You carry auto, home, and other types of insurance because you expect these carriers to be there for you at your time of need. Instead, you may have received only a small settlement, had your claim outright denied, or even been accused of insurance fraud. While that is undoubtedly frustrating, you don’t have to passively accept this treatment. State law allows you to file an insurance bad faith claim to recover your losses.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Each state has unique laws as it relates to bad faith insurance claims. As West Virginia attorneys, the team at Wilson, Frame & Metheney know these laws inside and out. A claim for economic damages means that you can sue to receive what you were rightfully entitled to under the terms of your insurance contract.
As an example, assume that another driver rear-ended your car and totaled it in the process. You are entitled to the fair market replacement value of the car so you have the funds available to purchase a new one. However, you may have received far less than that or nothing at all.
Non-economic damages are harder to prove, but you may be eligible to receive them nonetheless. This category of insurance bad faith corrects the emotional and financial distress you suffered as a result of the actions of your insurance company. Perhaps you missed time from work due to stress-related illness. Other examples of non-economic damages are pain, suffering, annoyance, inconvenience, mental anguish and emotional distress.
Punitive Damages and Attorney’s Fees
If an insurance company acted in an especially unethical manner, a jury can decide to punish the organization by imposing punitive damages. The only caveat is that you must be able to prove the egregious conduct. Additionally, you may be eligible for reimbursement of your attorney’s fees from the other party. This happens when you are able to demonstrate that he or she acted in bad faith in response to your claim. Since our attorneys work on contingency, you have nothing to lose by suing your insurance company or the other party for their dishonorable actions.