Atlanta Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys
When Companies Show "Bad Faith"
Insurance, whether medical, vehicle, homeowners, or any other type, is purchased as financial protection against illness, accidents, and other damaging events. People place their trust in their chosen insurance company to provide fair compensation. However, insurance companies are in the business of making money or, at the very least, giving up as little of it as possible.
Most insurance companies look for any opportunity to deny claims, even when they are legitimate, in order to avoid paying out coverage. This practice is known as bad faith.
Grant Law Office is ready to help you fight against an insurance company that denies your legitimate injury claim after an Atlanta motor vehicle accident. We have over 30 years of experience in dealing with insurance companies, and we know how to hold them accountable. Contact us today at (866) 249-5513 or (404) 995-3955 for a free consultation.
Examples of "Bad Faith" in Georgia
Insurance bad faith most commonly occurs in motor vehicle accident claims. Under Georgia law, insurance companies must deal with their policy holders in "good faith," or fairly. Unfortunately, many do not. There are two major ways an insurance company acts in bad faith:
- Insurance companies may deny the claim, even if it is valid and the person’s policy clearly covers it. Oftentimes, insurance companies provide a "reason" for the denial, which is usually false or inapplicable. One egregious example involved an insurance carrier refusing to cover its policy holder’s medical expenses because it claimed there was no "accident," as the at-fault driver hit her intentionally.
- Sometimes, a company won't deny the entire claim, but will deny the full benefits of coverage. For example, an injured person's medical costs after a car accident total $20,000 but the insurance company only pays out $5,000, despite the policy’s full coverage being $40,000.
In both ways, the insurance company is valuing its profits above a person's well-being. Why is this practice shockingly common? Because most people don't fight the insurance company's decision. At Grant Law Office, we find the insurance companies' unlawful exploitation of their policy holders inexcusable and consider it our duty to enforce "good faith."
Georgia Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Law
According to Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 33-4-7), "[in] the event of a loss because of injury to or destruction of property covered by a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, the insurer issuing such policy has an affirmative duty to adjust that loss fairly and promptly, to make a reasonable effort to investigate and evaluate the claim, and, where liability is reasonably clear, to make a good faith effort to settle with the claimant…."
Damages Available in a Georgia Insurance Bad Faith Claim
Georgia is very strict about financial compensation available in an insurance bad faith claim. Typically, the court awards no more than the amount of the denied insurance benefits. In some cases, a jury may also award the victim an additional 50% of the denied benefit amount plus legal fees. (This is done as a penalty to the insurance carrier.)
Insurance companies found to have acted in bad faith may also be subject to punitive damages. Punitive damages are a financial settlement awarded to the injured party meant to “punish” the guilty party for a serious wrongdoing.
How Can My Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Help?
At Grant Law Office, our dedicated bad faith insurance attorneys can help you fight your insurance company in court. We can help you build a strong case that convinces a jury that the company refused to give you the financial compensation you needed to heal after your auto accident. The attorneys at Grant Law Office may also be able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement if your insurance carrier wants to avoid trial and publicity.
We Always Practice in Good Faith
Insurance companies that act in bad faith believe that policy holders will not question their decisions. These companies know that their actions are unlawful. The only way to get the compensation that is rightfully owed to you is to have a knowledgeable lawyer handle all insurance matters. At Grant Law Office, our Atlanta auto accident attorneys can ensure that the insurance companies involved provide maximum compensation in accordance with the policy coverage. Before you sign any statements or initiate dealings with any insurance company, contact us for a free consultation at (866) 249-5513 or (404) 995-3955.