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Suffering a personal injury in an auto accident is bad enough, but when the insurance company refuses to negotiate or settle a claim, the impact can be devastating. Here is an example of a victim refusing to give in when an insurance company acted in bad faith.

In November 2011, a woman was on her way home from the theatre with her 6-year-old daughter and her child’s friend. Nearby, a man had just finished drinking 15 beers while sitting in a parking lot. He started the car and headed down the same road as the woman, but in the opposite direction. Crossing the center line, he slammed head-on into the woman’s minivan, seriously injuring her and the two children. The woman suffered serious injuries, including a crushed leg; she has already undergone six surgeries. One of the girls’ suffered a skull fracture and bleeding in the brain. The negligent driver’s blood-alcohol level was estimated to be up to 0.197.

The drunk driver later admitted to consuming the 15 beers. It was also discovered that he had driver’s license and was in the U.S. illegally, yet, Unique Insurance gave him an auto insurance policy. Corporate greed caused the plaintiffs to fight for their rights through a long litigation process. According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, the insurance company failed to make any offer, forcing the families to file a lawsuit just to get the claims resolved. Three years later, a jury awarded $3.9 million in the personal injury case.

When you file an insurance claim, by law, the insurance company owes you a duty to act in “good faith.” Good faith does not mean avoiding an obligation to pay a claim in a timely manner or force years of litigation. Insurance companies should not get away with bad faith practices; more lawsuits like this one are being fought and won.

If you believe that your claim has been unfairly denied or that the insurance company has acted unreasonably, do not simply let it go. Consult an experienced attorney; pursue your claim and assert your rights. Your actions could benefit not only you, but others who have been wronged by the powerful insurance companies. Without holding these companies accountable, they will continue to take advantage of injured plaintiffs.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.

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