What Does It Mean for Insurance Companies to Act in Bad Faith?May 5th, 2017
According to eQuoteMD, just four insurance companies provide medical malpractice coverage for more than half of the healthcare providers in Mississippi. If you sustain debilitating injuries or a serious illness after undergoing a medical procedure and you intend to pursue damages, you will likely have to go through one of these major players.
These insurance companies have an obligation to act in good faith when negotiating with policyholders and claimants. That means they must remain fair, honest, and transparent during the proceedings.
If an insurance company acts in bad faith, its customers and third-party claimants have the right to file a lawsuit. For example, in 2015, the Tribune reported that nearly a decade after Hurricane Katrina, litigation continued between State Farm and the state of Mississippi.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood accused State Farm of mischaracterizing wind damage, which its policies cover, as flood damage, which its policies do not typically cover. The lawsuit aims to recover losses for thousands of residents.
If you intend to file a medical malpractice claim after receiving substandard care, you should expect an uphill legal battle. The legal team at Bullock & Wood, PLLC will help you navigate the claims process and fight for the maximum compensation. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney in Jackson.
Read on to learn five examples of insurance companies acting in bad faith:
1. Denying Payment for a Valid Claim
If you do not have a valid claim, the insurance company has the right to deny payment. For example, medical malpractice insurance does not typically cover reckless and intentional acts or hospital administration errors.
If you have a valid claim and the adjuster is still denying payment, though, it may constitute bad faith. A skilled attorney can help you explore your options for proceeding in such a scenario.
2. Undervaluing a Claim
If your claim is valid and your calculations are fair, there is no reason for the insurance company to distribute less than you deserve.
3. Delaying Payment
Agreeing to a settlement is only half the battle. After negotiations are complete, the insurance company should not postpone payment. Doing so may constitute insurance bad faith.
4. Ignoring Contact with the Policyholder
If you have a valid claim, the insurance adjuster cannot ignore your phone calls, letters, and emails. If this is happening, get the contact information of the adjuster’s supervisor and try going through management instead. If your claim is still being ignored, contact an attorney to discuss your case.
5. Refusing to Provide a Basis for a Denial
If the insurance company denies your claim, it must explain why. If the adjuster refuses to give you a reason for a denial or for a low settlement offer, your lawyer can help you get to the bottom of the issue.
If you were a victim of medical malpractice, turn to Bullock & Wood, PLLC for comprehensive legal guidance. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a brain damage lawyer in Jackson. You can learn more about medical negligence claims in Mississippi by visiting the USAttorneys website