The most unpopular businesses in the world are likely insurance companies. Insurance companies are more than willing to take your premiums, but when it comes time to pay out, they may have an excuse for why they cannot.
If your insurance company denies your claim, you deserve justice. Luckily, when your insurance company gives you the runaround, the courts can force them to pay. For that to happen, you need the help of a denied car insurance claim attorney in Atlanta. Contact John Foy & Associates today for a free consultation and case review.
After a car accident, you might face an uphill battle with insurers. Our Atlanta insurance claims lawyers specialize in dealing with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Why Your Claim Was Denied
If your insurance company denies your claim, it is likely that your insurance company has attempted to manipulate the facts of your claim or has attempted to exploit an apparent loophole in your insurance contract to avoid paying you. In both of these circumstances, it is very likely that you could have a claim for breach of contract or bad faith.
It is also possible that your claim was denied because your loss allegedly fell within a policy exclusion, which is essentially an exception to your insurance coverage. Insurance companies will often attempt to argue that your injuries are within these exclusions, even when they are not, and this is the subject of many lawsuits against insurance companies for non-payment.
It is important to remember that while it might not feel like it, the law is often on your side. If you feel like you have been treated unfairly by your insurance company, you should contact an Atlanta car insurance claim attorney to be advised about your best course of action.
Get the strong arm
Insurance Bad Faith
Traditionally, the only remedy that insurance customers had against the shady dealings of their insurance companies was a lawsuit for breach of contract. While these suits, if successful, did force the insurance company to pay the full amount that they were obligated to pay, they did not authorize additional damages. Essentially, the insurance company was incentivized to deny claims whenever possible since the worst that would happen to them was that they would be later forced to pay the same amount of money as they would have anyway.
That is why Georgia, along with every other state, enacted laws allowing lawsuits for bad faith practices against insurance companies. These laws were designed to disincentivize insurance companies from wrongfully denying claims and have led to an improvement in general insurance practices.
At John Foy & Associates, we bring comprehensive legal expertise to your corner. Whether it’s a car accident or another form of personal injury, our personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
What the Insurance Bad Faith Laws Do
Lawsuits for breach of contract, by law, do not permit recovery of any more damages than were actually suffered, which, in the insurance context, is the amount that the insurance company was supposed to pay you. Since the nature of insurance policies places insurance companies in a unique position where contract law does not properly protect people’s interests, insurance bad faith laws were enacted.
Essentially, insurance bad faith laws have two purposes. First, the laws want to clarify and set forth clear rules on the duties and legal obligations of insurance companies. Second, the laws set out to increase the penalty on insurance companies for noncompliance with the law and your policy contract.
Duties and Obligations of Your Insurance Company
Generally speaking, your insurance company has a duty to do two things: (1) to fairly investigate and decide your claim, and (2) to do this within 60 days of you making the claim. If an insurance company fails to do either of these things, the denial of your insurance claim is presumed to be in “bad faith.”
Bad faith also means that your insurance company denied coverage to you in a way that is not reasonable. This standard is shown by showing the court that the insurance company was unreasonably obtuse when interpreting your insurance policy contract or did not do a full and fair investigation of your claim.
This is a very consumer-friendly standard. For example, in 2021, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in GEICO v. Whiteside that an insurance company acts in bad faith when they fail to immediately tender the full policy limits on demand when that insurance company has had sufficient time to find out whether they were liable. The law is on your side here; contact a denied car insurance claim lawyer in Atlanta to see if you have a claim.
Damages Available for Insurance Bad Faith
The other part of the insurance bad faith laws exists to provide increased damages for an insurance company’s bad faith denial of your claim. According to Georgia state law, if you show the court that your insurer acted in bad faith, you are entitled to:
- The full amount of your claim.
- Plus 50% of the full amount of your claim, a minimum of $5,000.
- Plus your attorney’s fees and costs of bringing the lawsuit.
This means, for example, that if your insurance company denied your claim for $25,000, and the court finds that this denial was in bad faith, you would be entitled to up to $37,500 (25,000 + 12,500) plus your attorney’s fees and costs. These extra damages are often enough to make your insurance company think twice before trying to screw you by acting in bad faith.
A skilled Atlanta-denied car insurance claim lawyer can convince the court that your insurance company acted unreasonably and get you the highest award possible.
Contact an Atlanta Denied Car Insurance Claim Attorney Today
If your insurance company left you out to dry, you need a denied car insurance claim attorney in Atlanta to help you make them pay. “The Strong Arm” John Foy has nearly 30 years of experience opposing insurance companies to help regular Georgians just like you. He is not afraid of huge insurance companies and can help you make them pay.
If your insurance company is acting unreasonably, and you feel like you have been treated badly, you should contact John Foy & Associates today for a free consultation and case review.