Normally, when you purchase an insurance policy, you are paying the insurer to provide protection in the event of certain types of catastrophes. The insurer is bound by Georgia state law to hold up their end of the deal. However, insurers make more money when they deny claims, and they wield substantial authority in “investigating” claims and deciding whether they are valid or not. Unsurprisingly, insurers sometimes abuse that power and deny claims wrongly. That’s dishonest, which is basically what bad faith means.
And if you were the victim of a bad faith decision by an insurance company, you can file a bad faith claim to get the money you’re owed (and often, much more than you would have gotten originally).
The 2 Kinds of Bad Faith Claims
Legally, there are two kinds of bad faith claims, and they can both come up in personal injury situations:
- First-party bad faith claims: This is where you had an insurance policy and the insurer wrongfully refuses to pay a claim under it.
- Third-party bad faith claims: These involve liability insurance, where an insurer is supposed to step in and pay claims against you or your business if they arise.
For example, if you were in a car accident and you were at fault, your own car insurance company is supposed to pay the other driver’s costs. If they fail to do so and you end up on the hook for the money, that is a third-party bad faith action on their part.
On the other hand, if you were hit by an uninsured driver and were counting on your own policy’s uninsured motorist coverage, and your insurer denies your claim on flimsy grounds, that’s a first party case. An uninsured motorist accident attorney can help you.
You Have Legal Rights Against Bad-Faith Insurers
Because of an insurer’s conflicting motives, bad faith actions are actually fairly common. Unfortunately, all too many people just assume there’s nothing they can do—or that the fine print in their insurance contract must be the final word. But that’s not always the case.
If your insurance company is unresponsive, won’t process your claim, or you believe they have denied your claim for a questionable reason… get help. At John Foy & Associates, we will sit down with you FOR FREE and help you get answers. Don’t wait. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.