What is Bad Faith? Bad Faith is when an insurance company does not attempt “in good faith” to settle claims when, under all circumstances, it could have and should have done so. An insurance company has an obligation to fully investigate all claims and settle, if possible. If the court or jury determines that an insurance company acted in “Bad Faith” the insurance company is responsible for paying the “full value” of the claim, even if the “full value” of the claim exceeds the insurance limits. Many times, “Bad Faith” claims are settled before trial because the insurance companies recognize that going to trial could further their exposure.
In the last 60 days. Mr. DeLattre has successfully negotiated settlements involving several cases in which the total settlement exceeded the available insurance limits. All of these cases were heavily litigated by Mr. DeLattre, as most “Bad Faith” cases are. One of these cases involved the “wrongful death” of a young man due to a motorcycle accident and another involved a minor child involved in an automobile crash. All of the settlements were for amounts twice as much (or more) than the original insurance limits and one settlement was for an amount five times the available insurance limits!
Because “Bad Faith” is very complicated, it is important to contact Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre immediately following an accident or any other event that involves insurance coverage. “Bad Faith” can also exist against your own insurance company based on a “homeowner’s claim” following a storm, for example, where your home is damaged. Should you have any questions about “Bad Faith” or any questions following an accident, please do not hesitate to contact our office.