Articles Posted in Bad Faith

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Under Florida law, insurance companies must act in “good faith” when addressing and resolving an insurance claim made against a policy. However, in many cases, insurance companies fail to do this. Through a Florida bad faith claim, state law provides policyholders with an avenue to seek restitution if they believe that an insurance company has engaged in bad faith practices when attempting to resolve a claim.

Bad faith claims arise if an insurance company breaches its duty to recognize a claim, investigate a claim promptly, respond appropriately to communication requests, act efficiently, or offer valid reasons for a delay or denial. There are generally two types of Florida bad faith claims, first-party and third-party claims. First-party claims occur when an insurance company has a contractual duty to pay benefits to its policyholder. Whereas, third-party coverage protects the policyholder in cases where they may be liable for injuries and damages to a third-party.

Under the law, policyholders who are asserting a bad faith claim must provide the insurance company with a notice of the statutory violation. After receiving the notice, the law provides the insurance company with an opportunity to cure the violation, by paying the claimant’s damages. If the company cures the violation within the time frame, the bad faith claim becomes irrelevant. However, if the company fails to respond, the courts will presume that the plaintiff’s assertion is true.

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After an accident, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a difficult insurance company. Florida’s bad faith law allows an individual to sue their insurer if they believe that the insurer engaged in fraud or “bad faith” activities when defending or settling a claim that resulted in additional damages or legal costs for the insured. These types of cases can be extremely complex, which is why it is imperative to seek the help of a qualified Miami injury attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law.

In Hayas v. GEICO General Insurance Co., a man named Hayas was involved in an automobile accident that caused the death of another person. When the accident took place, Hayas had liability insurance through GEICO General Insurance Co. and had a policy for up to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident.

After the wreck, the deceased individual’s estate filed a negligence lawsuit against Hayas, the at-fault driver, as well as his insurance company. While there was a chance for settlement, the insurance company supposedly refused to settle the matter. After a jury trial, the deceased individual’s estate secured a judgment in state court for the amount of $1.6 million against Hayas. Continue reading →

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