Bad Faith Attorney in St. Pete and Pinellas Park
Bad Faith Attorney in Florida
Insurance companies have many duties to their customers and to claimants under a customer’s policy. An insurance company that wrongfully denies payment is said to do so in “bad faith”. This is not only a poor business decision but also against the law. Insurers can be sued for their inaction and victims can receive damages beyond the policy limits they initially claimed under.
Insurers have a duty to treat policyholders fairly and honestly when evaluating claims and settle claims against policyholders if it can do so within the coverage limits. Not meeting this duty is a failure which can meet the threshold for bad faith. Bad faith actions include the following:
- Failure to promptly and properly investigate or defend a claim
- Avoiding paying claims by using deception or misrepresentations
- Failure to justify their claim denial
- Failure to pay or settle claims without a reasonable basis
- Failure to offer the full value of a claim or giving an unreasonably low offer
Additionally, there are two types of bad faith claims: first party and third party.
First party bad faith occurs when your insurance company fails to meet their duty, usually by denying a claim or failing to pay it. You may sue them for breach of contract and failing to meet the coverage included in your policy.
Third-party bad faith occurs when your insurer fails to defend a valid claim or refuses to pay a valid claim brought against you by an injured third party, leaving you exposed to a large personal judgment. When this happens, the injured third party may bring a bad faith suit against the insurance company.
Bad faith claims are a complex area of law. Identifying bad faith and proving it in court require the attention of an experienced personal injury attorney who can seek compensation for you and penalties against the insurer. The attorneys of Oldham & Delcamp are prepared to handle your claim and ensure you can recover damages.
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