What Can I Recover in a Case of Insurance Bad Faith?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 5, 2019

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Depending on the state, an insured person may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages as a result of a bad faith insurance lawsuit. Economic damages are basically the benefits you are entitled to receive under the insurance policy or contract. Non-economic damages include items such as emotional and financial distress, and when they are actually suffered and can be proven, you can recover a monetary amount to compensate for those damages.

Also, punitive damages may be awarded in some instances. A jury can award punitive damages to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct and to set an example to other would-be wrongdoers. Punitive damages are generally available when deliberate, bad actions on the part of the insurance company can be proven.

Finally, attorney fees may sometimes be recovered from the other party, when the case is based on contract or if the other party was found to act in bad faith. Court costs may also be awarded to the successful party. Since most bad faith attorneys work on contingency, if the suit is not successful you pay nothing.

You should always speak to an experienced bad-faith insurance attorney as soon as you suspect bad faith.

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