You would never intentionally hurt someone on your business or while you’re performing services. However, accidents happen and that is why you purchased a general liability insurance policy to protect you. So, what do you do when your liability insurance denies your claim even though it’s valid? If you find yourself in this situation, it’s highly recommended you contact a skilled insurance claims attorney.
There’s no reason you should pay a settlement when you have liability insurance. Your insurer could be acting in bad faith so they can make a profit off your policy. If this is the case, then you could possibly be entitled to compensation for your losses. Before you make any major decisions, we advise you secure trusted legal counsel immediately.
Personal Injury Attorney in Tampa, Florida
You paid your premiums so you’re protected in case of a personal injury suit. If your insurer is denying you coverage, then you may be eligible for a monetary award. General liability insurers who deny valid claims are acting in bad faith. You may be able to file a bad faith claim against your insurance company and recover your losses entirely.
Fight for the coverage you deserve by calling Germain Law Group, P.A.. Michael B. Germain is a reputable insurance claims attorney with years of experience. He can utilize his skills to prove your company was acting in bad faith. Call (813) 835-8888 to schedule your free consultation today. Germain Law Group, P.A. represents victims of negligence throughout the greater Hillsborough County area and surrounding counties including Brevard County, Sumter County, Pinellas County, Paso County, Polk County, Orange County and Hernando County.
Overview of Personal Injury Claims in Florida
- Is Personal Injury Covered by Liability Insurance?
- Types of Personal Injury
- Why Did My Insurance Deny My Personal Injury Claim?
- What Do I Do If My Insurer is Acting in Bad Faith?
- Additional Resources
Is Personal Injury Covered in General Liability Insurance?
What’s covered on your general liability insurance depends on your policy. Although, most commercial general liability policies have relatively similar policies. Your insurance policy should protect you from the costs of your legal defense and will pay on your behalf for any damages you’re liable for that is within your policy. Some torts claims may be excluded from your policy and therefore are not covered in the event of a lawsuit.
Usually, a general liability insurance policy will have three coverage types to choose from. Coverage A incorporates both bodily injury and property damage liability. This means if someone is filing a claim for injury or property damage against you your insurer will cover it.
Most personal injury claims are covered if you have Coverage A. However, it’s important to note this is only for non-professional acts. If you injure someone while performing a professional service for them such as a construction contractor, a Coverage A policy won’t cover it because it was a professional negligent act. These acts are also referred to as malpractice. For example, you could be sued for malpractice as an attorney, healthcare professional or construction company or contractor. You will need a separate professional liability policy if you want to be covered in case of malpractice.
Coverage B is reserved for personal and advertising injury such as slander, false arrest, or using another person’s advertising idea. The majority of personal injury claims won’t be included in a Coverage B policy. Although, personal injury claims could be covered if you have Coverage C.
If you have Coverage C, then your insurer will provide payments for the other party’s medical costs. The policy is only for non-employees who were injured on the insured’s premises or their business operations. This type of coverage can be triggered without legal action and is typically for smaller claims that want to be handled quickly. It doesn’t provide defense or legal liability coverage since it’s provided on a no-fault basis.
Types of Personal Injury
A personal injury claim can consist of a variety of circumstances and situations. However, in a personal injury claim you must always provide liability to receive any sort of settlement. Liability in personal injury cases can fall under various categories, including but not limited to:
- Negligence – When an injury was a direct result of another person’s improper actions or inactions in a situation. For example, a reasonable and prudent person would never leave a child in a hot car. If you leave a child in a hot car for a long period and they were injured, then it would be considered grounds for negligence because a sensible person would not do the same.
- Malicious Intent – Injuries caused by knowing and intentional harm are filed on the grounds of malicious intent. Usually when a malicious intent claim is filed a criminal investigation has been conducted or is in the process.
- Product Liability – When a product doesn’t meet safety standards and injures another person, this is considered product liability. For example, if a child’s toy isn’t labeled as a choking hazard and the child is injured, then you could file a claim for product liability.
Why Did My Insurer Deny My Personal Injury Claim?
The point of general liability insurance is to have protection in case you’re the subject of a lawsuit. Unfortunately, some insurers will do anything they can to save they can make a profit off your policy. Providing coverage for a defense or fulfilling their duty to indemnify would cause them to lose money, so they may deny your claim for this reason.
Your insurer may use a variety of tactics to dispute or deny your claim. Some insurance companies will assert that the claim filed against you isn’t included in your policy. Torts-claims that aren’t listed in your policy are referred to as exclusions. Your insurance may use confusing verbiage to convince you the claim filed against you is an exclusion, so you’re not covered.
In some cases, your insurance won’t deny you a defense, but they will deny you the right to indemnify. Your insurer may be aware that if they deny your claim it would be considered in bad faith. This is because the standard to defend in Florida is low in comparison to other states. The law requires insurers to defend their policyholders even if mere allegations that are included in their policy are filed against them.
To avoid providing full coverage, they may send a reservation of rights letter instead. The letter basically states your insurer can suspend coverage at any time. It could also mean your insurer can choose the firm and attorney who defends you. This can put you in a particularly bad situation if your counsel agrees to a ridiculous settlement or provides mediocre representation.
What Do I Do If My Insurer is Acting in Bad Faith?
Insurance companies who are acting in bad faith can be held legally liable. An insurance company acts in bad faith when they refuse to uphold their express or implied duties to the policyholder. You may be able to file a bad faith claim against your insurance company because they denied your valid claim.
It’s highly recommended you secure experienced legal representation to file a bad faith claim. A skilled insurance attorney can collect crucial evidence to prove that your insurer was acting deceptively. They can even depose experts to testify for your case such as healthcare professionals, public adjusters and insurance experts. If you win your case, then your insurer will be obligated to give you a monetary award that reflects all your losses.
Listed below are some losses you may be compensated for in a bad faith claim case.
- Judgement costs from prior suits;
- Attorney’s fees;
- Interests accumulated from prior settlements;
- Court costs;
- Emotional distress; and
- Loss of consortium
Trauma Survivor Network – Visit the official website for the American Trauma Society (ATS), which hosts the Trauma Survivor Network. Access their site to learn survivor stories, profiles of other survivors, and support networks for people traumatized from an accident.
Personal Insurance Laws in Florida – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to learn more about personal injury laws. Access the legislation to read more about required benefits of health insurance, authorized exclusions and what’s required in a demand letter.
Insurance Lawyer for Personal Injury Claims in Hillsborough County, FL
If your insurer is acting in bad faith, it’s time you fight back. Contact Germain Law Group, P.A. to receive the compensation you deserve. Michael B. Germain is an experienced attorney with the knowledge that can get results. He can collect evidence proving why your insurer was deceptive and litigate for you in court if necessary.
Call us now at (813) 835-8888 to set up a free consultation. Germain Law Group, P.A. accepts clients throughout the Tampa metropolitan area such as Bradenton, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, New Port Richey, Temple Terrace and Tampa Bay.
This article was last updated on June 21, 2019.