Bad faith claims arise when a company with whom you have a contract fails to act within the terms of that contract. In the case of your insurance company, this may happen if it fails to promptly or properly defend or pay a claim. An insurance company has a duty to deal fairly with its customers, giving more consideration to its insured customers than to its own interest. Whenever your insurance company fails to honor its obligations in its contract with you, you may have a claim for bad faith. An insurance company is required to investigate all claims and find out information about anything that might support their insured's claim.
Insurance contracts are written to reflect current case law. Known terms which seem self-evident to the insured may actually have special interpretations to the insurance company and not to the insured. All insurance contracts are interpreted in a court to carry out the reasonable expectations of the insured party. The contract will be studied to obtain its meaning, and such meaning must be clear and unmistakable. Generally, any terms which are not clear will be interpreted to benefit the insured. You do not have to prove that the company intended to cause harm, only that they failed to honor their agreement and had no cause not to pay the claim.
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Zane D. Smith & Associates, LTD at (312) 245-0031 or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.