Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

When Bad Faith Insurance Derails Your Claim for Personal Injury Compensation

When Bad Faith Insurance Derails Your Claim for Personal Injury Compensation

What happens when insurance bad faith derails your pursuit of personal injury compensation? When pursuing a claim for personal injury as a first or third party, what recourse is available to you? There are many forms of insurance bad faith, and it is not uncommon for insurance companies to engage in these practices to avoid paying a claim for personal injury. However, just because it happens doesn't mean it is legal, and there are several options victims can pursue to recover compensation for their injuries.

The Insurance Company's Duties to Policyholders

Insurance companies have a duty to both their policyholders and to other third parties who may be injured by their policyholders. These include promptly handling claims, conducting thorough investigations of the accident, defending the policyholder against lawsuits, accurately conveying coverage information to policyholders, and making reasonable settlement offers. Insurance companies commit bad faith insurance practices when they do not adhere to these duties and their obligations to the parties involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Bad Faith Insurance In Kansas

Unfortunately, while Kansas statutes allow third parties to pursue an insurance provider for bad faith claims, they do not allow individuals to pursue lawsuits against their insurer for first-party claims. If an individual's insurance provider engages in bad faith practices, they have the option to pursue a lawsuit over breach of contract. In these instances, the plaintiff's need to establish that the insurance provider violated the state's definition of "good faith and fair dealing."

Individuals can also file a grievance with the Kansas Insurance Commissioner for the insurance company's violations of the Uniform Trade Practices Act. The UTPA is designed to protect insured parties against insurers who willfully deny claims, negligently conduct investigations, and attempt to settle claims through deceptive trade practices. If it is determined that the insurer acted in bad faith, plaintiffs can recover both compensatory and punitive damages.

In Kansas, the statute of limitations for filing a bad faith insurance claim is five years for instances where there is a breach of the written contract. However, it is only two years when the insured party is bringing a claim based on an independent tort.

Documenting Insurance Bad Faith

It is essential for plaintiffs to gather accurate and thorough records when pursuing a bad faith claim for personal injury compensation. The more thorough the records, the harder it is for the insurance provider to shirk their duty of good faith and fair dealing.

xIndividuals should maintain several copies of all communications with the insurance provider. This includes any letters and emails, phone logs, photographs, videos, etc. Plaintiffs should keep one copy of these records at home, one copy with their attorney, and the third copy in a secure location such as a safety deposit box.

Finally, it is important to remember that Kansas is a one-party consent state. This means that individuals can record all verbal communications with their insurance provider without asking for their permission. However, this must be done by the individual engaging in the call. It is not legal for another party to perform the recording.

Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Brad Pistotnik represents clients pursuing bad faith insurance claims in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas. When your claim for personal injury compensation is denied, we can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to receive. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.