refuses to pay for the claim, without proper cause, or if the insurance company unreasonably delays payment, the policyholder may have a first-party insurance bad faith claim.
Third Party Cases: This typically happens a person sues their own insurance company because the insurance company refused to settle a claim with a third party.
Damages: If you prevail in an insurance bad faith case, in addition to the policy benefits that you were denied you may be entitled to your attorney’s fees (Brandt fees) as well as punitive damages.
Mazarei Law Group lawyers handle insurance bad faith cases in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside, California. Having previously represented insurance companies in insurance bad faith cases, Mazarei Law Group lawyers have a unique insight into insurance company’s philosophy and mannerism handling insurance claims. This insight and experience can be a valuable tool in handling and resolving your insurance (bad faith) claim. We provide a free initial consultation. If you believe that your insurance company has not paid benefits that you are entitled to, then feel free to contact Mazarei Law Group to discuss your case and your representation.
According to the Orange County Disability Insurance Attorney, Tawny Mazarei, California State Disability Insurance (CASDI or SDI) is a statutory (state-audited and state-regulated) state disability program of California, and it is mainly for short-term disability income replacement. CASDI has been in effect since 1946. The contributions to the State Fund usually by SDI tax paid by employees and some of the employees are what added up to be the costs of the program. The contributions by the employees are deducted from the state fund as state taxes.
Once a doctor certifies that it is not possible for you to do your job, then you are disabled, according to California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). Some of what counts as disability include pregnancy (four weeks before and after childbirth and six weeks after for a C-section) and elective and cosmetic surgeries.
If you are an employer with about five or more employees working for you, you are entitled to provide reasonable accommodations for your employees that have disabilities. This becomes compulsory for you once you know that any of your employees have a disability; either you are told directly by the employee or one of your employees, or you observe the disability from any of your employees.
Now that you know, you need to engage in an informal discussion or you enter the “interactive process” stage with the employee to understand the type of accommodation he/she needs. This accommodation must allow the employee to perform the tasks he was hired for in your company. Also, the employer must ask for medical documentation from the employee for full details about the disability. Once the employer knows all these, he/she must take the privacy of the employee serious by not leaking out his/her secrets.
Whether the employer can provide a reasonable accommodation or not, it is likely to create an unwarranted hardship on the employer, and it requires an individualized analysis. This analysis is dependent on factors like the disability of the employer, the cost of the accommodation, and the ability of the employer to pay for it. The only way you can do this perfectly is with the help of an Orange County Disability Insurance Attorney. Contact us today!