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Auto Collisions and Insurance Bad Faith
Aurora and Denver Car Accident AttorneyEven the most careful drivers can get into car accidents. When you are involved in a car accident, you may believe that you are protected by your insurance company, because you own an insurance policy. Unfortunately, as many covered drivers soon realize, insurance companies across the United States are engaging in bad faith practices leaving their “covered” clients high and dry.
What is Bad Faith?Bad faith is a legal term for a tort claim that a person may have against their insurance company for committing bad acts. Implied in every insurance contract is a duty of good faith and fair dealing that is owed to the people the insurance companies insure. A violation, or breach, of this duty can result in the insured filing a tort claim against the insurance company in addition to a breach of contract claim. In other words, your insurance company is obligated to uphold their end of the insurance policy. If they fail to do so, they can be found guilty of “bad faith practices” and can be held liable.
What Type of Conduct Constitutes Insurance Bad Faith?When an automobile accident takes place, the insurance company is required to conduct a full and proper investigation of the claim and pay for damages suffered. The insurance company is also required to defend any lawsuits arising out of the accident and indemnify the insured. Insurance companies do not always carry out their duties. Examples of insurance bad faith include:
- Failure to properly investigate and assess a reasonable value of damaged property
- Failure to indemnify an insured when sued as a result of a covered accident
- Failure to defend an insured in a lawsuit filed against him related to the accident
- Failure to timely pay a covered claim
- Refusing to settle a case when a settlement is reasonable and in the best interest of the insured
- Failure to process a claim filed by an insured
If you have been involved in a car accident and are struggling with your insurance company to even get a response out of them, you may have a claim of bad faith. It is important not to let your insurance company give you the run around or bully you into taking a low payout that fails to fully compensate you. An experienced Colorado personal injury attorney can protect your rights and ensure that your insurance company does not end up taking advantage of you. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Denver car accident lawyer John R. Fuller today. The Denver personal injury attorney you select often makes the difference between a settlement that favors the insurance company and a settlement or verdict that is fair and meets your needs.