If you are injured by the negligence of another person, their insurance company is usually responsible to pay for your injuries. However, sometimes an insurance company refuses to settle for a reasonable amount, even when their liability is clear. If this happens to you, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue a third-party bad faith claim against the insurance company. What Is a Stowers Demand? Many third-party bad faith claims are governed by the Stowers doctrine in Texas. The Stowers doctrine applies when you suffer damages that exceed the defendant’s insurance policy limits. Stowers Demand Letter To comply with the Stowers doctrine in Texas, your attorney would start by sending a Stowers demand letter to the insurance company. The letter must: Include a demand for compensation within the policy limits; State clear terms for accepting the demand; Provide a reasonable amount of time for the insurance company to respond; Demonstrate that any subrogation claims and hospital liens have either been settled or will be resolved with the proceeds from the settlement; and Offer to fully release the defendant from further liability. If the insurance company rejects your Stowers demand, your next step is to go to court. Pursuing a Bad Faith Claim If you win a jury verdict for greater than the policy limit, then you may be able to make the insurance company pay the extra damages by bringing a third-party bad faith claim. The defendant is the one who would usually be on the hook for damages in excess of the policy limit. So technically, the defendant is the one who would have a bad-faith claim against their insurance company. But you can get a court to issue a turn-over order. This requires the defendant to give you their cause of action so you can actively collect against the insurer. To succeed on a bad faith claim, you must demonstrate that: Your Stowers demand letter complied with the requirements above; Liability for the amount of the policy limit or more was reasonably clear; and You actually won a verdict in court for more than the policy limit. The most difficult element to prove is that liability was reasonably clear. If there was a fair dispute about whether the defendant was negligent, whether your negligence contributed to the accident, or the amount of damages, then it is not bad faith for the insurer to reject a Stowers demand, even if you later win. Why Would I Want to Settle for the Policy Limit If My Damages Are Greater? Even if your damages are significantly greater than the policy limits, it often makes sense to accept a settlement for the amount of the policy limit. The reality is that nothing requires an insurance company to indemnify a defendant for any more than the policy limits. And most defendants simply don’t have the assets to pay off large verdicts. This means that even if you go to court and get a verdict for an amount above the policy limits, you could struggle for years to ever recover that money. The defendant also has a motivation to settle within the policy limits. Doing so helps them avoid the risk of having a personal judgment against them. Such a judgment can lead to wage garnishment and liens on their assets that can follow them for years. This is why an insurer must accept a Stowers demand where liability is reasonably clear. With a Stowers demand, you can reach a settlement with the insurance company that gets you your money right away. You won’t have to spend years of uncertainty waiting for a jury verdict while struggling to pay your bills. How Do I Know If I Can Pursue a Third-Party Bad Faith Claim? If you suffered injury in an accident caused by someone else, contact our personal injury attorneys at the Johns Law Firm. We can help you determine whether a Stowers demand might be the way to go and handle every aspect of your personal injury claim. Our decades of experience working both for and against big insurance companies put us in a strong position to negotiate on your behalf. Call or contact us today to learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.Keep Reading
Millions Recovered | Former Insurance Company Attorneys | Decades of experience
Our Team of Attorneys has Six Decades of Combined Experience handling complex and catastrophic cases in the fields of maritime, personal injury, insurance, and more.
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THE JOHNS LAW FIRM is here.
THE JOHNS LAW FIRM is here.
We understand that the last thing you want to think about is hiring an attorney. If you do, you should hire a firm with the knowledge, drive, and experience needed to see your case through to the end.
We are a dynamic young firm that for years worked for many of our adversaries – insurance companies, financial institutions, and large corporations. Knowing our opponent’s playbook allows us to level the playing field and helps us maximize results for our clients.
We are a strong team of attorneys that has extensive experience in the fields of maritime law, personal injury litigation, and insurance recovery. We have recovered millions for the victims of catastrophic events. Our team works both efficiently and hard to exceed our client’s expectations.
If you are ready to stop the stress and recover financially, schedule a free, non-comital consultation with our attorneys today.
These guys are phenomenal! They responded to my concerns quickly, succinctly, and most importantly, correctly.Fred S.
