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What Constitutes a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?

If you’ve recently been injured due to circumstances that are not your fault and you’re looking at a stack of medical bills, consider filing a personal injury lawsuit—you deserve compensation for your ordeal. However, although the insurance company of the party who hurt you deserves to pay for your damages, it has got a vested interest in avoiding a settlement. Insurance companies often try to avoid paying those settlements, so what constitutes a bad faith insurance claim? In other words, how do you know when they’re making your life difficult on purpose?

What Is “Bad Faith”?

Have you ever heard the phrase “with malice aforethought”? Bad faith is sort of like that. A person or company is acting in bad faith when they do something that harms or inconveniences you on purpose. Some states define “bad faith” as “unreasonable or without proper cause.”

Signs of a Bad Faith Insurance Claim

A Quick Denial

If the insurance company rejected your claim too quickly, it may not have investigated your case as thoroughly as they could have. It’ll tell you that you don’t have sufficient evidence, but in reality, the company just didn’t look for it.

A Lengthy Wait Time

On the other hand, the insurance company could spend months dawdling around in an effort to avoid paying you. It’s the legal version of “I’ll get to it when I get to it.” If the insurance company takes an inappropriately long time to pay your settlement without giving you a reason why, it may be acting in bad faith.

Lack of Defense

Insurance companies have a duty to defend their policyholders in court. To make your case fair on all ends, the person who hurt you also deserves some defense. Unless the defendant’s insurance policy does not include defense costs, their insurance company should be an active part of the case.

An Unreasonable Settlement

When you contact an Idaho lawyer to assist in your case, you and that lawyer will pore over your bills and paperwork to determine a fair settlement amount. If the insurance company refuses to meet your minimum for unjust or unexplained reasons, it could be stonewalling you to save money. That action is absolutely in bad faith.

When you file your personal injury case with the help of Rossman Law Group, you hope for a smooth process and ideal outcome. But anything can happen in court, and insurance companies may try to stymie you with uncooperative behavior. Know what constitutes a bad faith insurance claim before you go to court, and you’ll be able to spot those behaviors more easily.