Attorney Jonathan Freidin recently obtained a $450,000 settlement in a third-party insurance bad faith case against a major auto insurance company. This settlement paid by the insurance company was in excess of the $10,000 insurance policy carried by the negligent driver. While the insurance company resisted the claim, arguing that the case was a “trap” by the plaintiff’s lawyer in the underlying case, Mr. Freidin was able to demonstrate that it was the insurance company that acted in bad faith—not the lawyer.
“Insurance companies have a legal responsibility to act in good faith toward their insureds,” said attorney Jonathan Freidin. “When insurance companies don’t act in their insured’s best interests in resolving claims, they can be held liable for all damages in excess of the insurance policy – even if the policy is only $10,000 for bodily injuries.”
This case arose out of an auto accident in which the victim was seriously injured. The victim made a claim against the negligent driver, who only had an insurance policy for $10,000. In handling the victim’s claim against the insured driver, the insurance company tendered the $10,000 policy but ignored the victim’s requests for important information that she needed before she could accept the policy limits as a full settlement for her damages. Without the necessary information, the victim had no choice but to reject the policy limits and proceed to litigation, where an excess judgment was obtained. Freidin Brown, P.A. was retained to represent the negligent driver against her insurance company in the third-party bad faith case.
The lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. litigated the case until the eve of trial, when a very favorable settlement was reached. In litigating the case, the attorneys at Freidin Brown, P.A. conducted an extensive investigation into the claims-handling procedures of the insurance company. In doing so, it was uncovered that the insurance company was not acting in its insured’s best interest when handling the claim against its insured.
“Our client ended up with a huge judgment against her because the claim against her was mishandled by her insurance company,” said Mr. Freidin. “We felt we had an obligation to our client to make sure no stone went unturned in our investigation.”