A Georgia bad faith insurance lawyer at the Shrable Law Firm helps clients file claims against insurers who refuse to meet their legal obligations to their clients. We have extensive experience handling cases like these.
When someone purchases an insurance policy, they trust that the insurer will follow through and pay any valid claims that they make. Over time, policyholders consistently pay their insurance premiums to ensure that they don’t have a lapse in coverage. Many different types of insurance coverage are available. For instance, homeowner’s insurance protects the policyholder’s residence, helping to cover the cost of any damage that occurs. Car insurance, on the other hand, protects drivers if they get into an accident.
As long as the person keeps up with their payments, they naturally assume that the insurance company is going to pay any claims if their home is damaged or if they get into a wreck. Sadly, however, insurance companies don’t always see things the same way. When evaluating a claim, they may decide to pay less than the total cost of the damage or repairs. Even worse, they may decide not to pay the claim at all. In some situations, the insurance company is acting in bad faith when they make decisions like these. If you believe your insurance company has made a bad faith decision regarding your claim, you may need to seek legal help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
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What Qualifies As A Bad Faith Action?
Some of the most common examples of bad faith actions taken by insurance companies are listed in the following section. Keep in mind, this list is not comprehensive. There are additional actions that qualify as bad faith, as well.
Failing To Tell You Why They Denied Your Claim
If an insurance provider within Georgia denies a claim, they are obligated to let the policy owner know the reason why they are refusing to pay. For instance, imagine that you get into a car accident. You follow all of the correct steps when filing your claim. Unfortunately, the insurance company denies your claim, either failing to tell you why it was denied or providing you with an unacceptable reason for the denial. In a case like this, you may be able to file a bad faith insurance claim against the insurance provider.
Failing To Thoroughly Investigate A Claim
For insurance companies, an important part of acting in good faith involves thoroughly investigating claims after an accident. If the insurance provider puts off conducting the investigation or refuses to investigate, you can file a bad faith claim against them.
Failing To Pay A Valid Claim Promptly
When a policyholder files a valid claim, insurance companies are obligated to pay the claim within a reasonable amount of time. If your claim has been approved but the company is taking too long to send your payment, filing a bad faith claim may be the best way to get them to take action.
Offering Less Than The Value Of The Claim
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to convince clients to take settlements that are lower than what they deserve. If the insurance company makes a settlement offer that is too low and they are unwilling to increase it despite an effort to negotiate, it could be a bad faith offer. If the settlement offered by the insurance company is far lower than the value of the claim, you could have grounds to file a claim against them.
Failing To Pay A Valid Claim
If you file a valid claim after an accident, the insurance company has to pay it. If they won’t pay the claim or if they aren’t willing to settle, they could be acting in bad faith. In a situation like this, it is important to hold the insurance company accountable by taking legal action against them.
Trying To Intimidate Policyholders
Any threats against a policyholder are major red flags when dealing with insurance companies. Insurers have a responsibility to treat their clients with respect. If they are threatening you, speak to a qualified attorney right away to discuss filing a bad faith insurance claim.
Misinterpreting The Law Or The Language Of The Policy
If an insurance company misinterprets either the language of your policy or the law in regards to your claim after an accident, you can take legal action against them for acting in bad faith. Insurance companies are required to handle claims with honesty and integrity.
Refusing To Provide Documentation Upon Request
Insurance providers are obligated to provide documentation regarding their claim decisions upon request from the policyholder or a third-party. If you have made a request and the insurance company is refusing to comply, you could have grounds to file a bad faith claim.
A Closer Look At Georgia’s Statutory Bad Faith Laws
If a residential or commercial property is damaged by a storm or fire, insurance companies sometimes decide not to pay. Policyholders are protected against issues like these by a bad faith statute. The experienced attorneys at the Shrable Law Firm have dealt with numerous bad faith claims in the past. They can work with you to ensure that the insurance company is not violating your legal rights.
Failing To Settle In Bad Faith In Georgia
The whole point of having liability insurance is to provide financial protection for the policyholder in the event of an accident. For instance, if you are involved in a car accident and the other party is injured or their property is damaged, they could sue you to recover money for their medical expenses or property damage. As long as you have insurance, however, the insurance company will cover these expenses, protecting you from legal liability in the case.
The state of Georgia requires insurers to protect policyholders by settling any claims that are filed against them. Although each policy is different, the company is obligated to negotiate in good faith to reach a fair settlement that falls within the policy’s limits. Sometimes, insurance companies make extremely low settlement offers, offering far less than the amount of coverage provided by the policy.
Low settlement offers like these are risky for policyholders since it increases the likelihood that they could be sued or that they could be personally liable for expenses resulting from the accident. Actions like these are referred to as ‘bad faith failure to settle’ or ‘common law bad faith’. When situations like these occur, contact the attorneys at the Shrable Law Firm to file a bad faith claim in regards to your settlement.
Understanding Declaratory Judgment Action In The State Of Georgia
Sometimes, individuals or companies submit a claim to their insurance company only to find out that the insurance provider is suing them. Lawsuits like these are known as declaratory judgment actions. The goal of these lawsuits is to try to get the court to state that the insurance company is not obligated to pay the claim. If you have been sued by your insurance company, our attorneys can represent you, helping to protect your rights.
How Are Bad Faith Insurance Claims Proven?
Proving that the insurance company behaved in bad faith isn’t always easy. You need to put together compelling facts showing that the insurance company’s actions were done in bad faith. Every case is different since no two accidents are exactly alike. That can make it challenging to establish that the insurance company was not acting in good faith – particularly if you try to do so on your own. The best course of action is to hire a lawyer who is experienced with bad faith insurance claims if you are having trouble with your claim after a car accident.
It is important to remember that the bad faith claim you filed against the insurance company is completely separate from any claims filed against the at-fault driver. A lawyer who specializes in bad faith insurance claims will be able to explain the difference between these two types of cases so you have a better understanding of exactly what is happening with your claim.
What Is The Point Of Using Examination Under Oath?
When a policyholder files a claim, insurance companies sometimes do their best to delay the process, searching for any excuse to deny it. Sometimes, companies like these use a process known as examination under oath. If your insurance provider is asking for examination under oath, it means that they are trying to find a way to deny your claim.
In situations like these, our lawyers can help you prepare for an examination under oath. Insurance companies must meet their responsibilities when it comes to paying claims for their clients. If you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith, reach out to us at the Shrable Law Firm today. We have some of the most experienced bad faith insurance lawyers in Georgia. With their help, you can take on your insurance company with confidence.
Seek Compensation From Insurance Companies That Act In Bad Faith
If your insurance company has used bad faith tactics when dealing with your claim, submitting an accusation in writing is often enough to spur them into action. With the help of one of the skilled lawyers at the Shrable Law Firm, you can improve your chances of getting a fair settlement from the insurer.
Although this is an effective tactic in many cases, it sometimes is not enough. If the insurer still fails to act in good faith, you can then file a claim against them. The Shrable Law Firm has car accident attorneys who are skilled in handling bad faith insurance cases. With their help, you can seek damages from the insurance company for breaching your contract. This can not only help you get the benefits you are owed but also any interest that has accrued while you are waiting.
In addition, you can also claim damages for any legal expenses, financial losses, or emotional suffering that you experienced as a result of the insurance company acting in bad faith. In situations where the insurer behaved in a way that was malicious or fraudulent, you may even be able to seek punitive damages.
Insurance companies have a responsibility to their clients to make a good-faith effort to fulfill their obligations. With the help of our team at the Shrable Law Firm, you can take action against the insurance company to ensure that they follow through on their legal obligations. Call us today at (229) 518–9209.