Possible Damages For Bad Faith Negotiation Of Injury Claims
If an insurance company denies your claim for no apparent reason, does not want to negotiate or makes an offer much below what it has paid for similar claims in the past, then it is said to be acting in bad faith. If you believe that is what an insurance company is doing for your claim, then you can bring a lawsuit against it. If you win, then you may be given different awards such as those for:
Consequential damages are meant to compensate you for the expenditures you had to make because the insurance company refused to settle your claim. Even the company knows that you would not have incurred these costs if it would have settled your claim.
Therefore, they include things like the:
- Cost of defending yourself from other accident victims – if your insurance company refused to settle your claim, then it is possible that other victims of the accident submitted injury claims against you. When you win your bad faith claim, the insurance company should pay for the cost of these lawsuits too. This includes attorney fees and the amount you paid as settlement.
- Cost of litigating your bad faith lawsuit – also, it is possible that you had to hire a lawyer and instigate a bad faith lawsuit to compel the insurer to pay the original claim. The insurance company should also pay the cost of this lawsuit
You may also be able to get punitive damages; it depends on why your claim was rejected in the first place. If it was a genuine mistake or a borderline-genuine one, then you may not get punitive damages. However, if it turns out that your insurer was deliberately out to deny your claim, or that it acted recklessly, then you may get it. For example, if the adjuster lied to you about the statute of limitations, then this is an obvious reckless act that should be punished.
This is another damage that you may or may not get. It is meant to compensate you for the emotional distress of having your genuine claim denied. Whether or not you get damages for emotional distress depends on the laws of your state, nature of the accident, and reason for the initial denial.
For example, you are likely to be severely distressed if the claim that you were denied was huge, the other accident victim took you to court, and you had to pay substantial damages. In such a case, you may be awarded damages for emotional distress (if your state allows it).
A bad-faith claim lawsuit is complicated, and you shouldn't attempt to handle it alone. Therefore, the sooner you consult an attorney, like Master Weinstein Shatz Moyer, P.C., the better your chances of concluding the case fast and satisfactorily.