An unexpected car accident can cause significant setbacks, but it should not ruin your life when you are in good standing with your insurance company. If your insurance company offers a low settlement or denies a valid claim, you probably feel betrayed. You pay monthly or yearly premiums your entire life to create a safety net so that you have something to protect your family and you if tragedy strikes. Sadly, in some cases, insurance companies turn their backs on their insureds when they need them most. Despite feeling lost, you have legal recourse.
First and Third-Party bad faith
When an insurance company refuses to pay the full and fair amount in a timely manner, the company is acting in bad faith. Insurance companies are large and powerful, but you do have recourse.
Kentucky recognizes first and third-party bad faith claims. First-party bad faith occurs when an insurance company fails to treat its own insured in good faith; typically, this happens during the claims process. Third-party bad faith occurs when the at-fault party’s insurance company treats the injured person unfairly; this typically occurs in the claims process. Ohio recognizes first-party bad faith claims, but not third-party bad faith.
Follow up appropriately
Taking “no” for an answer without following up is a common mistake when dealing with insurance companies. You have the right to request a full written explanation from your insurer as to why they deny your claim. If you have an attorney working on your behalf, you will have a better chance of getting full compensation. If the insurance company still does not offer full compensation, your lawyer will have the foundation for a bad faith case which can be more valuable than the underlying injury case.
Consult your lawyer
While involving a lawyer may be your last resort, it could be the only option if your insurer continues to treat you poorly.
When insurance companies act in bad faith, it can be emotionally and financially devastating for those they swear to protect. As a victim of wrongful behavior at the hands of an insurer, you can consult with an insurance law attorney to explore the options available to you. We have a strong record of success fighting insurance companies and would be honored to help you.