I was injured while a passenger on a cruise ship. Jeremiah worked hard on my case beginning to end. I was surprised how easy it was to get in touch with him. After about a year of fighting the cruise ship company, I received a large six-figure settlement.Anonymous
My house was seriously damaged during a storm. After fighting the insurance company for several months, I hired The Johns Firm, LLC. Jeremiah filed a lawsuit against the insurance company and a few months later, my case settled for several hundred thousand dollars.Margaret L.
Tony is clearly one of the hardest working, meticulous, driven and expert representatives that one could have in the Lone Star State.Stan and Donna H.
The Johns Firm showed us how to maximize out recovery from a construction defect and insurance claim. We didn’t realize we had any right to recovery before they took on our case. Thanks to them, we were able to repair our home and walked away with a sizable amount in our pockets.Irene H.
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If your insurance claim has been underpaid, delay, or denied, you may need to escalate your case with the help of an attorney. We have recovered millions in insurance disputes for our clients.
Accidents happen. When they do, we are in your corner. We’ve stood up to the big insurance companies countless times, so we’re not intimidated. From vehicle accidents to medical malpractice, we’ll take your case as far as it can go.
Our attorneys specialize in representing offshore workers, Jones Act seaman, longshoremen, and other maritime workers throughout the Gulf South. We dedicate ourselves to recovering top-dollar settlements for victims of offshore injuries.
Truck accidents can be particularly devastating. The injuries are severe, and many people suffer emotional damages as well. There are laws in place to help you recover physically and financially, and we're here to help.
Grieving a loved one is painful enough, but when someone else was responsible for their death, it can hurt even more. Your loved one's death leaves a hole in your life—of companionship and financial contribution. You can recover these losses and hold the responsible party accountable.
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If a life insurance company is acting in bad faith and not honoring its promises, we can help you get the coverage that you are owed.
If a loved one’s estate has been mismanaged or defrauded, we can help recover damages and protect your inheritance. People can manipulate your finances, and you don’t want to find out when it’s too late.
Meet Our Team
All our attorneys take pride in their specializations and work every day to provide exceptional and compassionate representation.
Jeremiah N. Johns is a trial attorney who represents clients in insurance, maritime, personal injury, and litigation matters. Raised on a family farm in Southeast Georgia, at an early age he gained an appreciation for hard work and ingenuity. These values form the bedrock of his practice.
Mr. Francis has assisted clients in estate planning, tax, bankruptcy, and corporate matters. He has extensive knowledge of estate planning issues and provides a wide array of services to business clients, including contract review, negotiation, entity formations, and employment matters.
Mr. Cenac received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington, graduating magna cum laude, in 2009. Mr. Cenac received his Juris Doctor and Maritime Law Certificate from Tulane Law School in 2012.
Tony Hernandez possesses considerable experience and a unique expertise that makes him an invaluable asset to any legal or legislative effort. Tony has zealously represented a broad range of clients in legal, legislative, regulatory, and political affairs.
Maro Petkovich, Jr.
Maro Petkovich, Jr. offers his clients a full range of services. He has years of experience as a former creditors’ rights and insurance defense attorney. His experience representing various Fortune 500 companies gives him the insight to effectively navigate claims. Whether you have an injury, insurance claim, or business needs, Mr. Petkovich knows what steps to take to stay ahead of the curve.
Michael Shlansky is a litigation attorney who handles personal injury, maritime, insurance, and workers compensation cases. Based in the tri-state area, he serves as of counsel to the Johns Law Firm assisting with maritime and insurance matters. He is a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut with a B.S. degree from Tulane University.
