What is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim? Do I Have a Claim?
Bad Faith lawsuits can be difficult to understand, primarily because the party being sued, the insurance carrier was not involved in the originally disputed incident. Instead, the carrier is sued for Bad Faith because of how it (mis)handled the original incident after it has occurred.
Perhaps an example will help to clarify this confusing issue. If Mr. Jones is involved in an automobile accident with Mr. Smith and Mr. Smith decides to file a lawsuit against Mr. Jones for damages caused by the accident, then that claim is filed in civil court as Smith v. Jones. This lawsuit is solely based on the auto accident or original incident.
Mr. Jones’s insurance carrier, however, is contractually obligated by the terms of the insurance policy to represent and defend him on this claim. Furthermore, the insurance carrier must provide this benefit for Mr. Jones in “good faith,” meaning that the carrier must address and handle the matter in a way that is not detrimental to Mr. Jones’s interests.
If the carrier fails to act in Mr. Jones’s interests, then it is not acting in good faith. Consequently, Mr. Jones may file a separate lawsuit against his insurance provider for failure to meet its contractual obligations under the policy. This second lawsuit is called a Bad Faith claim because the carrier has demonstrated an unwillingness to protect Mr. Jones’s interests regarding the auto accident. Such a Bad Faith lawsuit is separately filed in civil court as Jones v. Insurance Carrier.
The two basic elements of a Bad Faith claim are:
- it must be based on a prior civil issue; and
- it must be against the insurance carrier.
This is a very complicated and complex area of law and one that you will need the help of an experienced bad faith attorney in order to be treated fairly. There may also be techniques that can be utilized to make sure that it is clear that the insurance company had every opportunity to settle the case with good faith. Call me for more information, accident attorney, Jeffrey Meldon @ 800-373-8000. Consultations are always free and welcomed.
For more information:
- Who May File a Bad Faith Claim – Gainesville Bad Faith Attorney Explains
- What can I do about my insurance questions and problems?
- Bad Faith Lawsuits – Experienced Gainesville Accident Attorney Offers Help
I am local accident attorney Jeffrey Meldon and I strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of and/or recovery from a serious accident. My office and I take pride in our work, and the results we get for our clients.
Meldon Law is a regional law firm that is located in Gainesville, Florida. We are personal injury attorneys, litigators and trial attorneys that have been working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years throughout North Florida and all over Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, motorcycle, ATVs, bicycle, pedestrian accidents, and dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
For more information on how we can help you, or with any other question you may have, feel free to contact our office at 800-373-8000.