Liability insurance policies protect policyholders in the event they cause damage to property or harm to individuals. A party who sustains a personal injury or damages files an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. The insurance provider investigates the claims and compensates victims if the insured is at fault, and the insurance policy covers the incident.
Settling insurance claims should be a straightforward process. It is not. Insurance companies complicate the process out of greed. An insurance company does not make money by paying large settlements for injury claims. Therefore, most insurance companies search for ways to undervalue or deny valid insurance claims. They use common insurance tactics that are well-known to our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers.
However, some insurance companies cross a line. They use deceitful practices designed to cheat injury victims out of the compensation they deserve. Our Pennsylvania bad faith insurance claims attorneys fight against these practices to protect our clients. We also fight to hold insurance companies accountable when they use bad faith tactics against our clients.
Our firm has handled numerous insurance bad faith insurance cases and successfully litigated a forty-three-day jury trial in Philadelphia County against a major national insurance company resulting in one of the largest common law bad faith verdicts in the history of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Think you have a case? Contact us online or call (215) 732-5555 for a free consultation.
Examples of Bad Faith Insurance Tactics
There are many ways in which an insurance company may act in bad faith in handling an insurance claim. Some of the most common types of bad faith insurance practices include:
Blaming the accident victim when there is no evidence the victim contributed to the cause of the accident or injury
Failing to take reasonable steps to investigate and process an insurance claim
Using unreasonable requirements to delay the process or burden the victim, such as requesting irrelevant documents or setting unreasonable deadlines
Altering the terms of the policy or canceling the policy after a claim is filed
Claiming that the policy does not cover the incident that resulted in the claim
Grossly undervaluing a claim
Pressuring an accident victim to settle a claim before the victim completes medical treatment
Refusing to provide a reason for denying a claim
Unjustified delays and lack of communication
Refusing to pay a valid personal injury claim that is covered by the insurance policy
Intentionally misrepresenting the language in the insurance policy or the law related to the policy
Requiring an accident victim to sign a medical records release before processing the claim
The above list is not complete. There are many other examples of bad faith insurance practices. In addition to accident victims, insurance companies may also be guilty of using these practices with their own customers.
What is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
If an insurance company acts in bad faith, you may have a bad faith insurance claim. This claim is separate and apart from a personal injury claim. You can recover additional compensation for the insurance company’s dishonest and illegal behavior. That compensation is in addition to any money that you might be entitled to receive for a personal injury claim.
If you are the policyholder, you might have a claim against your insurance provider if it fails to abide by insurance laws or any of the provisions of the insurance contract.
Do You Need a Philadelphia Bad Faith Insurance Attorney?
If you intend to file a claim for bad faith insurance practices, you need an attorney who has experience handling these types of claims. This type of claim is a complicated legal case. The laws governing these cases can include contract laws, as well as insurance laws. You want an attorney who understands what you must prove in court to be successful and recover compensation for your losses.
It may be challenging to spot bad faith insurance practices, especially if you are not familiar with specific laws. A Pennsylvania bad faith insurance attorney reviews your case and analyzes the facts to determine if you are the victim of dishonest practices. If so, your attorney explains your legal rights and your options for seeking compensation for damages.
At the Pansini, Mezrow & Davis, our lawyers have extensive experience handling bad faith insurance claims. Let us help you fight for what is right. Call (215) 732-5555 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your injury case.