A previous post on this blog talked about how some insurance companies, or even individual claim adjusters, engage in underhanded tactics that are designed more to protect the company’s bottom line than to pay what the company legally owes to an injured Louisiana resident.
For example, sometimes carriers may make unreasonably low settlement offers to someone who is hurt just because doing so improves the company’s leverage.
Likewise, the company may also use their resources to delay a claim to the point where an injured person is financially strained enough to be willing to take much less compensation than she really should.
These sorts of techniques are actually contrary to Louisiana law, and insurance company can be legally accountable for engaging in them. Because statutory bad faith is what is called a separate cause of action, an insurance company may have to pay bad faith damages to a victim even above and beyond the limits of the insurance policy.
Specifically, a victim is entitled to his damages which he incurs in connection with the company’s bad faith. These damages can include emotional distress. Additionally, he can claim penalty of up to 100% of his actual damages or, at a minimum, $5,000.
Insurance companies have a privileged position in society in many respects. With that position comes the responsibility to treat injured people who make claims fairly. Among other things, this means a company must not delay or deny a claims without a good reason. If an insurance company falls short in this responsibility, a victim of this sort of behavior who lives in the Houma area may wish to speak to a personal injury attorney about her options.