Usually, the maximum an insurance company has to pay for a personal injury claim is their policy limits. In Georgia, the liability limits can be as low as $25,000. When a personal injury claim is worth more than the insurance company’s policy limits, it is very unfair. However, our injury attorneys at the Griffin Law Firm aggressively fights for “Bad Faith Damages” whenever an adjuster negotiates in bad faith. In this way, our clients can recover the full jury verdict even if it exceeds the insurance company’s policy limit maximum.
What are the “Bad Faith Damages” that can arise from a personal injury claim? When an insurance company does not agree to pay a policy limits demand letter that complies with Georgia law, then they may have to pay a jury verdict in full even if it is more than their policy limits. There are many examples of bad faith actions that resulted in $1,000,000 plus recoveries on cases that had policy limits of only $25,000. The “Bad Faith Damages” are based how much the jury verdict exceeds the insurance company’s policy limits.
Why do insurance companies face addition exposure when they negotiate in bad faith? Because insurance companies have a duty to protect their insured. This means that they must settle claims for amounts within their policy limits to avoid their insured from having their personal assets in jeopardy for an excess verdict. An excess verdict is a personal injury jury verdict that is more than their auto insurance policy limits.
Can the adjuster be personally liable for bad faith negotiations? In Georgia, the exposure for bad faith damages is only for the insurance company, not the adjuster personally. However, adjusters can be defendants in Bad Faith lawsuits in the state of Washington. In Moun Keoldalah and Aung Keodalah v. Allstate Insurance Company, and Tracey Smith, and John Doe Smith, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington held that the adjuster could be liable for bad faith actions that were in their control. Adjusters having personal exposure for “Bad Faith” claims, would likely result in personal injury settlements that are quicker and fairer.
What strategies does the Griffin Law Firm use to maximize our client’s Personal Injury recovery? The lawyers at the Griffin Law Firm have a three-prong approach to make sure our clients are fully compensated for their Personal Injury Claims even when the policy limits are low:
- Stacking Insurance Policies: Our injury lawyers send out the required notices to the insurance companies, verify the policy limits, send out policy limits demand packages, and utilize Limited Liability Releases. Stacking insurance policies which means that we know how to recover from all of the insurance policies that cover a personal injury claim (the liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, under-insured motorist coverage, and umbrella policy coverage).
- Medical Bill Reductions: Our firm is highly skilled in negotiating medical bill reductions, which can significantly increase our client’s net proceeds from their Personal Injury Settlement.
- Pursuing Bad Faith Damages: We use Georgia law to force the insurance company into either settling for the policy limits or face a bad faith claim for claims that are worth more than the policy limits.
How can you make sure you recover the full value of your Personal Injury or Workers’ Compensation Claim? Call the Griffin Law Firm at 877-PAIN-LAW so we can get you the settlement that you need and deserve.