Insurance Bad Faith: When Do You Need a Lawyer?

Anyone who knows how costly repair and recovery bills for personal injury or property damage can be surely has purchased insurance coverage. It can be a total stress relief to know that in the event that the unfortunate should happen, there’s someone who has your back and will help you with any financial responsibilities. But what happens if your car is totaled and your insurance provider only offers you a grand? What should you do if you suffer a fractured wrist and your medical insurance won’t even believe that you’re injured at all? As much as we believe our insurance providers are in our corner, sometimes this is not the case, and they act out of “bad faith”.

Insurance bad faith is described as the intentional refusal to a duty or obligation based on a binding contract. An insurance company acting on bad faith may conduct an improper investigation of your claim that yields less damage or harm than there actually is, or they may flat out refuse a claim. No matter how they go about this form of misconduct, the general idea is to spare themselves costs on the bottom line. Trying to save a dollar at the expense of the wellbeing of others is not only morally questionable, it may also be illegal.

What do I do if my insurance provider is acting out of bad faith?

What constitutes “insurance bad faith” can vary from state to state, or case to case, and it can be a daunting task to try to prove that it was done at all. Insurance companies will have lawyers ready to contest your claim and may have prepared to hide their bad faith practices before you even knew the contract was violated. But there are a few steps you should take if you suspect your insurance provider is acting out of bad faith, no matter the circumstances:

  • Gather documentation: Be sure to keep detailed records involving any accidents or injuries, from potential police reports to possible medical bills. This is a good practice even if your insurance provider is covering all expenses.
  • Written protest: There is no harm in contacting your insurance provider to request better coverage than you are being offered. In some rare cases, this is all it takes to get the settlement you were looking for.
  • Retain a lawyer: Most importantly, seek legal counsel from an experienced business litigation attorney right away. Oftentimes, the only people who can prove the existence of insurance bad faith in a case are the ones who have dedicated their lives to sniffing it out.

Just because the insurance provider has the final say as to what sort of coverage you can expect in an accident or injury doesn’t mean that they are the only ones who get to talk. If you are seeking financial restitution from your insurance provider – or even a third party’s insurance company – but are not satisfied with what is being offered, insurance bad faith may be at play. Don’t sit idly and accept their minimal proposals. With the help of Cohen Law, we can help you understand your rights and represent you in a court of law. A fair settlement may be in your future, but only with the help of our team.

Contact our Miami office today for a free case evaluation.