UNDERSTANDING BAD FAITH INSURANCE TACTICS
A study by Martindale-Nolo Research revealed that plaintiffs who held out for a better deal received injury settlements that were, on average, $30,700 greater than claimants who accepted the insurer's first settlement offer. When personal injury victims file claims, insurance companies are required to conduct an investigation, negotiate, and settle such claims fairly and in good faith. In contrast, some insurance providers are known to use what are known as bad faith tactics, such as offering ridiculously low first settlement offers, denying valid claims, and legal misrepresentation.
If you have reason to believe that an insurer is negotiating your injury claim using bad faith tactics, you can take legal action against the insurance company. At the Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A., I'm dedicated to providing experienced legal services and protecting the constitutional rights of personal injury victims.
As an experienced Florida personal injury attorney, I can review your situation and investigate the conduct of your insurance company. Using my extensive knowledge, I will fight to represent your best interests and help you pursue your rightful compensation. My firm proudly serves clients in Altamonte Springs, Florida, and other communities throughout Central Florida including Seminole, Osceola, Polk County, and Volusia.
Common Bad Faith Tactics
Pursuing injury claims after an auto accident involves several complexities. The reality is that insurance providers are in business to make money. Unfortunately, when the insurance company fails to honor its policy terms, the claimants are the ones who suffer. Bad faith tactics can be described as unfair, dishonest, or unethical practices used by insurers to deny, reduce, or delay payments of valid injury claims. Below are some common bad faith insurance tactics:
Lowball First Offer
Lowballing or offering unrealistically less money than the real worth of an injury claim is considered an act of bad faith. A lot of accident victims are pressured into taking the insurance provider's first settlement offer due to accumulated medical bills and financial hardship caused by the accident.
Regardless of the situation, you should never settle your injury claims until you have reached the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). This is the stage at which your condition can't be improved any further. An experienced attorney can help determine the full magnitude of your injuries and other accident-related losses.
Unnecessarily Long Delays
Unnecessary long delays are another bad faith tactic used by insurance companies. Under Florida law, a valid claim should be accepted or denied within a "reasonable period of time." The insurance company may try to delay the claims process by preventing an immediate investigation, not responding, or not offering a settlement. The ultimate goal is to frustrate the plaintiff, test their patience, and see whether they'll eventually stop pursuing their injury claim.
Failing to Respond To Communications
Under Florida law, insurance providers have a duty to do an independent investigation of claims. They cannot just sit back and wait for a demand. For some types of claims, the law also states that the insurer has 14 days to respond to any letter regarding a claim and up to 90 days to pay or deny a claim. Failing to respond to communications is considered an act of bad faith.
Failing to Conduct a Thorough Investigation
Claiming liability in a Florida accident case requires conducting an in-depth, private investigation. Unfortunately, some insurance companies fail to do this. Without due diligence, the insurance providers are quick to cite comparative negligence in order to avoid paying for the full extent of the victim's injuries or damage.
Acting in good faith requires the insurer to be honest and transparent in their statements about the insurance policy and its legal terms. Some insurance providers will deliberately misrepresent the policy's coverage, interpret the policy language in an illogical way, or fight against the claimant. This is a bad faith tactic.
Florida's Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act
The Florida Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act was established to protect policyholders and claimants from bad faith practices and unfair dealing of insurance providers. Here are some key provisions of the law:
The insurance company must address, investigate, and satisfy all personal injury claims in a thorough and timely manner
All injury claims must be settled fairly and in good faith
The insurance company must create a reasonable process for reviewing and investigating claims
A written explanation is required when a claim is denied
The insurance company must provide the policyholder with any extra information required before denying a claim
The insurance company must avoid certain deceptive practices and false advertising to mislead policyholders about the terms and conditions of their insurance coverage or policy
Reach Out Today for Reliable Legal Guidance
Dealing with insurance companies following an accident can be complicated and frustrating. If an insurance provider has denied your injury claim or negotiated using bad faith tactics, you are entitled to take appropriate legal action against them. It is important that you hire an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights and receive detailed guidance.
I have dedicated my career to handling legal matters including denied claims and bad faith insurance tactics. As your attorney, I will review the details of your case, investigate the insurance company's conduct, and seek to prove that circumstances surrounding their actions indicate that they acted in bad faith. I will fight to protect your rights and help you negotiate rightful compensation to cover your injuries and damage.
Contact my firm — The Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. — to schedule a case assessment with a knowledgeable bad faith insurance attorney. I can work to protect your rights and offer you the representation you need to pursue compensation. My firm proudly serves clients in Altamonte Springs, Florida, and communities throughout Central Florida including Seminole, Osceola, Polk County, and Volusia.