In our last post, we spoke briefly about the topic of bad faith insurance claims in New Jersey car accident cases, focusing in particular on the standard of proof in these cases. As we noted, the standard of proof in bad faith insurance cases is fairly high. Essentially, a plaintiff must prove that there is no "fair debate" about the facts or the law regarding the plaintiff's coverage.
Bad faith claims can be an important way for policyholders to hold their insurers accountable for failing in their insurance obligations. That being said, bad faith claims are remedial in that they ultimately involve seeking out a legal remedy once damage has already occurred. Preventing bad faith insurance in the first place is a much better prospect, but how can this be done?
If an insurance company is hell-bent on doing wrong by its policyholders, there is nothing that will stop them from doing so, but in many cases it may be possible for policyholders to keep their insurer on the straight and narrow by working closely with an experienced attorney in the handling of their claim.
A knowledgeable and skilled attorney is able to handle a policyholder's claim by taking over communications with the insurer and seeing to it that the insurer is aware of and follows through on its obligations to handle the claim correctly. Oftentimes, simply the fact that an insured is having his or her attorney handle the claim is enough to make sure the insurance company behaves properly. And in cases where it isn't, an experienced attorney can take the proper steps to see to it that there is accountability in court.