Columbus Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers
Strong representation when insurance companies don’t play by the rules
When you buy insurance for your car, truck, or motorcycle, you have the right to expect that your insurance company will fairly and promptly analyze your claim. If you are injured by another driver, you have the right to expect that driver’s insurance company will admit liability if the case is clear-cut, such as rear-end collision case. You have the right to expect that the insurance company will offer to pay the damages that are due based on comparable cases – and that they won’t stall or present unfair low offers.
At Soroka & Associates, our bad faith insurance lawyers hold insurance companies accountable when they cross the line from hard negotiations to unfair negotiations. We handle hold insurance companies accountable for bad faith negotiation in vehicle accident cases, premises liability cases, construction accident claims, dog bite claims, and other accidents. Our lawyers understand how to prove liability and how to prepare demands for payment. When insurance companies act in bad faith, we do more than pursue your claim for damages. We demand that the insurance companies pay additional amounts for their bad faith tactics.
What are the types of bad faith claims in insurance disputes in Columbus?
Bad faith insurance claims are divided into the following two categories: first party-claims and third party claims.
Soroka & Associates handles first-party claims. These claims involve claims by a victim with his/her own insurance company. For example, if you make a claim through your policy for losses after being hit by an uninsured/underinsured motorist, and your own insurance company refuses to honor the policy, you may have a bad faith claim.
Common examples of first party coverage are:
- UM/UIM policies. This is a policy car owners purchase when they also purchase liability insurance. A UM/UIM policy is used when the responsible defendants do not have insurance or do not have enough insurance coverage to pay for all your damages.
- Collision insurance policies. This insurance should pay for the damage to your vehicle, even if you caused the accident.
- Healthcare insurance policies. Many victims request that their own health insurance company pay their medical bills until there is a settlement or verdict of your liability claim.
- Personal injury protection policies. Ohio insurance companies do provide PIP insurance. This insurance pays for your medical bills and possibly some of your lost wages, regardless of who caused the accident.
Generally, the first-party insurance is entitled to reimbursement (subrogation) from the third-party insurance (liability) carrier if there is a showing of fault.
If this all sounds confusing, rest assured that at Soroka & Associates, we understand which insurance companies are supposed to pay for your damages, and we work to hold the correct insurance companies accountable.
What conduct is evidence of bad faith?
Some of the indicators that an insurance company (in either third-party or first-party claims) is not negotiating in good faith include the following:
- Denying your claim without justification
- Delaying any review of your claim
- Not paying the full value of your claim
- Asserting policy provisions that aren’t in the contract or don’t apply to your accident
- Making misrepresentations about what happened
- Claiming that you made misrepresentations when you did not
- Not promptly reviewing your claim
- Not returning emails, phone calls, and letters
- Making unreasonable requests for documents
- Using experts such as doctors that they know are clearly biased
- Failing to review settlement demand letters
- Making settlement offers that are clearly too low
- Refusing to pay the policy limits when your claim justifies payment of the policy limits
Our Columbus bad faith insurance lawyers understand all the tricks and strategies insurance companies who are not negotiating in good faith use. We file lawsuits against insurance companies that take positions that lack merit.
How do you hold Columbus insurance companies liable for bad faith negotiations?
At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus personal injury lawyers respond to bad faith insurance negotiation in several ways:
- We pursue your claim through the civil courts. This means we file complaints against the responsible parties – and that includes an insurance company that won’t honor your policy. We conduct discovery of all relevant witnesses and request all relevant information including insurance company records. If insurance companies fail to cooperate, we seek court orders to compel their cooperation.
- We seek full compensation – even if that compensation is more than the insurance policy limits. For example, if your claim is clearly worth $75,000 but the liability carrier is only willing to offer the policy limit of $25,000 AND is also engaging in bad faith – then we demand that the insurance company pay $75,000 and not $25,000. This is a major penalty for insurance companies and a major reason most insurance companies do negotiate in good faith.
- We demand interest on the amount due. Insurance companies should never be allowed to benefit from their intentional stalling and delay tactics.
- We demand legal fees. Normally, we receive a percentage of any recovery based on our contingency fee agreement. If an insurance company acts in bad faith, we demand that the insurance company pay your damages – and pay our legal fee in addition. For example, if your claim is worth $75,000 and our contingency amount is $25,000, we demand that the insurance company that negotiated in bad faith pay $100,000 instead of $75,000.
For example, when we make a policy limits demand to the at-fault carrier, we give them a certain amount of time to accept that demand, or we consider the policy to be open, and if we proceed to trial, we ask for a number in excess of policy limits. If we get that number, then the at-fault person has a bad faith claim against their insurance carrier, and we can get that claim assigned to us.
In some cases, we may also file a complaint with the Ohio insurance commissioner.
Our Columbus law office is located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205 – near I-71 and Rt. 23. We meet clients away from the office if they are ill or immobile.
Get help now. Speak with a caring Columbus bad faith insurance lawyer today
It’s difficult enough when you have injuries that cause you pain, that prevent you from working, and that require numerous medical visits and treatments. It’s worse, even unconscionable, for the insurance companies to try to force you into a bad settlement through delay tactics and failing to cooperate. At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus bad faith insurance lawyers understand when insurance companies cross the line from tough negotiation to bad faith negotiation. We are skilled at holding bad faith insurance companies accountable. Call us at 614-918-4078 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation for any personal injury claim. We represent injury victims on a contingency fee basis.