A motor vehicle accident is usually an event that brings nothing but bad news. You and others in your car may suffer painful injuries. Your vehicle sustains damage. You may lose days at work at a time when medical bills begin piling up. The good news is that if you have paid your insurance premiums, your insurer should cover your losses according to your policy terms.
However, it is not uncommon for accident victims to receive even more bad news when their insurer acts in bad faith. This means that the insurance company has no intention of fulfilling its obligation to you. This dishonesty can result in more suffering and frustration for you and your family.
Recognizing bad faith
Florida’s no-fault insurance means that you turn to your own insurer to cover your medical costs and other expenses in most cases following an accident. If you kept up with your premiums, and understand the exclusions in your car insurance policy, you may expect your insurance provider to do his or her part by investigating your claim and offering a reasonable settlement. However, if any of the following occur, you may be dealing with an insurer who is acting in bad faith:
- Your insurer fails to begin or conclude the investigation into your claim within a reasonable time.
- Your insurer makes a decision to deny your claim without conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your accident.
- Your insurer threatens to take legal action against you or tries to intimidate you into dropping the claim.
- Your insurer fails to provide you with information that could help your claim, such as important deadlines or other ways in which your policy covers you.
- Your insurer intentionally misinterprets the terms of your policy to confuse you about the coverage you have paid for.
- Your insurer offers you a settlement that is significantly lower than your claim or your policy coverage.
- Your insurer outright denies a claim that your policy covers.
An insurance company is a business with a goal of making money, and this may mean minimizing payouts wherever possible. However, the law protects you from bad faith insurance tactics. You have every right to seek legal assistance if your insurer fails to live up to its obligations when you file a claim following an accident. An experienced attorney can offer you advice and guidance for obtaining the coverage you deserve.