What Does It Mean for an Insurance Company to Act in Bad Faith?
Depending on whether you are dealing with your own insurer, or with another person’s insurance, bad faith can mean different things. At least one principle applies across the board, however, and that is that it is not automatically bad faith for an insurer to deny your claim or to say that your claim is worth substantially less than you thought.
Keep reading to get an overview of some practices that are indeed bad faith, and what you can do about them.
Bad Faith Practices
Let’s start with a third party insurance company. Basically, the only way another person’s insurer could act in bad faith is if the adjuster commits actual fraud or directly lies to you, thus keeping you from the result you deserve in your claim.
This bad faith could look like an adjuster concealing evidence, tampering with witness testimony, etc. If you suspect such foul play is interfering with your claim, you should contact a personal injury lawyer right away to find a remedy.
Now let’s say you’re working with your insurer, for an uninsured motorist claim, for example. In this case, bad faith can apply to more circumstances, as your policy ensures a higher duty of care. If your insurance company will not give you reasons for a low offer or a claim denial, this could be a red flag. Other signs of bad faith could include:
- Requesting that you complete the preliminary claim report and the formal proof of loss (these are basically redundant),
- Asking for extra papers or papers beyond what is stated in your policy terms,
- A conflict of interest,
- Issuing threats, and more
In fact, there are dozens of other ways an insurance company could engage in bad faith tactics. That is why it is imperative that you know your rights, and how to assert them if an insurer is trampling them.
How to Fight Bad Faith Insurers
The good news is that, as frustrating and difficult as it can be to work with an insurance company, adjusters will probably give you a fast response if you send them a written letter suggesting that they have been operating in bad faith, telling them they have a deadline to respond else you will pursue further legal actions. This can make an insurance company more amenable to giving you a fair settlement offer in negotiations.
This is just one of the many ways a car accident injury lawyer in Raleigh may be able to help you get the results that you deserve: a legal professional can help you quickly detect and respond to insurance bad faith.
At our firm, attorneys are especially qualified to do this, as we have been protecting the rights of the injured for more than 38 years. Learn what your rights are and what it takes to make a successful injury claim when you contact the Whitley Law Firm today!