The Florida Bad Faith Insurance Guide was created by Paul Boone Law to help residents who have suffered from bad faith insurance obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
Jacksonville Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers
Were you a victim of insurance bad faith? We know how frustrating it can feel to have been involved in an incident that left you with damages. Now you are turning to the insurance company to which you have been giving your money all along and they aren’t going to help you the way that they should be. Our Jacksonville insurance bad faith lawyers stand by your side and fight for your rights. We want you to feel supported and guided through this entire process. Please call us right away to set up a consultation with Paul Boone and learn about your rights in your case and how we can help you get the success you need.
What is Insurance Bad Faith?
When a bad situation happens and you turn to your insurance after having paid premiums and paying for your insurance coverage all this time, you hope for them to cover your damages. That’s why you have insurance in the first place. Sometimes they don’t do that, however, defeating the entire purpose of having insurance.
Insurance bad faith is the antithesis of insurance good faith. Good faith would be to pay out any damages for the insured. Remember though that an insurance company is a business first and foremost and they, just like every other business in this country, want to make a profit. Unfortunately, those they profit from are the people who rely on them. They offer the service of ensuring your goods but they ultimately have the decision-making power to turn away a case which would save the money if you didn’t know any better and just let them do this without any recourse. Our Jacksonville insurance bad faith lawyers fight for you to have the compensation that you deserve. We don’t want them to get away with bad faith.
A lot of the time an insurance company is going to turn away a case based on the law and it is going to be all legal and sound reasoning. There are some insurance companies, however, who are going to push their boundaries and they won’t look into a case that they should have and maybe they deny people who deserve compensation or they undermine the value of some people’s claims so that they can make some more money while they’re doing their business. This is what insurance bad faith really is at the core of it.
These types of cases make up a good deal of insurance litigation. You are entitled to bring claims against people when they’re guilty of negligence and you’re also entitled to be compensated for the damages, so long as you can prove that there was a liable party and their actions caused you harm. A personal injury case can seem simplistic compared to a bad faith insurance claim because there are so many layers to it, which is why you want to fall back on experienced Jacksonville insurance bad faith lawyers to help you. Success is not easily won, and Paul Boone knows that. The fight won’t be easy but it’s going to be a responsibility that Paul Boone takes very seriously because you are someone who deserves justice. You are not just a case number that we were trying to get out the door as soon as possible.
Types of Bad Faith Insurance Cases in Florida
While every case is going to slightly vary, there are typically two types of insurance bad faith claims; first party and third party.
If you were to file a first party claim, it would be because your insurance company denied your claim or refused to investigate in an unreasonable manner when they really should be doing these things. An example of that would look like your homeowner’s insurance denying your claim for damage that happened during a storm, but this was something that was covered under insurance policy. That’s a first party claim.
A third party claim would be a little bit more complicated. These types of claims usually involve the insurance company handling your claim negligently from a third party. Generally, this is when the first party policyholder purchases insurance protection from a third party against liability claims. It’s a complex matter that our Jacksonville insurance bad faith lawyers can walk you through.
Here is an example: if you’re on the road and you hit someone and an investigation shows that you were at fault for the incident, the person you hurt can hold you accountable for their damages, which your car insurance would cover. If your insurance company handles this negligently and refuses to give the motorist that you hit the pay out that they deserve, this would be a third party insurance bad faith claim. Many layers are involved in winning a case like this.
In Florida, insurance companies must obey common law and statutes in which they agreed to hold both the first party and third party claimants fairly. This was a judicial precedent set for common law, based on what the court has seen before with insurance bad faith cases.
If you have a first party insurance bad faith claim in Florida, it cannot be a common law case. Also, third party claims could either be a common law claim or statutory claim. This is all information that your Jacksonville insurance bad faith lawyers will understand. They are up-to-date on Florida law and will be able to figure all the behind-the-scenes issues out so you don’t have to worry about them and then stress over what kind of information you need to know about the law. We take care of this so you don’t have to.
What You Need to Know About a Florida Statutory Bad Faith Insurance Claim
The laws in Florida for insurance companies make it very clear that insurance companies owe their clients and any third-party claimants a certain duty. The law also clearly defines what bad faith means.
The following is what would constitute bad faith for insurance companies under Florida’s unfair insurance trade practices act:
- The insurance company trying to offer a settlement or a payout after having altered the claim without telling the claimant.
- Misrepresenting facts to the claimant in hopes of them taking a low settlement offer.
- The insurance company not investigating a claim within a reasonable amount of time or refusing to do a proper investigation on a claim.
- Not returning communications with a claimant in a proper amount of time.
- Not giving proper notice to the claimant that they needed additional information to complete a claim or explaining why they needed this information to the claimant.
- Not giving the claimant enough information as to why the claim was denied or why the settlement only partially covered the damages.
