Personal Injury and Bad Faith – Insurance Companies Behaving Badly
There is a limit on how much money can be obtained in normal personal injury situations. The “policy limits” insurance plans have. If you have a $50,000 insurance policy on the vehicle that struck you, that is the amount that can typically be earned in a case or settlement. The insurance provider will not pay for more than the agreement for the injured party and any payment will have to free the driver and owner from additional liability. This is typically much more complicated and is exceedingly unlikely, although it is possible to go after the owner and/or driver. View Gibson & Hughes – Personal Injury Law Firm.
These thresholds can be met in cases of bad faith. If the insurance provider does something wrong, bad faith happens, resulting in a verdict of more than the policy limit and exposing the insured to personal responsibility.
For instance, let’s be specific about the relationship with insurance. You pay for auto insurance. You are then owed those duties by the auto insurance company. They are expected to investigate and take care of allegations that come out of that accident if you have an accident. They have to supply you with a lawyer to protect you if you get sued. And they have to pay the amount awarded, up to the regulation cap, if you lose the case. Negotiating in good faith is one of the most significant roles they have. If it is obviously your fault and the individual is really injured, then the case must be considered, assessed, and attempted to resolve the claim within the policy limits. There is more but it’s a good start.
Imagine hitting someone in a crosswalk and recovering from a fractured hip. You say that it was your fault and pled guilty to a traffic infringement to your insurance policy. Your fault is that. Two weeks after the crash, the injured person will end up having hip replacement surgery. They really got hurt.
Your insurance firm is called by an attorney who requests $50K – the cap. He tells them, in a text, that he’s going to sue you if they don’t pay in three months, and he’s not going to accept $50K anymore. You could be on the hook for something above $50K if it happens, and it could be $50K or more for an accident like that.
In most cases, insurance firms, perhaps even before the three-month demand, would easily resolve that kind of case. After sending just a few emails, we resolved one vaguely similar case with a $50K policy. From the viewpoint of the insurance provider, these claims should be resolved easily.
But when insurance firms don’t do so well there are occasions. In such cases the person assigned to the case is inexperienced, incompetent or both. For some the home office of the organisation adopts an impractical approach that does not operate in the industry. And they just drop the ball occasionally and there is no reason.
A record of bad faith can be made by personal injury attorneys who know what they’re doing. This includes writing letters detailing the mediation efforts and the failures of the insurance provider to behave in good faith. It could mean a court appearance and a mediation meeting, reported by a court reporter (also known as a stenographer) with the judge.
The plaintiff’s counsel would typically set a deadline to resolve the case. When the insurance provider comes around and offers the coverage limits after that date, the injured party will have to make a decision. Just take the money or take the long path now and try to get more with an argument of bad faith. This option relies on the hazards faced and the future benefit. If the accident is worth an estimated $150K if it’s a $100K policy, and there is a significant chance of a verdict below $100K, then taking the money will make sense. If it’s a $10K policy and an accident of a million dollars, there’s not much to lose and much to gain from the bad faith path.