California’s 26 year-old rule penalizing insurance companies for treating customers unfairly during the claim settlement process has been upheld by a State Appeals Court. The Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld allowed insurance commissioner Dave Jones to impose as much as $173 Million in fines against PacifiCare. The insurance company must pay $91 Million of the penalty right away while the remaining $82 is being challenged in court. The penalties were levied after it was found the insurance company violated state law over 908,000 times in handling the claims.
The Insurance Commission has laws in place dictating insurance companies must treat their customers in a fair manner and that is spelled out in the statute. Sadly, this behavior is something our office sees on a routine basis and for the customer it can lead to devastating consequences including bankruptcy and even death due to delayed or denied care. Often times the victims had no idea what their rights under the law are or that something could be done to rectify the situation.
The fines are large due to regulations that increase penalties for “serious, knowing and willful violations” of the state law and exceed the limits of the law written in 1959 for just such situations. When the fines were handed down lawyers for PacifiCare would not respond to requests for comment. One of the laws allows the state to fine insurers for unfair claims practices that are “knowingly committed on a single occasion” or so often they “Indicate a general business practice.” If you are having issues of this sort please contact our office as soon as possible.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when they refuse to follow the law. We help with serious issues that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth. We have over 80 years of experience in our plaintiff’s only law firm. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We Can Help!