Where Should I File My Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit?
There’s no denying that insurance coverage and insurance claims can be frustratingly complex and confusing. Unfortunately, this is especially true of cases in which a person needs to sue their own insurer.
Even seemingly simple questions, like where to file your suit, can lead to complicated and unclear answers.
Still, if you had an insurance claim denied for a loss that should have been covered by your policy, then you may need to sue in order to get the compensation you are owed. Today, your compassionate McAllen bad faith insurance attorneys at Millin & Millin will help you determine if, how, and where you need to file a suit against your insurance agency.
Federal vs. State Court
Deciding where to file your bad faith insurance lawsuit can be quite complicated. First of all, you will need to choose whether to file in state or federal court. While there are many differences between filing in these venues, one key difference is the relative restriction on discovery in federal court. In a state court, an insurance company may be forced to reveal more about their claim file relative to a federal court.
It’s worth noting that state and federal procedures often contradict each other, meaning that picking between the two will likely depend on the specifics of your case and the evidence available.
You must file your suit in a court that has jurisdiction over your insurance company. Given the massive physical network that comprises most major insurers, finding out which court has jurisdiction may not be simple. In order to show that the court you plan to file in has jurisdiction over your insurer, you will need to prove either general personal jurisdiction or specific personal jurisdiction.
‘Personal jurisdiction’ alone just means the power to cause a person to appear in court and the power to pass judgement on that individual. This differs from ‘subject matter jurisdiction’ which is based on a court’s ability to assess certain types of cases, but not their ability to pass judgement on the parties involved in those cases.
If a court has general personal jurisdiction over a party, that means that the party has a “home” within the court’s area. For human individuals, this literally means their home. However, for businesses, that “home” is located at the business’ principal place of business in the state where it was incorporated. This is usually the same as the business’ headquarters.
Next, if a court has specific personal jurisdiction over an individual, that means that the individual committed the offense of which they are accused within the court’s area. This means that if a person who lives in Georgia assaults you in Texas, you can sue in either Georgia or Texas.
In regards to insurance companies, you may be able to file a bad faith insurance suit in the state where the “breach” actually happened, a.k.a. the state where the insured person or property is. Regardless, you will have to prove that the offense occurred within the state, a process which can actually differ from state to state.
Filing a McAllen Bad Faith Insurance Claim With the Help of Millin & Millin
With that being said, finding out where to file a bad faith insurance lawsuit isn’t a straightforward process. Determining which court will be most advantageous to your case requires knowledge of all of the possible venues and the relative strengths of each.
An experienced McAllen bad faith insurance attorney at Millin & Millin can help you fight for your rights to coverage and compensation.
If you feel your insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim, reach out to the McAllen bad faith insurance lawyers at Millin & Millin today for help determining the best path forward.