Personal Injury Attorneys in Pennsylvania
You’re in a car accident. You expect the insurance company to fairly pay the claim. The expectation is that they receive the claim, investigate it, and settle within a reasonable amount of time. What happens if the insurance company doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain? Our personal injury law firm explains bad faith insurance in Pennsylvania.
What is bad faith in insurance?
When you have an insurance claim, the insurance company has the power. You file the claim, and then you have to wait for them to respond. Of course, you hope that they’re going to pay the claim fairly. However, insurance companies make a profit by paying out less than they collect in premiums. The more they pay in claims, the more it hurts the bottom line. Bad faith occurs when an insurance company doesn’t act fairly.
The insurance company needs to pay when a valid policy says there is coverage. They need to investigate claims within a reasonable period of time. Ignoring contact from you or misleading you about the terms of the policy are other ways they may try to avoid paying a valid claim. However it occurs, acting unfairly and unreasonably and not holding up their end of the bargain is bad faith.
Understanding the Policy
That isn’t to say that any kind of delay on an insurance claim is bad faith. The insurance company has to have the right information in order to process a claim. If they do not have the documentation of damages, they may be within their rights to withhold payment. Additionally, if fault is not clear, they may take time to conduct an investigation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand if the circumstances in your case meet the requirements for bad faith.
Does Pennsylvania have insurance bad faith?
Pennsylvania has laws that hold the insurance companies accountable when they act in bad faith. Pennsylvania statutes 42 PA § 8371 allows a court to penalize an insurance company when they act in bad faith. Penalties available under the insurance bad faith law are in addition to the amounts that the insurance company must pay in order to honor the terms of the policy.
What are the penalties for insurance bad faith in Pennsylvania?
Possible penalties for insurance bad faith in Pennsylvania include:
- Interest at the primate rate plus 3%
- Punitive damages
- Court costs
- Attorney fees
If the court finds bad faith on the part of the insurance company, the court may award fees to cover the cost of working with a personal injury attorney in order to pursue the legal action.
Personal Injury Law Firm for Bad Faith Claims
If you’re frustrated with the insurance company and your claim, a personal injury attorney can help you explore bad faith. In a bad faith claim, you must pursue your right to compensation as well as show the actions of the insurance company in the claims process. Experienced legal representation can help you throughout the process.
Our personal injury law firm can help you with all of the needed steps to pursue your rights and fair payment. Contact us today!