Whether you were injured in a motor vehicle collision, a slip-and-fall, or due to a dangerous product, you will likely rely on your insurance coverage to help you avoid financial peril. From mounting medical debt to the lost wages while you are off work recuperating, financial trouble is often not far behind a serious accident. Fortunately, you’ve spent years and decades paying insurance premiums so you can avoid this debt.
Unfortunately, an insurance company is still a company. Often, protecting their own profitability rates at the same priority as protecting your health and finances. Individuals assume their insurance carrier will act responsibly and treat them fairly after a serious injury, but this isn’t always the case.
What is insurance bad faith?
The insurance company must thoroughly and accurately investigate any claim that is made by a policyholder. If they attempt to deny, delay or devalue your claim for unnecessary reasons, they are said to be acting in bad faith. That is to say they are not honoring their obligations.
While a difference in opinion between the adjuster and the policyholder might seem like bad faith, it can only reach that level if the adjuster refuses to provide reasonable support for his or her findings. If the adjuster reaches a determination without taking the time or effort necessary to investigate the claim, or without providing any backing data to support the result, this might be an example of insurance bad faith.
Similarly, if the adjuster is simply looking for evidence that supports the result of denying the claim without taking an objective, impartial approach, this is likely an example of insurance bad faith. Being a sub-standard adjuster, however, is generally not bad faith.
With so many complex factors at play, it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney regarding your accident and injuries. You might even have the lawyer review any proposed settlement the insurance carrier is offering before signing anything.