Bad Faith Claim

Stephen R. Hasner
Managing Partner at Hasner Law PC
May 10, 2024
Bad Faith Claim

If another party caused your injury, you might file an insurance claim with that party’s insurance provider.

Liability insurance compensates accident victims for damages caused by the insured. 

Insurance companies in Georgia have an implied covenant of good faith when they enter an insurance contract with another party. The covenant of good faith creates a duty for the company to act in good faith when settling claims.

The insurance company should not put its interests ahead of the best interests of its insured. If the insurance company fails to act reasonably when negotiating a settlement, you may be entitled to bring a bad faith claim against the company.

Bad Faith Lawsuits Filed by an Insured Party

An insurance company should use fair practices and take reasonable steps to investigate, process, and pay valid claims. When a reasonable settlement demand is made, the insurance company owes a duty to the insured to accept the settlement offer.

Refusal to pay a reasonable amount to settle a valid injury claim is not in the best interest of the insured party. If the insurer fails to pay a valid claim, the injured person may file a personal injury lawsuit against the insured (policyholder). The insured could be ordered to pay the victim compensation for their economic damages and non-economic damages, which may be substantial.

Because the insurance company acted in bad faith, the insured party may file a lawsuit against the insurance company alleging bad faith.

Suppose the policyholder filed a claim against their insurance coverage for property damage after a car accident. If so, the insurance company must act in good faith to settle the insured’s claim. The insured may have an insurance bad faith claim if the insurance company fails to pay a valid claim filed by the insured. 

For the insured to have a bad faith case against the insurance company, the insured must have complied with the terms of the insurance contract. For example, the insured must have paid insurance premiums on time and notified the company if the insured was involved in an accident or knew about a potential claim.

Examples of How Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith

Some common examples of bad faith insurance practices include:

  • Failing to review and process a claim promptly
  • Delaying payment of an approved claim
  • Refusing to defend a lawsuit filed against the insured party
  • Denying a claim without providing a reasonable explanation 
  • Requesting unnecessary documentation or requiring the person to complete unnecessary paperwork to delay a claim or harass the claimant
  • Failing to investigate a claim filed by an injured party or the insured 
  • Refusing to communicate with the claimant
  • Undervaluing damages without a reasonable justification 
  • Intentionally providing misleading information or advice to a claimant
  • Making threatening statements 
  • Unduly pressuring a claimant to accept an unreasonable settlement offer 
  • Misrepresenting the law or the terms of the contract

There are many more ways an insurance company or its representatives can violate your rights. Failing to act in good faith causes damage to the insured party and the injured party. 

Delaying payment for an insurance claim can result in devastating consequences for the injured victim. The person may incur additional financial losses and out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, both parties may suffer unnecessary emotional distress and mental anguish because of the additional stress from dealing with a lawsuit and going to trial. 

What is the Deadline for Filing Bad Faith Insurance Claims in Georgia?

A bad faith claim is a type of breach of contract. Typically, you have six years from the breach of contract to file a lawsuit under Georgia’s statute of limitations.

However, there could be exceptions, and some insurance contracts may contain terms that set their own deadlines to bring claims. It is best to speak with an Atlanta bad faith claim lawyer as soon as possible. You do not want to give up your right to sue because you miss a filing deadline. 

Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer For Help With a Bad Faith Claim 

Being involved in an accident is a traumatic experience. An insurance company refusing to treat you fairly adds to the stress. However, you are not alone. You could have a bad faith claim against the insurance company for failing to negotiate in good faith. 

Contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and determine your legal options.  

Author Stephen Headshot
Managing Partner at Hasner Law PC
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Stephen Hasner is the founder and managing partner of Hasner Law PC. Since being licensed in Florida in 1997 and in Georgia in 1999, Stephen has worked tirelessly to help Georgia residents navigate the legal process following a serious injury. This includes injuries sustained at work, in motor vehicle accidents, and in cases of personal injury. The team at Hasner Law is dedicated to securing compensation for their clients who have been injured through no fault of their own.