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Navigating Bad Faith Cases in a Changed Landscape

Navigating Bad Faith Cases in a Changed Landscape

So if insurance
companies in the past had made a mistake in resolving a claim,
there was what was called a bad faith case against the insurance
company for not paying the claim in good faith. The reality is
before March 24, for tort reform change, those cases were
exceptionally difficult to do. In fact, we've only had a
handful of bad faith cases, we in the 14 years we've been
practicing, because you have to get a verdict that exceeds the
amount of the underlying insurance and then prove that
they acted in bad faith towards their insurer.We actually have
to refer those cases out, because we're witnesses to
what's called that bad faith.

What the legislature did is they
gave the insurance companies another bite at the apple. They
said, Here you go, you can make your mistake, you can deny a
claim. But you know, what now we have to do is give them another
120 days to rectify that mistake. So it gives them
another chance to treat you right, allegedly by the
legislature. But the problem is it delays things even more. And
it causes a problem with that delay many times because a lot
of times you need that money to pay for things as things go.

the other thing is the insurance companies know, they don't have
to make the right offer initially before if they didn't
make the right offer, they didn't make the right decision.
They could be scrutinized down the road. Now, again, very
difficult to do. Most attorneys don't even take those cases,
there's just a handful of what's called Bad Faith attorneys
throughout the state. And the reality is most of those cases
go to federal court would get dismissed or get really reduced
by the federal court.

So there are difficult cases, insurance
companies were usually favored by the courts to win those
anyway. But it's just given that extra bite at the apple. And
mostly, it can be any type of case. But a lot of times that's
in cracks and in cases where there's minimal coverage, or
give them a chance to say, Oh, no damages to your vehicle and
your 25,000 will offer you 24. And the reality is what's going
to happen is people are probably going to take the 24 this is
what I used to hear from people that handled cases for
municipalities and government. Years ago, the cap for
governments called Sovereign Immunity means the government is
immune beyond a certain level at the time it was $100,000. What
they would tell me is a person can be catastrophically injured.
Well, you know what I offer my offer of $85,000. I said, Well,
you know, that's not fair. You know, the guy needs millions of
dollars treatment. And he said, Well, we would say you want the
whole 100,000 Go get it at trial. I think operatively
that's what this law has done is it allowed insurance companies
to now do what sovereign immunity cases could do and what
the attorney said they would do is saying, you want the full
amount, go get the full amount.

And the problem with that is you
as the victim is you're gonna have to pay more in fees, more
in cost to get to the right amount and get to that fair

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