Dallas - Fort Worth Insurance Lawyer
Since its beginning, the Mark Humphreys Law Firm has represented individuals in their legal needs. In the past several years that work has been helping people who have had insurance claims denied. A lot of these types of claims deal with Life Insurance Claim denials, credit life and disability policies, homeowners claims, and automobile claims, etc. In addition to these "first party" claims, Mark handles personal injury claims and claims involving the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The common thread between them is that they all involve claims against or involving insurance companies.
Some individuals have the money to pay a Dallas insurance attorney on an hourly basis and Mark can and has on numerous occasions worked on an hourly basis. But even those who have the money and who can afford the cost of an attorney do not relish the idea of spending that money. For that reason and because most individuals cannot afford to pay an attorney, Mark handles the majority of his cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that he has the other side pay the attorney fees or that Mark is paid a percentage of what is recovered. Of course this motivates Mark to maximize a recovery for his client. It also helps the individual who is being wronged, to get justice, who might otherwise be wronged and left a victim with no way to "even the playing field".
No One, I repeat, No One, who has a legitimate and worthwhile claim of the type Mark handles, is denied Justice just because they do not have money to hire an attorney. This is true even in the situations where as little as a few thousand dollars is at stake. The majority of our cases have the client recover more than the initial monies at issue. This is true even after all the court expenses and attorney fees have been deducted from the total recovery.
Rather than relate to you a bunch of examples of past results by our Dallas insurance lawyer, here is one example that is "typical": Mark recently had elderly lady whose son had died. The son had a $50,000 Life Insurance Policy that named his Mom as the beneficiary. After his death, the Mom applied for the insurance benefits and was denied. The reason for the denial by the insurance company was that the last payment on the policy was 33 days before death and the policy had cancelled after 30 days for non-payment. Mark's research into the Texas Insurance Code and Texas Administrative Code showed that 33 days was okay due to the way a national holiday and week-end fell in the calendar month. In the end, Mom recovered over $75,000 after the attorney fees and court expenses had been deducted.
As to life insurance claims that are denied, these cases present themselves with many forms of denial. The most common is a denial based on the insurance company asserting that the deceased made misrepresentations in the insurance application. These alleged misrepresentations usually deal with health related issues. The second most common issue deals with exclusions in the policy or other wording in the policy the insurance company believes justifies their refusal to pay the claim. Examples, include whether the cause of death is the result of an accident or natural causes, was the death a suicide, does a policy exclusion apply such as whether the death was caused or contributed to by the ingestion/use of alcohol or drugs.
Another common reason for benefit denial includes missed payment issues. Many times the insurance company doesn't mind paying the claim but is uncertain who should be paid. These situations involve divorces, situations where the named beneficiary has already died, situations where the beneficiary is accused of causing the death of the insured, and uncertainty of how to interpret changes or attempted changes of the named beneficiary and contingent beneficiaries. Life insurance cases involving a plan that is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) often times present their own complications. The law that governs ERISA cases is Federal law and thus, different from the State law that governs cases that are not ERISA.
The biggest part of Mark's case load is life insurance cases. However, that lead is followed quickly by homeowner's insurance claims and auto claims and private disability claims.
Homeowners claims take many forms including fires, water damage such as leaks and pipes bursting, hail and wind damage, theft/burglary losses, and other times the insurance does not dispute the loss but disputes how much is actually owed. Auto claims are denied for lots of reasons. A few of these include, payment issues, excluded drivers, whether the driver is insured under the policy, whether the auto is insured under the policy, and issues about exactly what coverages are provided under the policy, i.e., uninsured/underinsured, personal injury protection, medical, comprehensive, collision, towing, rental, etc. Private disability coverage benefits are typically denied based on alleged misrepresentations in the application. Other reasons for denial include exclusions to coverage and pre-existing conditions.
Cases will range from a few thousand dollars being at issue, up to over a million dollars being fought and litigated over. In each case, we believe the clients will get this money plus some extra and that the companies will pay all attorney fees and expenses.
Each case we take into our office, we believe we can ultimately help the client. The saddest part is telling someone "we cannot help". If this happens, we will explain why and encourage you to talk with another Dallas insurance lawyer who may have a different opinion. We have found that an explanation goes a long way to making someone feel better about the situation and helps remove lingering doubt or concern about whether or not something can or should be done. You may not always like what Mark has to say, but he will "shoot straight" with you.If you have a question or concern, call us, you have nothing to lose.