Insurance companies owe a duty of ‘good faith’ to its claimants. However, poor investigation, delays in claims management, refusing to make reasonable settlement offers, and misrepresentations of the insurance policy are examples of bad faith. When situations like these arise, a person is well within their right to file a bad faith lawsuit.
Once you have proven the elements of a bad faith claim, judgments allow one to be compensated a larger amount that the original face value of the underlined policy.
Continue reading to learn more about how to file and prove a bad faith lawsuit.
Top 6 Elements of Bad Faith
An insurance company denying or delaying compensation due to a reasonable dispute such as the existence of coverage or the amount coverage available, generally isn’t considered bad faith. The elements of a bad faith lawsuit vary depending the state where you reside. In general, a victim must prove an insurance company:
- Misrepresented relevant facts or insurance policy provisions;
- Failed to acknowledge a claim and to act promptly after receiving a claim;
- Failed to maintain adequate investigative procedures;
- Failed to either approve or deny claims within a reasonable time after the claimant has submitted proof of loss;
- Failed to provide a reasonable explanation or reasons for denying the claim;
- Failed to respond to a settlement demand.
In other words, the insurance company must either have known that their actions were unreasonable or reckless, causing additional damages to the claimant.
An insurance company that is found to have acted in bad faith may be liable for monetary compensation far in excess of the policy limits that were originally available. The types of damages you may be awarded in a bad faith lawsuit vary from state to state. These damages could include:
- Judgment in excess of the policy limits;
- General damages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Economic loss;
- Punitive damages;
- Attorney fees;
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney For Your Bad Faith Lawsuit
It is important to understand that pursuing a bad faith lawsuit against an insurance company is a very complicated and specialized area of the law. For this reason, consult with the experienced attorneys at the Sweet Law Group.
With over 40 years of legal experience, we know what it takes to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. Call our office for a free consolation to speak to an attorney who will explain your legal options and make sure your rights are protected every step of the way. Call today at (800) 203-3061.