Practice Areas

Class Actions | Deceptive Trade Practices | Insurance Fraud

Insurance Fraud

Consumers often pay thousands of dollars for coverage only to later find out that they are not getting what they bargained for or what the law requires. Because the insurance market is so highly regulated, complex and competitive, insurance companies are frequently guilty of errors and irregularities, and in some cases outright fraud, in their dealings with consumers.

Reasons for Fraud:

Almost every individual and company must deal with insurance matters on a regular basis. Unlike a tangible product that the consumer can feel and touch and readily recognize as defective, insurance policies are complex documents written by lawyers and regulated by various governmental authorities. The average consumer is ill-equipped to understand all of the intricacies of insurance policies, and in rare instances the insurance companies will prey on this ignorance to the consumer's detriment. Many times, consumers do not realize there is a problem with their insurance until it is too late and the catastrophe has already occurred.

Helpful hints:

Doing just those two simple things can prove extremely valuable should a dispute ever erupt.

You should seek advice if:

Why to choose legal advice over other options

While the agent who sold you the policy can often answer any questions or correct any irregularities in the transaction, sometimes the agent is at odds with the insurance company, or is the one responsible for the problem, and therefore will be unable to effectively resolve the question or dispute. Remember, the agent is only a representative of the company. You could resort to the state's Department of Insurance for dispute resolution, but our experience has proven that this avenue is relatively unsuccessful. The lawyers at Malesovas & Martin have years of experience in handling all types of insurance disputes. We have represented numerous insurance companies and therefore know how they work and think. We have also represented many individuals and thousands of class members in class action litigation against insurance companies across the United States. Oftentimes what may seem like a small claim to an individual may actually represent a common deceptive practice affecting thousands of similarly situated individuals, and a class action may be an appropriate remedy to prevent an insurance company from cheating thousands of individuals out of millions of dollars.

If you have been the victim of insurance fraud or believe an insurance company is defrauding its customers, let us know by clicking here.

Class Actions

      There are three basic types of class action suits: a suit to recover for industry-wide practices that harm many individual consumers in the same way, a claim for recovery of economic damages incurred as a result of a misrepresentation or other error committed by a company, and a suit in which parties with the same contractual rights assert those claims in a class action. Below are basic examples of each type of suit.

Industry-wide harmful practices - If a company has manufactured a product with a consistent defect that damages its customers, the customers may sue the company for their damages.

Claim for recovery because of misrepresentation - A suit may be filed to recover the purchase price of an item that was not consistent with the manufacturer's label or advertisements.

Parties with same contractual rights - If an insurance company is denying all similar claims based upon an erroneous application of a policy provision, class action resolution may be appropriate.

The overriding aspect of a consumer class action is that a company has acted similarly with respect to its customers. Individual claims of wrongdoing will not be suitable for class action, but may still be pursued as an individual case. If you know of a company that is engaging in these practices, let us know by clicking here.

Deceptive Trade Practices

There is nothing more frustrating than paying your hard earned dollars for a product which does not work like it is supposed to or a service that is not delivered as represented, yet this is more common than you might think. Unfortunately, until about 50 years ago, the legal system's response to consumer complaints was caveat emptor: "let the buyer beware." Many consumer complaints regarding faulty or misrepresented products and services went largely uncompensated. In response, many states including Texas enacted pro-consumer statutes such as the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices - Consumer Protection Act (the "DTPA"). The Texas DTPA is one of the strongest consumer protection statutes in the United States.

The DTPA allows for:

The recovery of all actual damages and attorney's fees to a successful consumer against a party who commits a false, misleading or deceptive act or practice, breaches an express or implied warranty, or engages in unconscionable conduct, and the recovery of treble damages if the party's conduct is done knowingly.

Deceptive trade practices which have been specifically outlawed by the DTPA include:

If you have been the victim of deceptive trade practices or believe a company is defrauding its customers, let us know by clicking here.