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Can I Sue My Own Auto Insurance Company in Texas?- Auto Insurance Legal Advise

Home » Blog » Can I Sue My Own Auto Insurance Company in Texas?- Auto Insurance Legal Advise

Regarding insurance claims, navigating the legal landscape can be complex and confusing. If you need to take legal action against your auto insurance company after a car accident, you may wonder,

Can I sue my own car insurance company?” 

This article aims to comprehensively outline your rights and the factors involved in such a scenario.

Can I sue my own auto insurance company in Texas?

The Policyholder-Insurer Relationship

When you buy car insurance, you have an agreement with your insurance company. They promise to cover certain events or damages, but problems can happen if they deny your claim or don’t fulfill their promises.

Reasons You Might Sue Your Own Car Insurance Company

While each case is unique and subject to specific circumstances, there are certain situations in which you may have grounds to sue your own insurance company. Let’s explore some of these scenarios:

1. Coverage Denial or Delay

If your claim is denied without a good reason or if they take too long to process it.

2. Breach of Contract

If the insurance company doesn’t do what they agreed to in your policy.

3. Bad Faith Practices

If the insurance company acts dishonestly, intentionally undervalues your claim, or unfairly denies coverage.

Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate these bad-faith practices and seek the compensation you deserve.

If you believe you have valid reasons to sue your own car insurance provider or company, it is crucial to take the following steps to protect your rights and increase your chances of success:

Review Your Insurance Policy

Thoroughly examine your insurance policy to understand the terms and conditions, coverage limits, and any exclusions that may apply to your situation. This knowledge will help you assess whether the insurance company has breached the contract.

on-line review of auto insurance coverage

Document Everything

Maintain a detailed record of all communication with your insurance company. A written record includes correspondence, emails, phone conversations, and claim-related documents. These records will serve as evidence in your case and help establish a pattern of misconduct, if applicable.

Consult with an experienced auto insurance policy litigation attorney who specializes in insurance disputes and auto accidents. An auto insurance lawyer in Houston can evaluate the merits of your case, guide you through the process, and represent your interests in negotiations or court proceedings.

Exhaust Negotiation Remedies

You may want to exhaust all internal remedies, such as negotiating, providing reasonably requested information, and cooperating with the adjuster. Failure to comply with these requirements could weaken your case.

If negotiations fail to settle the dispute or the insurance company continues to act in bad faith, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit against your insurance company. Your attorney will guide you through the legal procedures and advocate for your rights throughout the litigation process. People wonder, “Can you sue your own insurance company for pain and suffering? It depends on the coverage you have and the type of benefits you may be entitled to under your policy.

To win a lawsuit for personal injury damages in Texas, you must prove fault as Texas is a comparative fault state.

Coverage to Look for After a Car Crash

Some of the coverage you may benefit from after a car wreck includes:

Underinsured Motorist Coverage / Uninsured Motorist Coverage

UM / UIM coverage protects you if you are in an accident where the other driver is at fault and either has no insurance or the minimum insurance, and you are seriously hurt. This is the main type of coverage where a lawsuit may be necessary.

Insurance companies routinely value human damages like pain and suffering for as little as possible.

Personal Injury Protection

PIP coverage reimburses you for medical bills and expenses incurred because of the wreck. Also, PIP can collect lost wages for work missed due to the accident. PIP pays up to the limits of the PIP coverage.

Medical Pay

Med Pay is similar to PIP except that it does not cover lost wages. With Med Pay, if you collect from the other driver’s insurance company for personal injury, you might have to reimburse your insurance company for the bills paid.

Here is an article by the Texas Department of Insurance regarding auto policies.

Here is an article by the Texas Department of Insurance regarding auto policies.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Texas

If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and in an accident with an at-fault driver who has no insurance or who had a minimum policy and you have serious injuries, the odds of you needing to sue your auto insurance company go up quickly. Many people in Texas get auto coverage but let it lapse for one reason or another.

Especially if you do not have a personal injury lawyer, adjusters routinely take the lowball approach and challenge you to sue the company for fair compensation for personal injury damages.

In Texas, the state is very “pro-insurance” and anti-consumer, which is reflected in the remedies available against your insurance company.

A Few Examples of Bad Faith Acts

  • Unreasonable delays 
  • Failing to acknowledge receipt of your claim.
  • Failing to conduct a speedy and thorough investigation of your claim.
  • Not offering a settlement when liability is clear.
  • Lowball Insurance offers for your damages.
  • Repeatedly asking for unneeded documentation.

