By law, insurance companies have a responsibility to act in good faith toward their policy holders. This means, if you are involved in an accident and make a claim with your insurance company, they must not try to get out of paying what you deserve. Insurance bad faith involves using unfair and illegal tactics to avoid an obligation toward you as the claimant, and it applies to all types of claims, from property damage to uninsured motorist coverage claims.
What are some common types of insurance bad faith?
- Failing to investigate a claim
- Failing to accept or deny a claim in a reasonable time frame
- Failing to provide necessary information to the claimant
- Failing to provide a reasonable explanation for denying a claim
- Failing to offer a reasonable settlement for the claim
- Failing to negotiate with the claimant to reach a fair settlement
When an insurance company delays, denies, or reduces your claim for no reason, this counts as bad faith. You have a legal right to know why the insurance company is denying your claim, and you also have the right to refuse a claim that is lower than your damages. For example, if you sustain $2,000 worth of property damage and injuries in a car accident with an uninsured driver, but your insurance company only offers you $500, you have the right to refuse and request an explanation.
Insurance companies must not use fraud, deception, or intentionally unfair tactics to avoid paying you. If the insurance adjuster fails to investigate a claim or withholds vital information, he or she may be held liable in an insurance bad faith lawsuit. Unreasonable, outrageous, and malicious attempts to escape an obligation to a claimant will also count as bad faith.
However, just because you don’t agree with the amount they offer does not mean you have been a victim of insurance bad faith. You will need to prove that the insurance company willfully denied, reduced, or delayed your claim without proper cause. Furthermore, if you can prove that the company intentionally used fraud or other illegal means to hinder your claim, you may be able to receive a larger settlement, depending on the situation.
What to Do If You Have Been a Victim of Insurance Bad Faith
If you have filed a claim with your insurance company, and they are denying or delaying your claim without providing an explanation, you have the right to file an insurance bad faith lawsuit. Insurance companies may try to dispute your claim and avoid providing a fair settlement. It is important to seek experienced legal assistance as soon as possible to protect your rights and handle the complicated paperwork.
By filing a lawsuit and using documentation to prove bad faith, you may be able to receive a settlement for your original damages, plus punitive damages to punish the insurance company. If insurance bad faith is proven, the court may grant you an award far above the original settlement you were seeking. However, the amount of compensation you are entitled to will depend on the specific facts of your case.
Call Our Corpus Christi Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys Today at (877) 631-9965
At Sico Hoelscher Harris & Braugh LLP, we have guided numerous clients to successful settlements. If you think your insurance company is acting in bad faith, our team of Corpus Christi insurance bad faith lawyers can analyze your situation and provide informative legal services. We believe that insurance companies must be held responsible for failing to provide fair and reasonable settlements. From beginning to end, we will gather evidence to support your claim and represent you diligently in court.
Contact our team today to receive a free initial consultation.