Do You Have a Bad Faith Insurance Case?
May 23, 2022
Most people are paying insurance companies for some type of coverage, be it medical, automotive, or homeowner. If you are a business or property owner or you have some specialized skills, you may require more insurance coverage than the average person.
In some instances, insurance coverage isn't optional. Federal and state laws may require compulsory insurance coverage under certain circumstances. For example, you are required to carry car insurance to keep your car registered.
Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. A policy requires the insurance company to meet its obligations to the policyholder. You pay insurance premiums in exchange for coverage in the event of losses outlined in the policy. If an insurance company doesn't pay a valid claim, they risk facing bad faith claims.
Unfortunately, insurance settlements don't always work out smoothly. An insurance provider may fail to hold up their end of the agreement, resulting in a bad faith insurance case.
But what is bad faith insurance? Do you have grounds to file a bad faith insurance claim? An experienced bad faith insurance lawyer can prove whether the insuring body refused to pay, delayed, or denied your personal injury compensation without a reasonable basis.
What is a Bad Faith Insurance Case?
Insurance exists to protect you and your loved ones when accidents occur. Insurance codes will protect you if you have a valid claim and require the insurer to "act in good faith" when dealing with your personal injury claim.
Bad faith insurance comes in when an insurance company is unfair or unreasonable to its policyholders. This may happen when an insurance provider refuses to pay a legitimate claim, or will not investigate and process a personal injury claim within a reasonable period.
During such instances, you may have to sue the insurance company for noneconomic and economic damages. Some bad faith insurance claims may also warrant punitive damages.
A bad faith insurance attorney can help you file a first-party or third-party bad faith insurance case. A first-party claim involves your insurance company, while a third-party claim involves the defendant's insurance company.
When to File a Bad Faith Lawsuit Against an Insurance Company
In the U.S., insurance firms legally have an "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" duty when handling policyholders. If an insurance company breaches this duty, you have the grounds to file a bad faith insurance case seeking a reasonable settlement.
There are many ways in which an insurer can act in bad faith. Here are some common scenarios that may warrant a bad-faith lawsuit against an insurance carrier.
Improper Investigation Into Insured's Situation or Injuries
Insurance companies must conduct prompt and conclusive investigations into all valid claims made by their policyholders. If your insurance carrier doesn't properly investigate your case, you may have grounds to take legal action against the company.
For example, an automotive insurance company may visit the scene of an accident and conclude a crash occurred. However, they may deny the personal injury claim without thoroughly investigating the cause of the accident. In such a situation, the insurance company may be acting in bad faith.
Failure to Disclose Insurance Policy Limits
As a policyholder, you deserve to know the policy limits of your coverage. In most cases, many policyholders don't know the limits of their insurance policies.
After an accident in which someone is hurt or blames another party, you may demand policy limits information from your insurance company. Your attorney may contact your insurance provider asking for limits, including umbrella and excess limits.
However, the insurance company may fail to disclose or only partly disclose the information, giving them a tactical advantage in the negotiation process. If the insurance company refuses to disclose limits, you may be eligible to file a bad faith claim.
Inadequate Payment of Compensatory Damages
At times, insurance companies may portray a "take it or leave it" attitude when dealing with policyholders. If your insurance company offers less money than your claim is worth, that may be grounds for a bad faith claim. An attorney can help you file a bad faith insurance case if your insurance provider offers a lowball settlement for your compensatory damages.
For example, if you sustain medical bills worth $18,000 after a car accident in Wyoming, you deserve a settlement that can cover your medical expenses. Say you have a $10,000 medical payments policy, yet your insurer unreasonably offers to cover only $1,000 of your medical bills, you may be eligible to file a bad faith claim.
Intentional Delays in Claims Process
Delaying decisions regarding claims or requests for approval for treatment is agonizing. It can lead to mental and emotional distress.
Insurance companies know time is of the essence when seeking medical treatment. Unreasonable delays in the claims process may worsen your condition or even lead to wrongful death.
Failure To Acknowledge Legitimate Claim
After an accident, you should take all the necessary steps to strengthen your claim. Documenting your injuries and limiting the use of social media are strategies you can use to boost your case.
Regrettably, insurance companies may refuse to pay legitimate claims without valid justification. If you submit a valid claim to receive benefits and the insurer fails to acknowledge it, they may be acting in bad faith.
File a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit the Right Way
Not every claim denial warrants a bad faith insurance lawsuit in Wyoming. There are legitimate situations where the policy may not cover your type of accident or damages. When in doubt, you should contact an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer to determine whether your insurance company has acted in bad faith.
Insurance contracts are complicated. A lawyer can help you thoroughly review your insurance policy and advise you regarding the statutes in Wyoming. They can look into your insurance contract and provide legal guidance and clarification.
At The Spence Law Firm, our bad faith insurance attorneys are ready to review your case and discuss your legal options. Our experienced attorneys will answer any questions that you may have regarding your personal injury claim. Get started now before it's too late to file a claim.
Meet with us.
If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.