INSURANCE BAD FAITH
We purchase auto insurance to protect us ourselves against the unknown and pay premiums every month to ensure we are protected when the worst happens.
When an insurance company unreasonably withholds or denies their obligations you may have a “Bad Faith” case.
In North Carolina our courts have determined that Bad Faith cases do not apply to the negligent party's insurance company. It is only when your own insurance company is acting unreasonably that you may have a claim. So, in North Carolina insurance companies owe a duty of good faith fair dealing to the person they insure. North Carolina courts have held that insurance contracts include an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which requires the insured and insurer to behave in a manner so that nothing impairs the right of the other to receive benefits under the agreement. If an insurance company violates that covenant, you may have the ability to sue the company on a tort claim in addition to a standard breach of contract claim.
A common first party context is when an insurance company writes insurance on property that becomes damaged, such as your automobile and/or personal injury claim. The company is required to investigate the damage, determine whether the damage is covered, and pay the proper value for the damaged property or personal injury. Bad faith in first party contexts often involves the insurance carrier's improper investigation and valuation of your damage.
Bad faith claims can be very complex and there is a good deal of law that governs this area of the law. You may be entitled to punitive damages. The attorneys of Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC are very experienced in Bad Faith law.
If you believe you have a bad faith claim please call Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC – the Heavy Hitters – at 1-800-LAW-0804 TODAY!