Insurance Bad Faith Law

Insurance and Bad Faith Law in Personal Injury Cases

You may or may not be surprised to find out that sometimes insurance companies do not always act fairly toward people making claims. Common examples include accusing the person making the claim of being at fault for an accident when there is really no basis for making that assertion; waiting unreasonable amounts of time to pay claims; not offering reasonable amounts to settle claims; claiming that a particular event is not covered by a policy when it clearly and unquestionably is; failing to respond to phone calls and letters and so on. Unfortunately, in most places, there is very little that a lowly little insurance claimant can do against a big, wealthy, powerful insurance company. Most states have laws or regulations that prohibit insurance companies from being unreasonable. These laws are commonly referred to as “bad faith” laws. However, in many states these laws have little bite. The only thing an injury victim can do if they are being treated unfairly by an insurance company is to make a complaint to the state government agency that regulates insurance and hope that it does something to try to get the insurance company to come around. Sadly, many states do not have adequate resources to investigate all these claims; so, injury victims must fend for themselves. In a few states, however, individuals can personally sue insurance companies for violating bad faith laws. In other words, people in these states can sue the insurance companies for committing acts of bad faith during  the claims process. These laws provide that people can sue for money to compensate them for annoyance and inconvenience caused by acts of bad faith and sometimes attorney fees incurred in bringing the lawsuit and potentially punitive damages if the conduct of the insurance company is considered bad enough.

Bad Faith Insurance Practices

If you and your own insurance company’s adjuster seem to have a difference of opinion about the total value of your personal injury claim, it may seem like the adjuster is negotiating in bad faith. This is not always the case. In order to find out if your adjuster is negotiating in bad faith or is simply playing hard ball, it is necessary to dig deeper and ask the right questions. Some common examples include: an adjuster who refuses to provide an insured with specific reasons for a claim denial or partial denial, provides an extremely low settlement offer, or engages in improper settlement tactics. If you believe the adjuster for your company is negotiating in bad faith, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney who can help you understand how to negotiate with the adjuster and make them aware that you know what your legal rights are. If you are unable to get a satisfactory response from the adjuster, you may want to write a letter stating your accusation of bad faith in writing. Make sure to be specific about the conduct of the adjuster that you believe amounts to bad faith. In most instances, a written accusation of bad faith will get handled rather quickly and if justified, can get you that much closer to a resolution of your claim. This is because in settlement negotiations, the mere possibility of a fight over bad faith often can help nudge a reasonable settlement offer out of an insurance company.

Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney Today!

Every personal injury case is unique, and each case presents different challenges. The best way to face these challenges is to retain a personal injury attorney who understands how to obtain relevant evidence to support your personal injury claim. If you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith, it is a good idea to obtain legal advice from an experienced lawyer. At Suarez & Montero, our policy is that if you don’t recover compensation, you won’t pay any fees for our services. Not to mention, we also provide free case consultations where we assess the circumstances surrounding your case and give you an objective overview of what steps you can take going forward if you decide to act against the party responsible for your injuries. For over 19 years, we have delivered quality legal representation for people who, through no fault of their own, have been injured in all types of accident and incidents. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.