Bad Faith Insurance Claims in Massachusetts 2023

An insurer has a contractual relationship with its insureds and to claimants that obligates the insurer to act in good faith. Most insurers do adhere to their obligations but there are occasions when your valid claim is unreasonably declined, payments are delayed, there is a failure to conduct an appropriate investigation, or the insurer otherwise acts unfairly. Should your insurer or the defendant party’s insurer act in bad faith in Massachusetts, you may have a claim against it for bad faith.

Obligations of an Insurer About Your Claim

When presenting a claim to an insurer, it has certain duties toward you. These include:

  • Promptly investigating the claim by talking to all involved parties or having an investigator examine the accident site
  • Not misrepresenting facts to the claimant or insured
  • Considering all the relevant evidence and not portions that are adverse to your claim or position
  • Acting within a reasonable time to make a reasonable offer if it is clear that you are entitled to compensation
  • Not making low-ball offers to force you to either file a lawsuit or dismiss the claim
  • Providing a detailed explanation for why it is declining your claim 

Violating any of these obligations can trigger a bad faith insurance claim. 

Grounds for a Bad Faith Insurance Claim 

If you are frustrated with your insurer over its delay in handling your claim or any other actions that appears unfair, contact an experienced car accident attorney owho has handled bad faith insurance claims. Bad faith insurance claims are detailed under M.G.L 93A and M.G.L. 176D.

Examples of bad faith insurance practices are:

  • Denying a claim without performing an investigation or only conducting a cursory one 
  • Not making payments in a timely manner
  • Unfair discrimination such as appearing to consider the claimant’s race, gender, religion, country of origin, age, or disability in evaluating the claim and presenting an unreasonable offer
  • Delaying the handling of a claim so that the statute of limitations applies to dismiss the claim
  • Failing to timely respond to claimants’ communications if at all
  • Misrepresenting material and/or relevant provisions of a policy or of the facts pertaining to the accident or claim
  • Failing to extend a fair and equitable settlement where liability is clear and undisputed
  • Unfairly delaying investigation 
  • Not giving a timely and detailed explanation for declining your claim

Not all tough tactics used by an insurance company constitute bad faith. That is why it is essential that you retain an experienced car accident attorney to determine if the insurer is engaged in unfair and unlawful practices in its handling of your claim. 

Damages in a Bad Faith Insurance Claim 

Should you prevail in a bad faith claim, you are entitled to certain damages:

  • Injunctive relief to force the insurer to act per its obligations
  • Award of attorney’s fees and costs
  • Monetary damages that can be as high as treble (3-times) your actual damages 

These claims present complex and difficult issues. It is rarely a good idea to handle your own accident injury claim but if you do and find yourself frustrated with how your claim is being handled, immediately contact a car accident attorney.  The statute of limitations in Massachusetts to file a claim for unfair or deceptive business practices is different from . 

Retain the Law Office of Burns and Jain 

By retaining a highly experienced car accident attorney from Burns and Jain, you will be assured that your claim will be handled in a timely and professional manner; and we can review your bad faith claim. Note, most times, it’s simply a matter of aggressive and effective communication with the insurance company.  Call our office at (617) 227-7423 for a free consultation about your injury or bad faith insurance claim. 

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