Kansas City, MO Bad Faith Lawyer
Bad faith in the legal space is considered any intentionally fraudulent or dishonest act that impacts a contractual duty or obligation. Entering into a contract under false premises or breaching the terms of a contract are both considered acts of bad faith and are subject to lawsuit. In tort law, bad faith most often describes an act of dishonesty by an individual’s insurance company. In a tort claim of bad faith, the plaintiff may sue an insurance provider for damages. Some cases may award the plaintiff punitive damages that are in excess of the policy held. It is important to seek the help of an experienced Kansas City, MO bad faith lawyer if you are in need of counsel.
Contact Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet in Kansas City, Missouri, if you suspect you may be the victim of an act of bad faith. These dishonest dealings can leave victims unable to pay medical bills or receive other compensation based on the terms of their insurance policy. Your life can be turned upside down by an insurance company’s choice to neglect fulfilling their duties within your contract.
The Kansas City personal injury lawyers at Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleethighlights individualized attention for each of our clients. From the time you schedule a consultation until your case is finished, we will act as the defender of your rights to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve from any act of bad faith.
Acts of Bad Faith
The acts of bad faith your insurance may commit that are eligible for filing a lawsuit include:
- Failing to investigate or improper investigation. When you file a claim with your insurance provider, it is their duty to investigate your claim to appropriately cover your needs. If they fail to do so or do not follow protocol, it is considered an act of bad faith. While this is not very common in personal injury cases, due to ERISA laws, it is something to be aware of.
- Failing to defend a claim. Even if your claim is not entirely covered by an insurance policy, it is your insurance provider’s duty to defend your claim or lawsuit. The laws surrounding an insurance provider’s duty to defend vary by state, making legal support necessary to determine the applicable laws in your case.
- Duty to pay. Insurance providers are obligated to pay policy holders up to coverage limits indicated in a policy when appropriate. If an insurance provider inaccurately refuses to pay settlement that is covered by a lawsuit, it is considered an act of bad faith.
- Inappropriate delay when handling a claim is also subject to the definition of bad faith.
- Threatening the insured.
- Misinterpreting or unreasonably interpreting a policy.
It’s important to note that the concept of bad faith in law is fluid and defined wholly by case precedent and individual case evaluation. Punitive damages serve the purpose of incentivizing insurance companies to act in good faith, but cases are brought every day to counter acts of bad faith in insurance.
Kansas City, MO Bad Faith Attorney Legal Counsel
A straightforward example of bad faith would be an insurance adjuster’s unwillingness to provide you with enough coverage for your injury. If your adjuster provides you a low settlement amount that does not meet your needs or adequately provide for the coverage listed in your policy, mention bad faith in conversation. That term should make the adjuster rethink the settlement amount. If that still does not change the amount, write a formal letter claiming bad faith.
While retaining the services of a Kansas City bad faith attorney can help you take action quickly from the moment you suspect bad faith, you can address the matter on your own first. If the adjuster refuses to change position regarding the offered settlement, you will definitely need to seek legal counsel to receive the compensation you deserve from your policy.
You pay premiums to your insurance company for a reason. When they fail to act in accordance with your contract, you may be legally entitled to receive compensation above and beyond the terms of your policy.