As we’ve said before, insurance companies — even your own — are generally not on your side. Unfortunately for accident victims seeking compensation for their injuries, the insurance company holds the purse strings when it comes to settlement numbers.
Your insurance contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This is an implied promise that assumes that the parties to a contract will act in good faith and deal fairly with one another without breaking their word, using shifty means to avoid obligations, or denying what the other party obviously understood. For the person who signs up for insurance coverage, they generally believe that the purpose of the coverage they are purchasing is to provide compensation when the unexpected happens and they are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Insurance Bad Faith
If your insurance company is refusing to pay or defend your claim, or if it unreasonably delays payment on a claim, you may have a cause of action against the insurance company over and above the insurance policy limit. What this means is that there are no limits on a bad faith insurance claim, even if the value of a claim exceeds the limits of your insurance policy.
Examples of bad faith on the part of an insurance company include:
- Denying a claim outright or failing to pay or settle a claim that falls within the insurance policy’s limits without asserting a reasonable basis
- Failing to promptly investigate a claim
- Failing to properly investigate and/or a defend a claim
- Failing to provide a valid reason or justification for denying an insurance claim
- Using deceptive practices to deny an insurance claim
- Misrepresenting the terms of coverage or engaging in other misrepresentations, for the sole purpose of wrongfully denying an insurance claim
- Failing to offer the full monetary value for the claim (i.e. undervaluing the claim) or offering a low amount insufficient to compensate a personal injury plaintiff for the injuries and damages sustained
This list is not exhaustive. If you or a loved one was denied a valid insurance claim, contact a knowledgeable accident attorney to discuss your legal rights.
When Insurance Companies Deny Claims
Insurance companies use a number of excuses for denying insurance claims and/or refusing to pay or defend claims. In many cases, the insurance company is simply trying to save itself money. Your financial security and well-being are not the insurance provider’s number one priority.
Pursuing a Bad Faith Claim
If you believe you may have a claim for bad faith against your insurance company stemming from a motor vehicle accident, our skilled personal injury attorneys are ready and willing to assist you with filing your claim. Our team of attorneys and legal professionals have years of experience dealing with unscrupulous insurance adjusters and understand the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies.
For more information on how to go about pursuing a claim for insurance bad faith, or to discuss filing an accident claim against your insurance company, contact the accident attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today for a free consultation.