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“Bad faith” is the legal term for failure to fulfill or act within the terms of a contract.
Most often in personal injury law, these claims are made against an insurance company, by a client. This may be the only course of action for a client if the company fails to defend or pay a claim promptly and properly.
An insurance company is bound (has a “duty,” in personal injury law terminology) to deal with its customers fairly, and to give greater consideration to the interests of its customers than itself. Should your insurance company fail to fulfill its contractual obligations to you, you may have a claim for bad faith.
The writing of insurance contracts reflects current case law. These forms often have their own laguage – terms which seem self-evident may in fact have particular and specific definitions within the context of the contract, definitions which may or may not be known to the insured.
In a court, insurance contracts are intepreted to best carry out reasonable expectations of the insured. Once the document receives the attention of the court, its meaning will be obtained or interpreted until it is clear and unmistakable. In most cases, any terms which are unclear will be interpreted to the benefit of the insured. It is not necessary to prove that the company intended harm, only that they failed to honor their agreement and had no cause not to pay the claim.
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC at 228-374-5151 or toll free 1-855-558-2977 or contact us online. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.