What is a Bad Faith Insurance Case?
Did you know that when your insurance company fails to act appropriately in resolving an insurance claim that you have filed, either by way of paying inappropriate sums of money or by greatly delaying the recovery, that you may have a case against your own insurance company for bad faith insurance practices? Insurance companies have a duty to treat you the same way that it would want to be treated. That is, it should not put its interests above yours while assisting you during the claim process.
Unfortunately, all too often, insurance companies choose to put its own interests ahead of clients, leaving the clients frustrated, unhappy and sometimes putting them in financial ruin by dragging things out or failing to protect the client when the insurance company’s client is being sued. When the insurance company fails to act appropriately and puts its interest ahead of yours, you should call an attorney who represents people in bad faith insurance cases and schedule an appointment.
The most frequent bad faith cases that our firm sees is denial of an injured party’s offer to settle his or her case within the policy limits. The problem is two-fold. If this is an uninsured or underinsured case and the policyholder is the one making the demand to settle within policy limits and the insurance company refuses to pay what is rightfully due to the policyholder, then the insurance company may be putting its interest above the policyholder, and the insurance company is then subjected to a potential bad faith insurance claim. The insured then may be able not only to collect the contractual damages that they may be entitled to, but also damages above policy limits because of the insurance company’s refusal and failure to act appropriately.
If the insured is the at-fault individual in an auto accident and the insurance carrier refuses to make a good faith settlement offer or to pay a policy limits demand, then the insurance company may be at fault if in fact there is a settlement or verdict in excess of the insured’s policy limits. The insured, at that point, would have a case against his or her insurance company for the excess verdict and any other damages caused to the insured.
Another scenario that one might consider is when an insurance company denies coverage outright and refuses to defend the insured or chooses to defend its insured under a thing called a reservation of rights when the insurance company actually hires lawyers but does not promise to pay if in fact the lawyers hired by the insurance carrier lose the case.
All in all, if you’re having a problem with your insurance company in either settling a case in which you’ve been injured, or the insurance company is dragging its feet and refuses a good faith offer by someone you have injured, then you need to seek the services of competent attorneys who handle bad faith insurance cases and who have done so successfully in the past. These bad faith cases, often times, are complex and require the assistance of lawyers who regularly engage in this type of work. Contact us today for help.