If you are a victim of a trucking accident and have had your insurance claim denied, it is not the end of the road. According to a report released by the American Association of Justice (AAJ) there are several instances of bad faith insurance practices by some of the country’s largest insurers.
The report highlights cases where insurers denied claims stating that the accident was a result of ‘road rage’ and was therefore not ‘accidental’.
For the most part, insurers cannot reject a victim’s truck accident claim without good reason.
However, there are many cases where this does happen and if the insurer fails to provide a proper reason for having denied the claim, the victim has the right to bring a bad faith case against the insurer to get additional compensation. One of the benefits of a bad faith lawsuit is that the plaintiff can potentially receive much more than the compensation that he/she had initially demanded.
Proving ‘Bad faith’
If the insurer denies a claim because of an assessment error then this does not construe as a bad faith case. Often there is a reasonable basis for such errors and therefore it is not possible to establish bad faith. However, when the insurer rejects a claim without a thorough investigation it may be considered as a bad faith case.
Poignant legal counselors explain that in such a situation the plaintiff will have to prove that the insurer’s investigator ignored or omitted evidence that would have made the claim valid.
In most cases, it is difficult for the plaintiff to convince the jury that the insurer intentionally conducted a weak investigation in a bid to omit evidence that would have validated the claim. If the plaintiff can demonstrate a pattern of not adhering to investigation guidelines mandated by state laws, then he or she can win a much larger sum as compensation depending on several factors surrounding the truck accident.
Damages that You can Extract from Bad Faith Lawsuits
You can recover damages that you had demanded in the initial claim. This includes:
– compensation for medical expenses
– damage to your vehicle
– loss of income
– pain and suffering
…..and other costs included in the insurance coverage that was earlier denied. In addition, you will also be eligible to receive consequential damages, which are damages that resulted from the denial.
This includes the costs of suing the truck driver and/or other liable parties such as the trucking company and the insurer. You may also be able to receive compensation for punitive damages which are penalties imposed on the insurer for failing to honor a rightful claim in addition to damages for emotional trauma.
How can an insurer defend its case?
If the insurer provides evidence that the policy owner intentionally misrepresented facts while applying for compensation then the court may find the denial justified. An insurer may argue that it denied the claim based on a fairly debatable assessment of the claim. For example, if the insurance company denied the claim after studying judicial opinions of similar cases or after they were advised to deny a claim by their legal counsel to do so.
It is time for action now!
If you are being persistently harassed by an insurance provider, then it would be wise to talk to a competent, stellar, and illustrious truck accident lawyer in Mississippi. In fact, you need to do this right after the accident and if you cannot do it, someone who you can trust needs to notify a legal counselor. You need to tell the insurance adjustor that you do not want to speak with them until you have a lawyer speaking for you.
If they do not back down, that can be construed as harassment.
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