Potential Claim Recovery

Weatherford Texas insurance lawyers need to be able to discuss with clients the value associated with their claim.
The Texas Insurance Code, Section 541.152, tells us that a winning claimant is entitled to:
1) actual damages 2) additional damages if the insurance company or it’s agent acted knowingly 3) court costs 4) attorney’s fees The most common actual damages are the policy benefits themselves. There can be actual damages beyond the policy benefits and depending on the circumstances, this can take many forms. One example would be in a “credit disability” policy. This would be where a person has credit disability insurance – the insurance company denies the claim – and as a result the insured misses payments and has their credit damaged. In this scenario the insured would have a claim for the damages resulting from damaged credit.
The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which is usually part of an Insurance Code violation, tells us in Section 17.50(b)(1), that when a defendant’s conduct was found to be committed knowingly, the consumer may also recover damages for mental anguish.
Section 17.45(9) tells us that “knowingly” means actual awareness, at the time of the act or practice complained of, the falsity, deceptive, or unfairness of the act or practice giving rise to the consumer’s claim. It also tells us that actual awareness may be inferred where objective manifestations indicate that a person acted with actual awareness.
For there to be recovery for mental anguish the Texas Supreme Court says the claimant must show “a high degree of mental pain and distress” that is “more than mere worry, anxiety, vexation, embarrassment, or anger.” A 1996 court said, “direct evidence of the nature, duration, or severity of [plaintiffs’] anguish, thus establishing a substantial disruption in the plaintiffs’ daily routine” was necessary to sustain a claim for mental anguish damages.
Court costs are also recoverable. The confusion here would be knowing what constitutes court costs. It would be more accurate to say that “taxable court costs” are recoverable. Examples of recoverable court costs would be filing fees, deposition fees, mediation fees. Examples of costs that are not recoverable are, expert fees, which can be substantial, copy fees, postage, mileage, long distance phone calls, investigator, etc. In most cases, court costs will not get very high unless the case requires an expert. If an expert is actually required, it is important to evaluate the expense of an expert against the potential recovery in the case.
Attorney fees are also recoverable. There are eight factors that the Courts tell us need to be considered when trying to recover for attorney fees. Not covering these eight elements could result in not being able to recover for attorney fees.

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