Bad faith insurance laws refer to the laws put in place so that insurance companies cannot avoid contractual obligations to their policyholders. These laws give policyholders the opportunity to file a lawsuit against the insurance company if they act in bad faith. Bad faith insurance laws help to hold insurance companies accountable.
If you worry that your insurance company has acted in bad faith, an attorney could help. They can provide information on actions you can take if your insurance company refuses to pay after an accident.
What Duties Do Insurance Companies Have Under Bad Faith Insurance Laws?
When someone purchases an insurance policy, insurers owe their policyholders a duty. Their duty includes acting in good faith to fairly compensate them when a claim gets filed. Once a policyholder files a claim, the insurance companies must take the following steps:
- Quickly investigate the insurance claim their policyholder filed
- Settle claims quickly if their investigation shows they owe compensation to their policyholder
- Keep open communications with their policyholder through the entirety of the claims process
- Ensure that their policyholders understand the terms of their insurance policy
- Provide an answer to whether the insurance claim will receive an acceptance or denial within a reasonable time.
When an insurance company doesn’t follow through with these duties, you could file a lawsuit based on bad faith.
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What Actions Could I Consider as Bad Faith By My Insurance Company
If your insurance company doesn’t uphold the duties written in your policy contract, you could consider them as acting in bad faith. Common examples of how insurance companies could act in bad faith include the following:
- They denied your insurance claim without conducting a proper investigation.
- The compensation they offered you has a significantly lower value than the damages you incurred.
- The insurance company won’t respond to your communications in a timely manner.
Whenever you believe your insurance company has acted in bad faith, you can seek legal representation from an attorney. They can explain your legal options. For example, they can determine if you could file a lawsuit against the insurance company.
Steps To Take If Your Insurance Company Acts In Bad Faith
If you believe your insurance company has acted in bad faith, you can take steps to hold them accountable. Those steps include the following:
Consider Hiring An Attorney
If you believe the insurance company acted in bad faith after filing a claim, you can always contact an attorney. They can help you take the proper steps to help get your insurance company to compensate you for your losses.
The statute of limitations states you have a limited time to file a lawsuit from the date of your accident. According to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), this is generally two years. After the time limit ends, you could miss out on your chance to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. Speaking to an attorney soon after the accident can help you file a lawsuit before the time limit runs out. Other ways an attorney can help include:
- They can take over communications with the insurance company and their legal counsel. Attorneys will know how to handle these communications to have a higher chance of a successful outcome.
- They can investigate your evidence and present it to the insurance company proving why you deserve to receive the compensation you seek.
- They can advocate for you during negotiations and can present a strong case to the opposing counsel.
An attorney can improve your chances of reaching a positive conclusion. Without an attorney, you could run into difficult legal barriers that could cause you to miss out on the chance of recovering compensation.
File A Lawsuit
Florida Statutes § 624.155 allows you to file a lawsuit when the insurance company doesn’t settle the claim in good faith. Florida puts remedies in place to protect policyholders from getting taken advantage of by insurance companies. Because of these laws, you can file a lawsuit against the insurance company when they act in bad faith.
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Work With An Attorney If Your Insurance Company Has Acted In Bad Faith
If you believe your insurance company should compensate you, but they currently act in bad faith, you could file a lawsuit against them. Through a lawsuit, you could get compensated for the losses you suffered because of your accident. An attorney can help you build a case to seek the compensation you need to move on with your life.
Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a free consultation. Through a consultation, you can learn if your insurance company has acted in bad faith. If our attorneys believe they have, we can explain how our legal team can help you pursue compensation through a lawsuit. In addition, we can stand by your side through your entire case so that you feel supported and understand your legal options.
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