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Is your Insurance Company Negotiating in Bad Faith?

Insurance Company Bad Faith

When a person is injured in an accident, in most cases their injuries are covered by their insurance company. In instances where the accident is determined to have been the legal responsibility of another person, then that other person’s insurance company generally pays the expenses. In all cases, as consumers we rely upon the insurance companies from whom we buy our policies to honor their contracts and to act in good faith, and when they fail to do so they can be accused of acting in bad faith, and a tort action can be pursued against them.

When it comes to being able to tell whether your insurance company is negotiating in bad faith in reference to third party claims, it is important to understand what the insurance company’s responsibility is. They are expected to argue against their policy holder’s liability and cover the legal costs of doing so, and they are expected to pay whatever judgment is decided against the policy holder up to the limits of their policy’s coverage as long as the act is covered under the policy.  An insurance company can be accused of negotiating in bad faith if it fails in either of their duties – by wrongly refusing to defend the policy holder in a lawsuit against them or by wrongly refusing to pay the judgment against the policy holder in a lawsuit for actions covered by the policy.

Every situation is different, but there are some common examples of insurance companies acting in bad faith in third party claims. One is by creating an undue delay in the handling of a claim or by conducting a subpar investigation of the details of the claim. Another example of bad faith is refusing to defend a lawsuit or to make a reasonable settlement offer, unreasonably interpreting the coverage in a policy, or making threats against a policy holder. An insurance company that is found guilty of acting in bad faith can be assessed punitive damages as well as real damages.

When it comes to issues of workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, an insurer can be accused of bad faith if they refuse to pay a claim filed by an injured worker without any arguably reasonable basis, and this is true whether it is denied by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier or the insurance company for a third party that has been named in a personal injury lawsuit related to the claim. As a Pennsylvania worker who has been injured on the job, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that you’ve incurred. If your claim has been denied by an insurance company and you believe that they are acting in bad faith, you need an experienced law firm to act as your legal advocate and stand up for your rights. Call the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law today to learn more about how we can help.