Bad Faith Insurance Claim Settlement Amounts

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Learn more about possible bad faith insurance claim settlement amounts and how to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

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How Much Is a Bad Faith Insurance Settlement Worth?: A Personal Injury Perspective 

When people procure an insurance policy, they enter into a contract where they agree to pay premiums with the expectation that the insurance company will handle their claims expediently and fairly when they make them. If the insurance company fails to meet this expectation after the policyholder files a valid claim, it may be said to have acted in bad faith, and the affected policyholder can take legal action against them.

A successful bad faith insurance lawsuit against your insurance company can lead to a judgment award by the court, but sometimes, the insurance company may offer a settlement amount so the case goes away.

But just how much can a person get from a bad faith claim? The specific amount depends on several factors, including the case’s circumstances, the applicable law, and the extent of damage. In any case, most settlements result from active negotiation between the parties. So, if you intend to pursue a bad faith insurance claim, it is important to consult with a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney who can advocate for you during the negotiations to help you secure the maximum compensation possible.

At the Dressie Law Firm, we understand the nuances involved in bad faith insurance lawsuits and settlement negotiations, especially in personal injury cases where the injured party or policyholder was injured due to another’s negligence. Our firm’s experience with personal injury law positions us to effectively counter unwarranted claim denials or unreasonable settlement offers and defend your interests during negotiations or in court.

Please read on as we explain the basics of bad faith insurance claims in personal injury cases and share specific ways we can help.

    Understanding Bad Faith Claims in Georgia 

    The relationship between an insurance company and each policyholder is based on good faith. Each party is required to fulfill its obligations under the insurance policy, and the insurance company is obligated to pay a policyholder once their policy covers their claim. 

    However, in personal injury cases, a policyholder’s insurance company may be reluctant to pay for the policyholder’s injuries/damage. This is because Georgia is an at-fault state when it comes to personal injury cases. This means that a person injured due to the fault of another should ordinarily obtain compensation from the party responsible or their insurance company.

    Unfortunately, third-party liability claims often take time to resolve. So, when you need assistance with your medical bills and other expenses, it is only natural to turn to your health insurance provider. They are bound to provide coverage and benefits for your injuries by your contract with them (although they may have the right to reimbursement if you subsequently get compensated by the at-fault party’s insurance company).

    By law, you can expect payment from your insurance company within weeks after filing an accident claim. It is bad faith for them to ignore or deny your claim or otherwise fail to fulfill their contractual obligations because they feel you should pursue the third-party claim or for any other unjustifiable reason. 

    What Constitutes Bad Faith?

    You may have a valid bad-faith insurance claim in the following circumstances:

    •  Failure to Investigate: When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company should investigate your claims and the extent of the damage you’ve suffered and compensate you accordingly (within your policy limits). Their refusal to conduct a thorough and timely investigation into your claim could indicate bad faith on their part.
    • Unjustified Denial of Benefits: The benefits you receive after an insurance claim depends on the terms specified in your insurance policy. If any benefit is denied or withheld without cause, it could be used as a basis for a bad faith claim.
    • Failure to Provide Pertinent Information: Your insurer shouldn’t keep you in the dark. Rather, they should provide the necessary information about their insurance claims process and what you need to navigate it. If they fail to do so and deny your claim, their actions could exemplify bad faith.
    • Lowball Offers: Offering significantly less than a claim’s fair value without a reasonable explanation is unacceptable and could also indicate bad faith.
    • Threat of Litigation: Some insurers may indicate a willingness to take a case to court, banking on the fear of a legal battle to force the victim to accept a lower offer. This could also indicate the insurance company’s bad faith, depending on the circumstances.

    Georgia law is clear in these matters and gives the policyholder the right to file a lawsuit and recover compensation.

    Georgia’s Bad Faith Insurance Claims Law: How Much You Can Get in a Settlement

    Georgia’s general bad faith insurance statute (O.C.G.A. § 33-4-6) allows you to file a case against an insurer if they fail to pay you within 60 days of filing your claim for no just cause.

    The law also limits the amount of compensation you can get if your claim is successful to:

    • An amount that totally covers your financial losses due to your accident or injury, plus
    • 50 percent of your losses or the sum of $5000, depending on which is greater, and
    • Any amount spent on attorney fees/ court costs.

    The specific amount you get will depend primarily on the amount you lost to medical bills and other expenses due to the accident. So, you must provide evidence that supports those expenses and any other amount you hope to recover.

    However, if you opt for an out-of-court settlement, the insurance company may be reluctant to follow this rule since the settlement is facilitated without court involvement. 

    A personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate favorable terms to ensure you do not get less than the law stipulates.

    Steps to Take When You Suspect Bad Faith

    If you suspect insurance bad faith, the following steps can help you as you seek legal relief:

    Review Your Policy: Thoroughly review your insurance policy to understand the limits of your insurance coverage. That way, you can verify if your insurance company has failed to uphold its part of the agreement.

    Document Everything: Keep copies of all correspondence, including dates of conversations, the names of representatives you’ve spoken with, and what was said. You’ll need the evidence to support your insurance bad faith claim.

    Seek Professional Counsel: Engaging with a legal professional early on in your case can be beneficial. Your lawyer can 

    • Advise you on your rights
    • Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and represent your interests, leaving you free to focus on your recovery.
    • Help you navigate the legal process to ensure you get the maximum compensation possible.

    File a Formal Complaint or Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit: If a peaceful settlement is impossible, you can file a lawsuit against the insurance company. You can also file a complaint with the State Department of Insurance.

    Your lawyer can help you determine which course of action is appropriate for your case so you can get the compensation you deserve.

    How the Dressie Law Firm Can Help

    When an insurance company fails to process your claim fairly, it’s essential to understand your rights and the pathways to holding them accountable for their actions.

    At the Dressie Law Firm, our goal is to ensure that your rights are protected after a personal injury accident.  If your insurance company has denied your claim or refused to pay what your claim is worth, we can help you navigate the legal process and work to ensure you receive what is rightfully yours.

    Over the course of our personal injury practice, we’ve dealt with our fair share of bad-faith insurance companies. We understand their strategies and motivations for denying you your due and can help you build a solid case so you can fight back confidently.

    Our dedicated team leverages our extensive experience in personal injury cases to assess and anticipate the insurer’s actions or inactions and gather the necessary evidence to support your bad faith claim.

    More than just settling, it’s our job to ensure that every client receives the financial compensation they are entitled to for their physical and emotional damages. We hope to be able to do the same for you.

    Contact Us Today 

    You can initiate a bad faith claim against your insurance company if they breach the terms of your insurance policy and refuse to process your claim. However, the amount you can get depends on the extent of your losses and your ability to prove bad faith.

    Proving your claim and navigating the legal process could be difficult. But you do not have to face it alone.

    Our team at the Dressie Law Firm is prepared to stand by you and ensure you are not cheated out of your entitlement. 

    So, if you suspect bad faith, do not hesitate.Contact us today for a consultation. Let us help you assert your rights and steer your personal injury case toward a fair settlement.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!