Get Answers to Your Legal Questions From a West Virginia Attorney
- Page 1
What is insurance bad faith?
You consistently paid your premiums on time and steadfastly abided by the terms and conditions of your policy. You thought you were a valued client, but now that you've submitted a claim for damages, things with your insurance company have changed.
Suddenly, the adjuster is throwing up roadblocks at every turn: refusing to conduct a proper investigation, dragging out your claim, and engaging in other shady tactics. Sound familiar? You may have grounds for an insurance bad faith lawsuit.
State and federal laws require insurance companies to act in good faith—and those that don't can find themselves at the center of an insurance bad faith legal action. Common examples of bad faith insurance practices include:
- Unreasonable and unnecessary claim delays
- Refusing to thoroughly and properly investigate a covered claim
- Stalling in the hopes that the policyholder will drop the claim
- Lying about—or deliberately misinterpreting—the insurance policy
- Offering less than the value of the claim
- Failing to disclose coverage
- Failing to notify the policyholder of an important deadline
- Withholding important forms or information
- Denying a valid claim without a reasonable basis
Proving an Insurance Bad Faith Claim
Think you have an actionable insurance bad faith claim? Here's what you'll need to prove:
- Your insurance claim was valid and complied with the terms of your policy contract
- The insurance company unreasonably withheld benefits
- You suffered physical harm, financial damages, or emotional distress because of the insurance company's unfair actions
If your case meets these standards, you may be entitled to compensation.
Let Us Handle Your Insurance Bad Faith Case
At the Nestor Law Firm, we've seen bad faith insurance practices up close and personal, including an instance where an insurer refused to pay to restore a couple's house after a fire and left them without a home or the funds to get back on their feet. We're committed to helping clients stand up and fight back against unfair treatment from their insurance company. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in West Virginia?
If someone you love was killed due to another person or company's negligence, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. These civil lawsuits allow plaintiffs to seek compensation for losses they sustained as a result of their loved one's untimely death, as well as for the damages the victim suffered prior to dying.
Examples of common damages awarded in West Virginia wrongful death cases include:
- Medical expenses related to the victim's final injury or illness
- Reasonable funeral and burial fees
- Property damage repair or replacement costs
- Compensation for the victim's lost wages and benefits
- Surviving family members' sorrow and mental anguish
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and support
However, not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in West Virginia. That's because state law restricts that right to just one person: the personal representative of the victim's estate. A personal representative is often named in the victim's will. If there isn't a will or an executor isn't specified, a surviving spouse or another family member can apply to be appointed to the role.
The executor represents the interests of the estate and surviving family members in the wrongful death case. If the lawsuit is successful, the victim's surviving spouse, children (including stepchildren and adopted children), parents, siblings, and other financially dependent relatives are entitled to a share of the settlement or monetary award.
Consult an Experienced Elkins, West Virginia Attorney About Your Wrongful Death Claim
Considering taking legal action after the negligence-related death of a loved one? If you're the executor of the victim's estate, attorney William “Ty” Nestor can review the details of your case and help you understand your legal rights and options for compensation.
Call the Nestor Law Office now to schedule an appointment for a free, initial case consultation. Don't wait—the state's statute of limitations laws restrict how long you have to file your case.
The police have asked me to talk to them about something or have asked me to answer some questions. What should I do? Do I have to speak with them?
The answer to this question is simple: No. Police officers and other members of investigative law enforcement have every right to ask you to speak with them about anything. It is your right not to talk or answer questions they may have for you.
The job of a law enforcement official is important and should not be discounted. Members of law enforcement should be respected because they have committed themselves to protecting you and the community. Still, if you are confronted by an officer and are uncomfortable speaking about any matter, regardless of whether you know anything or not, simply tell the officer that you are unwilling to speak with them without the assistance of an attorney. No one is above the law, and the Constitution of the United States commands that law enforcement officials cease questioning upon the request of legal counsel.
What is going to happen to me? Am I going to go to jail?
This questions is the one most often asked by clients who have been criminally accused. Obviously, the question is common because the answer to the question is the very reason clients chose to retain an attorney. However, the Rules of Professional Conduct applicable to lawyers prevent this office from answering this question in certain terms. First, if you are not yet a client, but merely exploring this option, William T. Nestor, PLLC will not provide you with any information on this topic whatsoever. However, if you choose our office we will work extremely hard to make sure that incarceration is avoided by all means permissible and expected under the laws of the State of West Virginia and the United States, if possible.
I had been indicted by the State of West Virginia. What does that mean and what should I expect?
You have been indicted for a crime, not convicted of crime. In that capacity, and during a meeting of the grand jury, approximately twelve of sixteen people felt there was probable cause to believe a crime was committed and that you were somehow involved with it.
Although at least twelve members of the grand jury felt that probable cause existed, probable cause warrants only further investigation of this matter by virtue of initiating a formal criminal prosecution. The fact that you have been indicted for a crime has no bearing on whether you will ultimately be convicted for that crime. Instead, the indictment has merely compelled you to answer for your implication in a certain matter of public concern. In order to be convicted of the crime for which you have been indicted, a twelve person jury must be unanimously convinced that you are guilty of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Unlike the proceeding that caused you to be indicted, you will have an opportunity to cross examine the witnesses, as well as exclude certain testimony and evidence that was considered by the grand jury in their decision to indict you.
It is important to note that a grand jury is exposed to a great deal of testimony and evidence that would not otherwise be allowed during the trial of the case. During grand jury proceedings there are virtually no safeguards or procedures in place to ensure that the testimony and evidence presented is accurate, or that it came from honest people. In short, the jury in the criminal trial will hear both sides of a story, instead of just one.
How long will it take me to settle my personal injury case?
The time this takes depends on the nature of your injuries and how long it takes for you to recover. We want to make sure that you are taken care of and the treatment for your injuries will be determined by you and your physician. Once you have recovered from your injuries and have been released by your physician, your claim will be promptly submitted for proposed resolution.
The doctors and hospital are calling me for unpaid medical bills, can you help?
We routinely work with the doctors and healthcare providers to keep them from sending our clients to collections for unpaid bills. Often, we can keep them from sending bills to collections if we agree in writing that we will pay them first once you get paid on a settlement or judgement. When there is not enough insurance coverage to pay all of the bills, we can usually get healthcare providers to reduce their bills low enough so that our clients still receive compensation.
How do I get my personal injury medical bills paid?
In West Virginia, auto insurance policies may contain MedPay (this is optional in West Virginia and is not included in “Full Coverage”). This coverage will pay for your medical bills and lost wages up to the policy limits, which are determined by your specific medical treatment and they are typically reimbursed from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. If your injuries and the cost of care exceed the Med Pay policy limits, then you may be able to use private health insurance to cover unpaid medical bills.
How soon after personal injury accident should I call you?
Call us immediately. Don’t give the other person’s insurance company a statement until you’ve consulted with your lawyer. We make a point of returning all calls and e-mails promptly. If you have suffered a personal injury, you need to know right away what insurance coverage is in place to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. You should also know that the insurance companies have attorneys working as claims adjusters. Those claims adjusters have one job – to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. If you select us as your attorney we will handle the claims adjusters and protect your rights.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
All cases are different and the value of your case is dependent on the specific factors of the accident or incident. Each claim is unique and the value is determined by a number of variables including, but not limited to, how much medical treatment is necessary, how much lost wages or lost earning potential is determined, how much projected future medical treatment is necessary, and how much pain and suffering was caused by this accident or incident. We can only give you an estimate of how much we believe your case is worth after fully reviewing all medical records, employment records and the individual facts of your specific situation.