Insurance Bad Faith

The TWO BRIANS at the Original PISTOTNIK LAW OFFICES know how to help you with your injuries due to your wreck. Insurance companies make lots of money by offering to protect you when you are in a car wreck. They owe contractual duties to act in good faith when dealing with claims. In Kansas those duties extend to the named insured, but not to the injury victim making a claim against the insured.

If an insurance company fails in the contractual duties to negotiate reasonably and to take affirmative action to make effective attempts to settle to protect the insured, they can be found to have acted in bad faith. When determining how to protect the insured, they should consider the strength of the injury victim’s case on issues of fault and damages. They need to properly investigate the circumstances so as to ascertain the evidence against the insured. They need to inform the insured of a compromise offer. They need to consider the amount of financial risk to which each party is exposed in the event of a refusal to settle. Sometimes, they should attempt to induce the insured to contribute to a settlement. Again, these factors can lead to a finding the insurance company acted in bad faith.

In the event a judgment is obtained by the injury victim wherein the value is higher than the amount of insurance coverage, the insured (the person who was sued) has a claim against their own insurance company to pay for the excess judgment (the amount of money beyond the insurance coverage that was awarded). The injury victim can offer an assignment of the bad faith claim to try and recover the full award rather than just the amount of insurance coverage or can garnish the insurance company for the full amount under certain circumstances.

Bad faith claims are extremely important when the value of the injured person’s damages exceed the available insurance. These cases allow for a full recovery of damages when the insurance company was negligent in handling the claim.

Car wrecks generally involve three cases: property damage to your vehicle, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits as part of Kansas No Fault laws, and bodily injury claims that allow you to get a settlement to recover for your medical bills, past and future, wage loss, past and future, other economic losses, and noneconomic losses including past and future pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, inconvenience, loss of time, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium or loss of spousal services.

Kansas comparative fault pursuant to K.S.A. 60-258a requires an analysis of who was as fault for a collision. Passengers typically have no fault. Drivers are required to follow the RULES OF THE ROAD. The RULES OF THE ROAD are laws that have been in existence under the common law, but also are laws that are contained in Kansas Statutes. A violation of a statute is negligence per se. The laws impose many duties upon drivers including, but not limited to the following, a duty to keep a proper lookout, a duty to drive at an appropriate speed, a duty to maintain control of your vehicle, a duty to keep a safe and appropriate distance between your vehicle and the vehicle you are following, a duty to yield right of way under certain circumstances, and a duty to use reasonable care while driving. Obviously there are laws preventing drunk drivers from driving while drunk and laws preventing negligent motorists from texting while driving. Sometimes these extraordinarily dangerous activities can result in punitive damages in addition to actual damages. Distracted driving leads to many collisions and people get distracted for many reasons: animals or children in vehicles, use of cell phones, eating/drinking/smoking while driving, even using vehicle equipment like the radio or GPS while driving.

The experienced lawyers at the original Pistotnik Law Offices are ready to help you and explain to you the specific rights available to you for the particular circumstances of your wreck. CALL NOW FOR FREE! No cost consultations are available 24/7. Get help now, before a mistake is made. Insurance companies are trained to contact you quickly to get you to give them information about the wreck. The information they obtain can and will be used against you in your case! The less contact you have with the insurance company, the less chance you will jeoparize your case. Let us handle the insurance company for you! Something as simple as a statement like “I wasn’t paying attention to the other car.” or “I don’t think I am hurt too bad.” can make a large difference on the value of your case later. THE INITIAL CONSULTATION WITH THE TWO BRIANS IS ALWAYS FREE AND WE CHARGE NOTHING UP FRONT. NO RECOVERY, NO CHARGE TO YOU WHATSOEVER!

We are lawyers handling car wrecks in the following Kansas cities/communities: Wichita, Andover, Maize, Goddard, Haysville, Derby, Colwich, Belle Plaine, Park City, Valley Center, Towanda, El Dorado, Augusta, Kingman, Pratt, Newton, Hutchinson, Mulvane, McPherson, Salina, Great Bend, Cheney, Garden Plain, Marion, Winfield, Wellington, Herington, Council Grove, Arkansas City, Dodge City, Liberal, Garden City, Great Bend, Ellsworth, Kinsley, Stafford, Nickerson, Eureka, Douglas, Hays, Whitewater, Potwin, Russell, Caldwell, Lindsborg, Emporia, Topeka, Abilene, Andale, Anthony, Bel Aire, Benton, Cimarron, Clearwater, Cunningham, Halstead, Hesston, Hoisington, Kechi, Junction City, Manhattan, Moundridge, Parsons, Phillipsburg, Norton, Potwin, Pretty Prairie, Rose Hill, Saint John, Scott City, Solomon, South Hutchinson, Syracuse, Udall, and all cities in between!