Jacksonville Accident News
When an Insurer Acts in Bad Faith After an Accident
You have been involved in a Florida car accident and you have taken the first steps to file an insurance claim with your insurance company. If the accident was not your fault and you believe that you have solid evidence pointing at this, you might believe that your claim will go smoothly. Many people believe that they will be quickly approved for the compensation they deserve after an accident. However, sometimes the insurance company does not uphold their promises and, as a result, you might find that they have acted in bad faith.
What is Bad Faith?
When an insurance company denies an insurance claim even though there is no reasonable basis for doing so, this is acting in bad faith. In most cases of bad faith, a claimant will be able to show that the insurance company worked in their own best interests rather than the best interests of the party making the claim. The policy owner must show that the insurance company did not take steps to make a thorough investigation or engaged in other bad faith acts.
Examples of Bad Faith by Insurance Companies
You sign the policy when you first get your insurance plan. If the insurer engaged in bad faith, they are breaking their promises to you as a policyholder and can be held liable. Here are some of the most common types of bad faith:
Improper Investigations: After an accident occurs, it is the duty of the insurance company to immediately take action and start investigating your claim. The insurance company must act in a certain amount of time because 1. You want to have all damages documented on your vehicle and 2. Evidence can quickly disappear following a collision. When an insurance company fails to complete this step or they are overly intrusive when it comes to their investigation, you could have a bad faith claim.
Delayed Payment: Let’s say that an insurer did complete a thorough investigation. However, then they delay in ensuring that you receive your settlement money in a certain amount of time. Suddenly, years have passed since the investigation and you have heard nothing about when you will receive your money. If evidence through the investigation shows that another party is at fault, it would be unreasonable for them to make you wait that long.
Unreasonable Denial: Perhaps the insurer has acted unjustly unreasonable when they were denying your claim and you feel as if they are not being open and honest with you. This could also be considered bad faith.
Failing to Settle or Defend: If there is an open suit against the insured and an insurance company fails to settle for you, this could be considered bad faith. On the other hand, many insurance companies are supposed to defend claimants if legal actions are taken. If they do not do so, they have then broken strict promises to the claimant.
Speaking with an Attorney After a Car Accident
It is not unheard of for insurance companies to act in bad faith, which could cause you to lose out on compensation opportunities after an accident. You have a right to seek recovery after an accident. Because of this, it is important that you speak with a skilled car accident attorney in Florida about your options moving forward. Our attorneys at Sheftall & Associates have handled many claims involving bad faith by insurance companies and have the knowledge and dedication to help you through this difficult time. Please contact our accident attorneys in Florida at (904) 638-7712 to find out how we can assist you in your time of need.