Insurance Claims and Bad Faith - Accident Lawyer Hawaii

Hawaii Insurance Claim - Hawaii Bad Faith Lawyer

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Insurance Claims in Hawaii

Claims v. Insurers - Generally


There are various types of insurance coverage related to personal injury accident claims. For an overview of the types of coverage, please click here:
Types of insurance coverage



After an accident it is usually very important Hawaii (from the point of view of making a claim) to take a number of steps immediately in order to preserve evidence and document your claims. To examine these issues more closely, please visit the following page:

Inital Steps in Making Your Claim
.


If you wish to examine the minimum insurance coverages required under Hawaii state law for most motor vehicles and for motorcycles then you can do so at the following two links:

Auto Accidents and Motor Vehicle Insurance for Car Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents and Insurance on Motorcycles


These coverages generally should be available to help to compensate a person for loss as the result of negligent operation of the vehicle. (Optional additional coverages may also be available.)


Insurance Company Bad Faith in Hawaii

Sometimes when dealing with an insurance company, a claimant is treated so badly that the wrongful conduct gives rise to an independent cause of action for insurance company bad faith. Insurance policies are generally purchased by policy holders to bring Accident Lawyer Hawaii - Insurance Claim peace of mind and security. They are supposed to provide "good neighbors" and "good hands" in time of need. Increasingly, however, insurance companies take the approach that they are profit machines for their stockholders and insiders. Claims adjusters are taught to be difficult to reach, uncooperative when finally tracked down and evasive in their responses. Claim payment is often avoided on the thinnest of excuses- with an eye toward forcing a financially weakened claimant into a position of economic desperation and obtaining a settlement which favors the insurance company. Such tactics are very common- but in an appropriate case they may give rise to an independent cause of action for bad faith.

In a bad faith action- a claimant has the benefit of being able to identify for the jury the insurance company that is mistreating its policy-holder or beneficiary. As a general rule- claimants are precluded by the Hawaii rules of evidence from discussing insurance companies in any way during the trial of a liability insurance claim. This unfortunate situation allows liability insurers to conduct outrageous character assasination against opposing litigants while having their profit motive for such bald-faced smear campaigns obscured from the inquiring minds of jurors. In order to change this unjust situation, prompt legislative or judicial reversal of this unfair situation is required. Such deliberate and unethical conduct by insurance companies should not continue under a cloak of darkness granted because insurance companies are rich and politically powerful. However, in a bad faith action- as opposed to most liability claims- the claimant is able to identify and expose the wrongdoing of the insurance company.

The decision of the Hawaii Supreme Court in The Best Place, Inc. v. Penn America Insurance Co. (Hi Sup Ct No. Accident Lawyer Hawaii - Insurer 16065, June 5, 1996) upheld claims for bad faith conduct against insurance companies under Hawaii law. When an insurer wrongfully denies benefits, the insurer may held liable for consequential damages, emotional distress damages, punative damages, attorneys fees and more. Although this decision found only that the insurer is liable for bad faith conduct toward a person who paid it for insurance coverage, the reasoning followed by the court indicates that the Hawaii courts may also recognize insurer responsibility for bad faith conduct in other situations in the future. The court referred to an implied covenant of "good faith and fair dealing".

When addressing the issue of bad faith on the part of an insurance company one Oregon case was rather specific about the requirements placed on an insurance company. In the case of Radcliffe v. Franklin National Insurance Company of New York, 298 P.2d 1002 (Or.1956) at 1020, that court stated: "it can not be said to be bad faith to deny a claim when there is substantial evidence to support the denial. ...the minimum requirement is that the insurer must exercise good faith in disposing of settlement matters. We do not believe that an insurer displays good faith unless it gives consideration to the interests of the insured. Good faith may frequently be determined by ascertaining whose interest was deemed paramount, the insured's or the insurer's, when the insurance company rejected an offer of settlement; in other words, whose interest was sacrificed at that time. We have taken note of the fact that a conflict of interest between the insured and the insurer presents itself when damages are sought in excess of the policy limits and an offer of settlement which approximates the policy limit is received.

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Accident Lawyer Hawaii

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Future damages can be hard to prove in a personal injury case. But, nonetheless, the Hawaii courts hold that future damages may be awarded where there is competent medical testimony to demonstrate a future loss (such as a permanent injury or future complications, disability, limitations or pain and suffering). But supporting medical testimony is critical. "We have held that where the issue as to permanency of an injury or as to future pain or suffering is subjective in character, there must be competent expert opinion testimony as to the permanency of an injury or as to future pain and suffering before a jury may be permitted to consider such damages." Bachran v. Morishige, 469 P.2d 808, 813 (Haw. 1970)










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Insurance Claims - Accident Lawyer Hawaii

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