Personal Injury Lawyer
Insurance bad faith is unfortunately a common practice. It involves the practice of not paying legitimate claims to insured people who have been paying their premiums to the insurance company. This creates a situation where the insurance company’s are acting fraudulently to the detriment of their clients in an effort to keep more money for themselves.
How does a bad faith claim arise?
An insurance bad faith claim can arise in a multitude of circumstances. These include:
- Auto insurance
- Homeowners insurance
- Health care insurance
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance
Any time an insurance contract is in play, there exists the potential for an insurance company to act in bad faith.
How do I know if I’m the victim of insurance bad faith?
Bad faith requires an insurance company to do more than just deny your claim. While denying your claim can be an extremely frustrating experience, it does not mean there is a bad faith claim available to you. A legitimate bad faith claim requires something more.
If your insurance company presents you with an unreasonably low settlement offer or threatens that if you don’t take the settlement, they’ll withhold payment, then you could have a legitimate bad faith claim.
Other scenarios include:
- Unreasonable delay or improper investigation – When an insurance company closes the file without even conducting an investigation.
- Changing the policy after your accident – An insurance policy is a contract and it cannot be changed without your consent.
- Canceling the policy after your accident – A policy cannot be cancelled while a claim is pending.
- Not providing you with written documentation of why your claim was denied – If an insurance company denies your claim, they are required to provide you with written documentation explaining the reason why your claim was denied.
- Flat out lying – Insurance companies cannot lie to their clients.
What’s to stop insurance companies from continuing to act in bad faith?
Insurance companies only act in bad faith because they can get away with it. When you come forward and present your bad faith claim, not only do you help yourself, you also help other people insured by that insurance company.
Once an insurance company is presented with a bad faith claim, they quickly see how expensive it becomes. Not only will they end up having to pay out the claim they originally denied, they will also be subject to damages that could include a base of two to three times the claim value.
If I think I have a bad faith claim, do I need a lawyer?
Yes. Sometimes all it takes to scare an insurance company into paying your claim is to have a lawyer with a solid reputation in bad faith insurance litigation contact them. A law firm is prepared to be the vigorous representation you need to make your life whole again.
Once an insurance claim lawyer relies on meets with you to evaluate your case, they will not rest until you receive the claim to which you’re entitled, plus damages.