When you purchased your auto insurance policy and paid your monthly premiums, you believed that you’d be protected if you were involved in an accident and suffered injury. However, when that actually happened and you filed a claim with your insurer, you were denied coverage. So, what can you do if this happens?
Was it a Bad Faith Auto Insurance Denial?
Upon providing you with insurance, the insurer assumes certain responsibilities towards you, one of which is dealing with clients in good faith. If an insurer acts in bad faith, they are attempting to avoid their obligations to you. A bad faith denial usually involves one of the following:
• refusing to pay your claim
• an improper valuation of your property
• improperly investigating your accident
When an insurer acts in bad faith, there are two legal actions that can be pursued:
• Tort – This is a civil wrong because the insurer has not kept their duty to you by denying your claim and refusing to pay it.
• Breach of Contract – almost every case involving a claim denial due to bad faith results in a decision of breach of contract. In such an action, the insurance company has not kept their promise to compensate you for harm or loss by denying your claim.
While the analyses of these legal claims are similar, tort claims often provide access to punitive as well as other damages. The damages and legal actions that are available depend on the legal aspects.
What Damages are available?
This often varies and ultimately depends on your jurisdiction. As the plaintiff, you may be able to claim any or all of the following damages:
• Compensatory damages – These intend to make the injury victim financially whole and remedy the bad faith claim denial
• Punitive damages – damages intended for the purpose of punishing the insurer for the egregiousness of their bad faith claim denial
• Consequential damages – These compensate the injury victim for all current and future expenses and injuries occurring due to the bad faith claim denial
• Attorney’s fees – in some jurisdictions, the plaintiff may be able to recover the cost of their attorney’s fees
Unfortunately, there are numerous facets of bad faith insurance claim cases that depend on local area laws. In these types of cases, the plaintiff can benefit from the legal assistance of an experienced attorney. The insurance company will most certainly have personal injury lawyer in Sydney representing their best interests. Thus, you should as well. Having a good team of experienced lawyers in your corner can be advantages to your interests. Call on Brill Law to know more about how our team of lawyers can be of assistance.