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Bad Faith

Definition - What does Bad Faith mean?

Bad faith negotiation occurs in a personal injury claim when an insurance adjuster denies a personal injury claim and refuses to negotiate a settlement offer without cause. One indication of bad faith negotiations is if an insurance adjuster refuses to settle with an injured plaintiff for an amount which is consistent with other injury claims based on similar conditions and cost of injuries.

States have created insurance statutes as well as codes to address bad faith negotiations. Review your state's insurance codes online, in a county courthouse, or in a law library if you have questions. Injury lawyers can also review bad faith policies with you or help you fight against insurance companies who negotiate in bad faith.

Identifying bad faith negotiations

If you have been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice case, or slander case you may be entitled to compensation which can include medical cost reimbursement, pain and suffering, and lost wage compensation.

The first step is to contact the insurance company of the defendant and allow them to investigate the personal injury claim against their insured claimant. Next, they will attempt to come up with reasons why your claim should be denied. Finally, if they determine you have a valid claim they are expected to offer a settlement offer which will compensate you for your loss. Their goal is to offer you the lowest amount possible for your injuries; your goal is to ensure your injuries are fully compensated.

What if they do not do their due diligence and they simply deny your claim without investigating?

This could be considered bad faith negotiations. Other evidence of bad faith can include making a settlement offer which is substantially too low and does not support the facts of the case; ignoring your repeated telephone calls and letters; telling you it is too late to file a claim (but the statute of limitations has not expired); telling you the company does not have information about your case; asking you to submit a new claim simply to stall negotiations; using intimidating tactics; asking for unnecessary documentation; and intentionally prolonging the settlement negotiations.
If any of the above has occurred or the insurance company is refusing to discuss a settlement offer, contact a personal injury lawyer.

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