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A house fire can be a devastating experience for a homeowner, and dealing with an insurance adjuster in the aftermath can only make matters worse. Though it can be a complicated process, you don’t have to go through it on your own. If you or a loved one has been affected by a house fire, know you are not alone. Even if an insurance company has denied your claim, this is not necessarily the end of the road. The fire damage lawyers at the Johns Law Firm have the knowledge and experience necessary to fight back against your insurer. Read on to learn more about the fire insurance claim process and find out how we can help. How to Handle the Fire Insurance Claims Process The insurance claims process can be difficult to navigate, especially when it involves fire damage to your home. However, there are some things you can do to help maximize your insurance claim proceeds. Below are a few important things to keep in mind during the insurance claims process: File Your Claim as Soon as Possible It is crucial to comply with your policy and file your claim within the appropriate timeframe. Otherwise, you may forfeit your right to recover damages at all. Request an Advance In some scenarios, you can get an advance payment against your claim. If you were forced to evacuate after the fire, this advance can help pay for basic necessities that you were unable to grab before relocating. Secure Your Property and Mitigate Damages Insurance policies require that you “mitigate damages.” In short, this means that you must take reasonable steps to minimize further harm to your property. This includes taking action to protect it from the elements, vandalism, and looters. Keep Track of Your Expenses Your policy may provide reimbursement for living expenses if you have to relocate after a fire. Thus, it is important to keep a careful record of all receipts, bills, and expenses. Don’t Feel Rushed Your insurance company will probably want you to close your claim as quickly as possible. However, don’t feel pressured to do so before you are ready. If you have received an offer for payment that you feel is not enough, contact a lawyer who can evaluate your case before moving forward. How the Johns Law Firm Can Help with Your Fire Damage Claim The Johns Law Firm has what it takes to assist with your fire damage claim. Our knowledge of this area of the law allows us to help assess and calculate damages, advocate for you against the insurance companies, and work toward a speedy resolution of your claim. Our team of lawyers has extensive experience handling these types of claims, and we want to help. If your insurer has wrongfully denied your claim or failed to adequately compensate you for your damages, contact the Johns Law Firm today.Keep Reading
Are you waiting to hear back regarding an insurance claim you filed in Texas? If so, you might be wondering what you need to do next. The lawyers at the Johns Law Firm understand that this can be a complicated process to navigate on your own. Read on to find out more about the insurance claims settlement process in Texas and how we can help. Does an Insurance Company Have to Respond to My Claim? In short, yes. Under Texas law, an insurance company is required to respond to a claim that is filed. Section 542.055 of the Texas Statutes provides that an insurer must do the following within 15 days of receiving notice of a claim from a claimant: Acknowledge receipt of the claim; Commence an investigation into the claim; and Request relevant information, statements, and forms from the claimant to assist with the investigation of the claim. An insurer’s failure to acknowledge that they have received your claim is in violation of the statute. However, the statutory requirements don’t end there. An insurer must also notify you of whether or not your claim has been accepted. In most scenarios, section 542.056 of the Texas Statutes states that an insurer must notify a claimant of acceptance or rejection of a claim within 15 days after the insurer receives all items, statements, and forms required to investigate the claim. An insurer can sometimes extend this to 45 days, but they must have a sufficient basis for doing so. Also, if the insurer rejects your claim, they must also provide you with the reasons for the rejection. It is important to know your rights. If an insurance company has rejected your claim without a good reason, or they have failed to respond within the appropriate timeframe, you may need to take action. An experienced lawyer can help advocate on your behalf. Can I Speed Up the Process? You cannot shorten the statutory timeframe that insurance companies have to work with. However, there are still things you can do to speed up the claims process. Because an insurer generally has 15 days to investigate the claim from the date they receive the requested information from you, sending these items as quickly as possible is to your advantage. After an accident, try to compile as much information as possible to provide to the insurance company. Having witness statements, accident reports, and proof of loss forms completed and ready can help speed up the process. When Does the Insurance Company Have to Pay the Claim? If an insurer notifies you that they will pay a claim or part of a claim, they must do so within a specific amount of time. Under Texas law, they cannot continue to delay payment. Section 542.057 of the Texas Statutes states that an insurer must generally pay the accepted claim “no later than the fifth business day after the date notice is made.” In fact, if an insurer fails to do so, you may be entitled to damages. How a Lawyer Can Help If you are dealing with an insurance company that has delayed responding to or paying your claim, you might feel like there is nothing you can do. However, this is not the case. Know that you have rights, and there are actions that you can take. Don’t let an insurance company continue to delay your claims process. A lawyer can help protect your rights and fight on your behalf. Contact the team at the Johns Law Firm today for a free consultation to see how we can help you.Keep Reading