After an auto accident injury, you expect to be able to recover medical expenses and other costs from the insurance company. If your insurance company or the responsible driver’s insurer fails to live up to the policy promises, you may have a bad faith claim.
Learn about the Florida laws concerning bad faith actions by insurance companies after personal injury claims.
Bad faith actions
You can sue for bad faith if you file a valid claim and the insurance company:
- Denies your claim without providing a reason
- Ignores your attempts to ask questions or communicate about your policy
- Asks you to complete repetitive paperwork as a delay tactic
- Fails to investigate your claim in a timely matter
- Refuses to pay your claim despite supportive evidence
If you have proof that the insurance company acted in bad faith, you first have to file a complaint directly with the insurer according to Florida statute. The insurance company must provide a resolution within 60 days of receiving your bad faith complaint.
Failure to respond favorably in the required timeframe constitutes grounds for a lawsuit. You can ask the court for consequential damages, which represent the actual costs you experienced because of the company’s bad faith. The court can also award punitive damages of either $500,000 or three times the consequential damages (whichever is greater). However, to receive punitive damages you must prove that the company regularly and willfully acts in bad faith in the court of regular business operations.
You can also file a complaint with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. This agency protects your legal rights as a consumer.