When an injured individual files a claim against an insurance company — either their own provider or that of a third party — there are several legitimate reasons that claim may be denied. In some cases, the company may dispute liability for the accident, or may find that the claimed damages exceed the maximums described in the policy. As the insurance attorneys at Kalispell, MT's Hammer, Quinn & Shaw PLLC explain, insurance companies do have a duty to negotiate in good faith with injured parties attempting to file a claim.
This duty of good faith is strongest when an individual is filing a claim with their own insurance company for losses or injuries they believe are covered by their existing policy. If the claimant has reason to suspect that the insurance adjuster is not negotiating in good faith, their insurance attorney may be able to pursue the issue in court, winning a higher award than the case would have otherwise warranted.
There are several indicators which can cause a claimant to believe an insurance company is negotiating in bad faith, such as unreasonably low settlement offers, no explanation for denied claims, or a lack of response for details or counter offers. However, an insurance company dealing with an injured third party has a much lower threshold for good faith negotiations. In most cases, a third party can only claim bad faith if they can prove the adjuster made willfully misleading statements, tampered with evidence, or made other serious transgressions when dealing with your case.
The laws governing bad faith vary from state to state and depend on a great number of circumstances. Visit Hammer, Quinn & Shaw PLLC online now to learn more about these insurance attorneys. You can also call (406) 755-2225 to speak with a lawyer today.