Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Faith Insurance Claims

If you were injured in a car accident or slipping and falling in a business, chances are, the car owner or business owner has insurance. This insurance can help to pay your medical expenses and lost wages. However, in some instances, the insurance company doesn't pay like they should, for reasons that are unfair. When this occurs, you can file a bad faith insurance claim against the insurance company. If you have never done so before, you may have many questions about the process. Here are a few questions you may have about a bad faith insurance claim.

What Criteria is Used to Determine that an Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith?

While it may seem impossible to determine if an insurance company is acting in bad faith, there are certain criteria that are used to determine if an insurance company acts in bad faith. An insurance company is obligated to handle all claims and fairly and in accordance with all state laws where they are doing business. If you can prove that they are not following laws when denying your claim, failing to pay your claim, or not sending out timely notices, you may be able to file a bad faith claim. Unfortunately, these cases can be hard to prove, so having an attorney who knows what the laws are in regards to paying insurance claims on personal injury claims can be invaluable. 

Can I File a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Conjunction with a Personal Injury Lawsuit? 

Many people think that they have to pick what lawsuits they can file and at what time. However, if you were involved in a personal injury accident and the insurance company is not handling it in accordance with the law, you can file and have a bad faith and personal injury claim pending. Often times, these cases can be tried at the same time, if they go to trial, as they go hand-in-hand. The penalties for a bad faith insurance claim vary from state to state, but generally you are entitled to a flat rate amount, in addition to what you can receive for your personal injury claim, if you can prove that the insurance company didn't act properly.

What Kind of Attorney Can Help with Bad Faith Insurance Claims and How? 

If you have retained an attorney to help with your personal injury lawsuit, they can also assist you with a bad faith insurance claim. This type of attorney knows the laws in regards to what insurance companies are required to do once they are notified of the accident and any time thereafter. For example, they only gave a certain amount of time to delay your claim, accept it or deny it, based on the laws in your state. If they fail to do so, they automatically have to accept your case. If they do not pay your claim after meeting the deadlines, they are acting in bad faith. A personal injury lawyer knows these rules and laws, letting you know when an insurance company is violating the law and when it is acceptable to file a claim. This is information you likely won't know on your own. An attorney can also help you file the claim and retain all of the documents needed to win your case in court. 

If an insurance company is not paying your claim as they should, you can file a personal injury case to get a judge or jury to force them to pay. Additionally, if they acted in bad faith, you can file a bad faith insurance lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer can help you file both types of lawsuits and get you the compensation you are entitled to. For more information, contact a business such as Swartz & Swartz P.C.