What Happens If An Insurance Company Does Not Offer Its Policy Limits?
The possibility of obtaining a financial recovery beyond the limits of any possible insurance coverage clearly has an enormous impact on the value of the case. Maryland has relatively modest minimum motor vehicle liability coverage minimum requirements of just 30,000. A rather surprising number of drivers carry only the minimum. The best Baltimore personal injury and accident lawyers are well aware that insurance companies have an obligation to settle negligence claims.
The duty includes the requirement that it investigate the claim with due care and good faith, and settle the case within policy limits, where those considerations indicate it is appropriate to do so. [MPJI 14:10]
The duty is one owed by the insurance company to their insured, to whom it has fiduciary obligations. A seasoned Baltimore personal injury or accident lawyer will know how to get the rights that flow from this obligation [i.e. the ability to sue the insurance company] transferred to the injured person they represent under the appropriate circumstance. If an insurer refuses to settle a claim within policy limits in 'bad faith' they are liable to their insured [or, derivatively, to an assignee of their insured] for the difference between the amount of the policy limit, and the amount of the damage actually awarded, plus interest. To assist the trier of fact In determining if 'bad faith' is present, jurors are instructed to consider: the extent of the victim's injuries; the thoroughness of the investigation; and failure to tell the insured of the possibility of settlement within the policy, or consulting them on possible contribution of settlement funds [MPJI 14:10].
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 10/21/19.