San Diego Accident Lawyer
350 10th Avenue, Suite 1000
San Diego, California 92101
Everyone has heard the expression “accidents happen.” While this expression is indeed true, in the real world accidents usually happen because of someone’s negligence! When someone’s negligence leads to an injury to another person, or damage to another’s personal property, the injured person has the legal right to bring a lawsuit (“file a claim”) against the person whose negligence caused the injury. The field of law that deals with accidents and accidental injuries is known as the law of tort.
The law of tort is not a written law. Instead, tort is founded on the common law where previous decisions by a court are taken as precedents for later decisions by other courts hearing similar cases. Over the years, this body of common law has evolved until it now covers almost every conceivable situation.
While “accident” and “personal injury” often go hand in hand, it would be a mistake to think that accident lawyers deal with nothing except injuries.
Accident lawyers are trained in all aspects of damage claims resulting from damage to both “personal” and “real” property. According to their legal definitions:
- “Property” is anything that can be owned.
- “Personal” property is any property that can be moved.
- “Real” property is property that cannot be moved, and anything that is unmovable that is attached to real property.
Property Damage and Insurance Companies
An insurance policy is a legally binding contract in which your insurance company agrees to pay for damage to your personal and/or real property in exchange for a sum of money called your premiums. As a contract, it is enforceable in a court of law. The insurance company knows this and will try to find every reason it can to get out of paying your claim.
When you pay premiums to an insurance company, you expect that the company will pay any damage claim with the same promptness that your paid your premiums. If you have ever filed a property damage or property loss claim with an insurance company, you know that insurance companies are notoriously stingy.
Insurance companies must, however, walk a very fine line when it comes to paying a claim. If an insurance company appears to be deliberately moving too slow in investigating or processing a claim, it may find itself accused of acting in bad faith.
Insurance Carriers and Bad Faith
As mentioned in the previous section, insurance is a legal contract. While your insurance company has the right to investigate and confirm your claim before paying it, if the company makes unreasonable demands or postpones payment of a claim without providing you with reason, it may have moved into the realm of “bad faith” or “bad faith negotiation.”
If an insurance company is sued for bad faith it stands to lose much more than the value of the original claim. If it loses in a jury trial it can be ordered to pay the original claim, court costs, and punitive damages. In addition to its financial losses, it can also run afoul of the California Department of Insurance and face sanctions on the business it conducts in the state.
Why You Need a San Diego Accident Lawyer
Loss of personal and real property can be both emotionally and financially devastating. In many instances these losses happen at the sometime, such as when a house fire destroys furniture or other valuable possessions. If you were injured at the same time you experienced your property loss, the two taken together can seem almost unbearable.
During such periods of stress, the last thing you need is to be fighting with an insurance company that seems to care more about its bottom line than it does about you.
If you have suffered a property loss and feel that your claim is being unfairly delayed, contact the San Diego accident lawyer at the Doan Law Group by calling (760) 991-0000 to arrange a free review of the circumstances of your losses and to explore possible courses of action.
At the Doan Law Group, your initial consultation with our San Diego accident attorney is always free of charge and in no way obligates you to our firm. Should you decide that we should manage your accident claim, we never ask you pay any of the fees and costs necessary for us to win your case. We will assume all financial responsibility for prosecuting your case in return for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we will win for you.
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