Over 45 Years of Collective Experience Representing Policyholders in Pursuing Claims– Dedicated Cook County Insurance Claims Lawyers
Our Chicago State Farm auto insurance attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC have over four decades of collective experience representing auto accident victims who are struggled to get their insurance company to defend against a third party liability claim or provide benefits under their uninsured motorist coverage. An auto insurance policy contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which essentially means your insurance company is obligated to give comparable consideration to both your interests and the insurance company’s interest.
Auto Insurance Refusal to Defend Against Lawsuits or to Indemnify
If you are facing a lawsuit by someone who is injured in an auto accident, the liability coverage in your State Farm auto insurance will impose an obligation on your insurance carrier to defend you against the lawsuit and indemnify you against a judgment or settlement up to policy limits. When your auto insurance carrier acts in bad faith and refuses to defend you against an auto accident lawsuit, it can expose you to enormous liability and put your valuable assets at risk. This type of refusal also can cause enormous emotional distress as you attempt to cover the cost of defending against a lawsuit to protect your own assets and income.
State Farm might also engage in other bad faith practices, such as failing to accept a reasonable settlement within policy limits. When negotiating with the at-fault party, who often will be the other driver, your insurance company’s financial interests might diverge from you own best interest. Because the insurance company has an inherent conflict of interest when offered a settlement that is close to, but within policy limits, the insurer generally has a fiduciary duty to you as the policyholder. As the insured your goal is to avoid a judgment or settlement which exceeds policy limits because this might result in you being forced to pay the difference out of pocket. Our law firm represents State Farm policyholders against their auto insurer when it engages in bad faith practices that include refusing reasonable settlements within policy limits, which exposes an insured’s personal assets. This bad faith auto insurance practice can expose you to loss of your assets and severely threaten your net worth.
Alternatively, State Farm might provide a defense or tender a defense subject to a reservation of rights. In either situation, the insurance company might contend that your claim is excluded or otherwise not fully covered by the policy. If your insurance carrier refuses to indemnify you for some or all of a judgment or settlement, our Chicago State Farm auto insurance claims lawyers can analyze your policy and the facts surrounding your accident to assess whether you are entitled to indemnification for losses that your insurer refuses to pay.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims
Policyholders also face potential conflicts with their State Farm auto insurance carrier when they file an uninsured motorist claim or an underinsured motorist claim. Uninsured motorist coverage is coverage provided by your auto insurance policy that protects you in case you are involved in a car accident with a driver who is uninsured or who flees the scene of an accident and cannot be identified. This is very important insurance coverage because a study published by the Insurance Research Council reports that fifteen percent of Illinois drivers are uninsured.
Underinsured motorist coverage is similar to uninsured motorist coverage except that it applies where a driver who is at-fault has some insurance, but the coverage is insufficient to fully compensate an auto accident victim. The minimum liability insurance coverage in Illinois is $25,000 per accident victim and $50,000 for all victims in a single accident. If you suffer catastrophic injuries like a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, loss of a limb or other serious debilitating injury $25,000 is woefully inadequate even to cover your medical expenses let alone other losses like lost wages, and pain and suffering. Frequently, more than two persons are seriously injured in a car accident, which means that some auto accident victims may not receive any compensation for their injuries if the “per occurrence” limits are exhausted. Underinsured motorist coverage may provide the supplemental compensation you need when you are struck by an underinsured at-fault driver.
Although some people buy into the slogan that they are “In Good Hands” with State Farm, insurance companies maximize their profits by denying, underpaying, and lowballing claims. Insurance carriers are regulated and have an obligation to treat an insured fairly because of the inherent conflict of interest between providing the maximum in benefits to policyholders and increasing the insurer’s own bottom line. When insurance companies engage in certain practices, they can be liable for insurance bad faith. Our Chicago State Farm auto insurance claims attorneys represent individuals who are struggling to recover the full value of their claim.
Types of Auto Insurance Bad Faith Conduct
If State Farm fails to fulfill its contractual obligations, our experienced auto insurance claims lawyers provide extensive investigation, tenacious negotiation, and effective litigation in pursuing a just outcome. There is a wide range of actions by your auto insurance company that may constitute bad faith, such as:
- Inadequate investigation of your claim
- Refusal to settle a personal injury lawsuit within policy limits
- Unreasonable delay in paying your claim
- Providing negligent defense
- Refusing to defend you against an auto accident lawsuit
- Unjustified denial of your claim
Make Stein & Shulman, LLC Your State Farm Auto Insurance Claims Lawyers
Our law firm can provide the perfect balance of experience, expertise, empathy, diligence, and tenacity to help you obtain the best possible outcome for you and your family. Our lawyers have over 45 years of combined experience during which we have recovered over $40 million for our clients. If you are not being treated fairly by your insurance company, contact us today at (312) 422-0500 or email us to schedule your no obligation free consultation.
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