The Las Vegas personal injury attorneys of D.R. Patti & Associates are no strangers to insurance companies acting in bad faith. With over 26 years of experience in Las Vegas personal injury cases and litigation, D.R. Patti & Associates knows what to look for and how to hold insurance companies responsible. An insurance company is considered to be acting in bad faith if it denies or mishandles an insurance claim in such a way that it is considered unreasonable. In car accidents, an innocent victim may be entitled to compensation from their own automobile insurance policy if they have uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) coverage.
A UM policy covers an insured who is struck by a car with no insurance or by a hit-and-run driver, while UIM policy covers an insured who sustains damages more than what the at-fault driver’s insurance policy can cover. Also, there are times when accidents happen that are not caused by the negligence of other citizens. In these cases, a person will likely have to have their own insurance company pay for their medical expenses. When an insurance company acts in bad faith on these claims it can cause an unnecessary burden upon the victim.
Under United States law, insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to the persons they insure. This duty is often referred to as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing” which automatically exists by operation of law in every insurance contract. See Combee, Jamie R. (22 December 2014). “Insurance Bad Faith” (PDF). Mealey’s Litigation Report. 28 (16). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-06-04. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
Bad Faith Examples
- Lack of communication
- Making threatening statements
- Canceling or changing the policy after the claim is filed and under new terms
- They took an unreasonable length of time to pay your claim
- Your claim was denied but you weren’t given a reason
- Undervaluing your claim, and not offering a reasonable amount so that litigation is necessary to recoup the correct amount
- Failing to explain why a claim was denied or a compromise offer was made.
- Not using formal and proper investigative techniques i.e. use of fraudulent or illegal investigative processes.
Punitive damages might be available, which are imposed for the purpose of punishing the bad actor for particularly wrongful conduct. These damages are meant to deter insurance companies from doing the same thing to other policyholders.
On March 8, 2013, the Brevard County jury rendered a verdict for Cadle and against GEICO in the amount of $900,000.00. Thereafter, judgment was entered in the amount of $75,000.00, representing the UM policy limit. The present suit was filed on October 15, 2013, seeking to recover the $900,000.00 verdict (less set-offs) rendered in the underlying case. See Cadle v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co. (n.d.). Case Text. https://casetext.com/case/cadle-v-geico-gen-ins-co
If you think your insurance company is acting in bad faith, call the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys of D.R. Patti & Associates at 702-331-3391. We have extensive experience with bad faith insurance practices, and sometimes simply having a lawyer can make insurance companies change their practices.