Negotiation with Your Adjuster on Your Claim

Here are a few articles on negotiation that you may find helpful:

How to File a Lawsuit Against an Insurance Company

Always get an attorney if you file a lawsuit against an insurance company. The rules of the court in Harris County, TX, and the procedures to follow with lawsuits are complex and require an attorney. Get a lawyer and let them file your lawsuit.

How to Find the Best Attorney for Your Auto Insurance Case

When dealing with an auto insurance claim, finding a reputable lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Insurance claims can be complex and often involve intricate legal processes, so having an experienced lawyer by your side can help you navigate the complexities and increase your chances of success.

Research Good Attorneys

To find a reputable lawyer for your insurance claim, conducting thorough research and considering several key factors is essential. Start by seeking recommendations from trusted sources, such as friends, family, or colleagues, who may have had positive experiences with insurance lawyers. Personal referrals can provide valuable insights into a lawyer’s competence, professionalism, and overall satisfaction.

Another reliable approach is to consult legal directories or bar association websites. These resources typically provide comprehensive listings of lawyers near you, their areas of expertise, and client reviews. Focusing on lawyers who specialize in insurance law or have significant experience handling insurance claims is essential. This specialization ensures they possess the knowledge and expertise to navigate the intricacies of insurance-related legal matters effectively.

Schedule a Consultation

Once you’ve identified potential lawyers, schedule initial consultations to gauge their interest and fit with working on your case.

Finally, consider the lawyer’s fee structure and whether it aligns with your budget and expectations. Reputable lawyers will be transparent about their fees and billing practices. Some lawyers may work on a contingency fee basis, where they only get paid if they win your case, while others may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee. Discussing the fee arrangement upfront will avoid any surprises or misunderstandings down the line.

What Damages Can a Victim Receive for a Car Accident Lawsuit?

In a car accident lawsuit, victims can receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Unlike some states, Texas does not impose a cap on the compensation that can be awarded for these damages in a car accident claim, unless it involves a government entity.

However, in many instances, the amount you can recover from your auto insurance company will be limited to the maximum coverage provided in your policy.

Economic Losses

Economic damages refer to the financial losses incurred by the victim as a result of the car accident and their injuries. This includes expenses such as damage to the vehicle and personal property, medical treatments and care (including surgeries, emergency room visits, medication, therapy, etc.), lost income and benefits (including potential decreases in earning capacity, financial compensation due to permanent impairments), and any other financial burdens caused by the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are meant to address the pain and suffering experienced by the victim after the car accident. These damages encompass both physical and emotional aspects of car accident victims, such as mental anguish, physical pain, emotional distress, scarring, permanent disabilities or impairments (such as amputations, paralysis, brain damage), disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and even psychological injuries like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The amount awarded for damages in a car accident lawsuit can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injuries and other factors. In some cases, the jury may deem it necessary to award a substantial amount of compensation to adequately address the damages suffered by the victim.

In addition to economic and non-economic damages, Texas also allows the possibility of punitive damages in car accident cases. These damages serve to punish the defendant for acts of gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing. A situation where personal injury lawyers seek exemplary damages would be if a drunk driver hit you.

However, it’s important to note that punitive damages are generally capped in personal injury cases in Texas, which means the liability of the defendant may be limited in this regard. Furthermore, it’s relatively rare for punitive damages to be awarded in car accident lawsuits, with an example being cases involving drunk driving accidents.

Punitive damages in Texas will likely not be covered under an insurance policy. There are some exceptions. Consulting a skilled personal injury lawyer is recommended.

Working with an Experienced Insurance Claims Lawyer Improves Your Chances of Success

While it is possible to sue your own insurance company under specific circumstances, it is essential to understand your rights, review your policy, and seek legal advice before acting. Understanding the nuances of liability insurance can be crucial in these disputes. Remember, each case is unique, and the outcome will depend on the specific facts and applicable laws.

By being well-informed and working with a knowledgeable Houston auto accident attorney, you can navigate the complexities of insurance disputes and protect your interests.

Call a Car Accident Insurance Claims Lawyer at Baumgartner Law Firm

Our personal injury attorneys in Houston have represented folks in Houston against their own auto insurance companies for over 35 years. Contact us for a free consultation!

Baumgartner Law Firm

6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069

(281) 587-1111

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