If you think that your insurance company refuses to negotiate and settle your personal injury claim fairly, get familiar with the term “bad faith” because it seems that you will be using it a lot more often.
While it may seem that there is nothing you can do to encourage your insurer to provide you with insurance protection and to negotiate in good faith, there is actually a way out. After all, you have not been paying your insurance company all these years to get screwed at a time when you need financial help most.
“However, just because an insurance adjuster has a different opinion about the settlement amount or any other aspect of your case it does not necessarily mean that your insurer is engaging in dishonest or bad faith practices,” says our Los Angeles personal injury attorney at the Compass Law Group, LLP
It takes a lot to prove that an insurance company failed to provide you, its policyholder, with insurance protection, negotiate, or settle a claim in good faith. And more often than not, a person must be legally represented in order to successfully prove that a paid-for promise to provide financial help in the event of injury, damage, or loss was broken by the insurance company.
Suing your own insurance company vs. third party’s insurer
Typically, people are more successful in suing their own insurance companies compared to legal cases filed against an insurance company for third parties. In no way does it mean, however, that an insurer for third parties does not have a duty of good faith toward an injured party when their own policyholder’s negligence or carelessness causes injury and damages.
All it means is that the duty of good faith toward third parties is not as strong as toward their own policyholders. Our experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles says that despite this, it may still be possible to sue a third party’s insurance company for failure to act in good faith, especially if the adjuster engages in fraudulent or dishonest methods to deny your claim, reduce the value of your settlement, or in any other way interfere with your right to pursue the claim and recover damages.
What constitutes bad faith in California
Some of the most outrageous bad faith tactics employed by insurance companies are:
- Altering, falsifying, concealing, or destroying evidence;
- Intentional failure to preserve evidence;
- Tampering with witnesses;
- Delaying reasonable payment of claims;
- Making up excuses to avoid paying your claim;
- And many other.
More often than not, just because you and the adjuster have a different opinion about the severity of your injury or how much your claim is worth. If you believe that your insurance company engages in bad faith practices, do not hesitate to speak to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
You might need to write a letter claiming bad faith on the part of the insurance adjuster. In it, you will have to specially refer to the conduct that, in your opinion, constitutes “bad faith.” In many cases, showing this letter to the insurer sends the right signal and prompts your insurance company to react and stop acting in bad faith.