Any and all of the above could be considered bad faith under Florida law. If you believe that this has happened to you, you need to reach out to our Jacksonville insurance bad faith lawyers as soon as you possibly can so that we can get started on building a foundation for a case against the insurance company.
How a Florida Bad Faith Claim Works
Insurance companies do a lot to protect themselves from claims just like the one you are likely thinking about filing. They have a lot of experts in their legal teams to try to fight these cases, so you know that you need to have Jacksonville insurance bad faith lawyers ready to take on a serious challenge here.
Usually the insurance companies are going to say that you handled this case negligently. An example would be saying that your damages were over-exaggerated or that you didn’t give them any good follow-up information in the proper timeline etc. They will try to pin it on you thereby proving that their rejection or delays were not in fact negligent.
That being said, when you’re filing a claim you need to be extremely diligent about reviewing your policy with your lawyer before you even think about bringing a claim because you need to have everything in order if you’re going to take on a challenge like this. Do everything in writing so that there is documentation of the process and no questions about what was said and what was communicated and when.
Keep a record of all of your correspondence with the insurance company so you can look back and prove or dispel any claims that they are trying to make against you. Make sure you are in close communication with your Jacksonville insurance bad faith lawyers about this and how you guys are going to record any interactions you have with the insurance company.
At the end of the day, this is a very complicated matter and winning an insurance bad faith claim requires you to be diligent about documenting and requires your lawyer to have extensive knowledge on these types of cases. Please know that getting your insurance company to stick to covering your damages saves you from having to pay out-of-pocket for what you have had to suffer through.
Bad Faith Insurance Definition
We often get questions from people where they have heard about insurance bad faith. They don’t know what it is exactly. Simply put, insurance bad faith is when an insurance company doesn’t deal fairly with you, and in the context of claims, doesn’t settle a case when it could have, and under all the circumstances, should have within the policy limits of your case.
When people call us with what they think is an insurance bad faith claim, and it occurs in Duval County, Nassau County, or any of the surrounding areas, we make an appointment with them. We sit down and we talk about it. We educate them about bad faith.
There are complexities to bad faith. We walk you through it and map out a plan for how to deal with that insurance company. Call us today.
Bad Faith Insurance Suspicions
We often get calls from clients who are not satisfied with their own insurance company. They don’t think they’re being dealt with fairly by their own insurance company. What can we do to fix that?
It depends on the circumstances. Here’s an example of how we handled a circumstance rather recently:
A client had an event happen in her backyard where someone got hurt. She was responsible. The person got hurt very badly. Her insurance company, her homeowner insurance company, would not pay the claim to the woman who got hurt. Her damages, her injuries go way beyond the limits of the insurance policy, so she came to us, asking what to do.
What we did was we put the insurance company on notice of its behavior, saying that we fully expected the insurance company to deal fairly with that injured person, and pay that person, and settle the case within our client’s policy limits. We did that so that if this injured person sues and gets a verdict way beyond our client’s policy limits and personally exposes her to those damages, then we have set the stage for a bad faith case.
That is a way to protect yourself if you have that kind of scenario where your own insurance company is not doing what you think they ought to do. Call us. We’ve been in practice for decades. We can write a letter. We can lay the foundation for protecting you in the event the insurance company’s behavior harms you by putting you in a position of personal exposure for a loss that should have been paid by your insurance that you bought and that you relied upon to protect you.
That’s what we do here. If you have a case like that in Duval County, Nassau County, or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down and we’ll figure out a plan that’s designed to protect you from your own insurance company.
Bad Faith Insurance Statue of Limitations
We get called in sometimes where a client has gone to trial, gotten a verdict, and the verdict is in excess of the policy limits, which provides a possibility for there being a bad faith case. The lawyer they had for whatever reason is not willing or able to move forward on that part of the case. Typically, the case has been tried years earlier.
There is a statute of limitation. It’s five years. It’s more than the average four years, but it’s five years from the date that you get the verdict or the judgment. You’ve got time, but time is allusive, as we all know.
If you have that situation where you need help with what we call the second part of a bad faith case, and it’s occurred in Duval County, Nassau County, and the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down; we’ll go over everything. If we can help you, we’ll devise a plan moving forward that will be best for you and your case.
Damages Available in a Bad Faith Insurance Case
People ask often what they can recover in a bad faith case. The best way to illustrate that is to give an example. We had a case once where a man got hurt, hurt badly. We sued his insurance company. They would not settle the case for the policy. His injuries were large.
We went to trial. We obtained a verdict that fairly outlined his damages, which was far in excess of the policy limits. Once that verdict was turned into a judgment and the case was over, we turned around, and we sued the insurance company again for the balance over and above the insurance policy limits. We were successful in that case, as well.
