If you have suffered injuries that are covered under your insurance policy, your insurance company has a legal duty to pay you according to the terms of your policy. Your policy is a legally-binding contract, and under Florida law, your insurance company must meet its contractual obligations in good faith.
Unfortunately, these rules do not stop many insurance companies from wrongfully denying their policyholders’ claims. If your insurance company has wrongfully denied your personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation above and beyond the amount owed under your policy.
When an Insurance Denial Amounts to Bad Faith
It is important to note that just because your insurance company denied your claim, that does not necessarily mean you are a victim of bad faith. Personal injury claims can be complicated, and many times, insurance companies will be justified in initially denying their policyholders’ claims.
But, if you are entitled to payment and your insurance company uses improper tactics in order to avoid or delay payment, you could have a claim for a bad-faith denial.
Evidence of Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance companies’ improper tactics can take a number of different forms. The following are all common indications of insurance bad faith:
- Failing to confirm or deny coverage in a reasonable period of time
- Failing to provide justification for denial of your claim
- Ignoring your phone calls or emails
- Making an unjustified “low-ball” settlement offer
- Misleading you about your legal rights
- Misrepresenting the facts or the terms of your policy
- Not conducting a prompt and thorough investigation
- Trying to convince you to settle without hiring an attorney
Know Your Legal Rights
While many instances of insurance bad faith involve outright denials, this is not the only way your insurance company can violate your legal rights. You may also have a claim for bad faith if your insurance company uses improper methods to (i) get you to settle for less than you are legally owed, or (ii) delay payment on your policy. The only way to know for certain if your insurance company has violated your rights is to hire an experienced attorney to review your policy and assess the insurance company’s conduct.
Compensation for Bad-Faith Insurance Denials
If your insurance company has denied your claim in bad faith, not only are you entitled to the benefits available under your policy, but you may have a claim for additional financial compensation as well. Depending on the unique facts of your case, you may also have a claim for:
- Lost income resulting from the bad-faith denial
- Damages for emotional distress you experience as a result of the bad-faith denial
- Your attorneys’ fees incurred in enforcing your rights under your insurance policy
- Punitive damages if your insurance company acted intentionally or exhibited gross misconduct
Get Help for Your Personal Injury Insurance Claim
If you believe that your insurance company may be acting in bad faith, we encourage you to contact us right away. At Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A., we have decades of experience fighting for accident victims, and we can help you enforce your legal rights. For more information, call (850) 682-2757 or contact us online to speak with one of our Fort Walton personal injury attorneys today.