Traditionally, that’s the scenario that we have. Now, there are other ins and outs to bad faith. There are complexities to it. What classically we see in damages that you can get in a bad faith case is the amount over and above the policy limits that the insurance company should have paid in the first place to settle the case, but they refused to do so. They’re on the hook for the entire amount of the damages in the first trial.
If you have that kind of a case or you think you have that kind of a case in Duval, Nassau County, or in the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down and we’ll talk about the case. We’ll teach you more about bad faith and lay out the steps that we have to go through to get to that point. We’ll map out a plan to help the case in the best way we can.
Differences Between First and Third-Party Bad Faith Claims
People often ask us about bad faith claims and first-party or third-party bad faith claims. It’s a good question because insurance company behavior comes up in both settings. A first-party bad faith claim is a claim against your own insurance company where they didn’t provide benefits for you under circumstances where they should have.
A third-party bad faith claim is a scenario where, for example, you have been hurt in an automobile accident. You sue the at-fault driver. Their insurance company will not settle the case when they should have. You go to trial. You get a fair verdict for the full measure of your injuries and it is way over and above the policy limits of that insurance company.
In Florida, there has always been the ability to have the third-party case, but there was no such thing as first-party bad faith where your own insurance company’s behavior can be brought to task until rather recently. It’s created by statute where you go through some hoops to establish your claim under a statute that’s on the books in the state of Florida. If you satisfy that, then you can prosecute your bad faith claim against your own insurance company. That’s basically the differences, but in essence you’re calling to task the behavior of the insurance company for not dealing fairly with you when under all the circumstances they should have and could have.
If you have that kind of a case, or you think you have that kind of a case that occurred in Nassau County, Duval County, or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down; we’ll talk about it. We’ll get organized and devise a plan that’s best for you and your case.
Claims Denied by the Insurance Company
Our office get calls from time to time from clients who are upset that an insurance company has denied the claim, meaning they’re not going to pay out under the insurance policy. An insurance company can do that. Because they do not pay does not make it bad faith; it does not mean that they’re treating you unfairly. It simply means that they don’t think they have a responsibility to pay any money for any number of reasons. Some of them can be pretty clear; some of them may not be quite so clear.
An insurance company can deny a claim and it can be an appropriate action. Sometimes it’s not, however, and that’s why you need an experienced lawyer.
If you’ve had that situation happen to you in Nassau County and Duval County or the surrounding areas, call us today. We’ll sit down with you and go over everything. We’ll figure out how to plan moving forward to help you in the best way.
Low Offer Bad Faith Insurance Claims
When we represent clients and we get into the part of the case where it’s possible to settle the case, many times, we’ll get an offer from the insurance company that’s very low and doesn’t bear any resemblance to the true value of the case. That does not equate to bad faith. It is an offer. If that’s the only offer, then that may be something else, but in and of itself, that is not bad faith. It may be couched in terms of hard-nosed negotiation. In which case, we have to be equally as hard-nosed and go try the case if necessary, which we’ve done many times.
It may be a sign of bad faith, but in and of itself, it’s not. We don’t get upset in a professional sense about a low offer. It’s what’s at the end of the case that counts. Bad faith does really not enter into it at that point, but it may later.
If you have a case like that that’s occurred or is occurring in Nassau County or Duval County or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down; we’ll talk about it. We can educate you a little bit about how insurance companies act. We’ll move forward and devise a plan that will help your circumstances the best.
Choosing The Right Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
How do you go about picking a good bad faith lawyer? Pick one who’s handled these cases; pick one who’s got experience.
These are complex cases and they are lengthy cases. They last a very long time potentially. They are fraught with pitfalls. You need a lawyer who has the experience and has the knowledge to be able to move forward with your case and to educate you about the ins and outs of bad faith.
These are not cases for the young lawyer who’s never been to court, because you may well have to go to court. You have to be willing as a lawyer to try the case. They are actually two cases to try: the first in which you prove your case and then the second in which you sue the insurance company telling them they are on the hook for the full measure of damages and not just what the small policy limits were.
That’s a case for an experienced lawyer. We have over 38 years of experience here at our firm. We have handled bad faith cases before and know what they look like.
Call us. We’ll sit down and we’ll go over the case. We’ll map out a plan to see if we can get to that point of bad faith with an insurance company.
Call Our Jacksonville Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers
We defend the rights of our clients fiercely. You deserve to be compensated for the damages you suffered and your insurance company needs to do what they agreed to do for you when you made your contract and started giving them money for the service of insurance. If people in positions of authority such as insurance companies are not doing what they say they’re doing, they are guilty of wrongdoing and our Jacksonville insurance bad faith lawyers will hold him accountable for this. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us as soon as possible so we can set up your first consultation with Paul Boone. This is a no obligation consultation where you can get some valuable knowledge about your case and your rights. We are eager to hear from you.
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