Punitive Damages for Acting in Bad Faith
When an insurance company puts its own interests above the interests of a policyholder, the insurer is said to be acting in bad faith. In some cases, Florida law allows policyholders to seek punitive damages against insurers that act in bad faith. Punitive damages go beyond compensating the plaintiff for losses. They are intended to punish wrongdoing and discourage others from engaging in similar behavior.
The attorneys of Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A., seek punitive damages for clients in cases involving insurance bad faith. Punitive damages are limited by law and are available only in certain circumstances. They must be based on actual damages and may not be excessive. An award of punitive damages is unlikely to confer great wealth to the injured policyholder.
A Two-Step Legal Process
The Florida civil remedy statute governs when and how a policyholder can pursue punitive damages. It is a two-step process. The policyholder must first establish that there is coverage for the underlying insurance dispute before a claim for punitive damages can be filed.
You may have a claim for punitive damages if, for example, the court finds that your insurance company makes a practice of:
- Inadequately investigating a claim before denying it
- Failing to settle a claim within policy limits when it had the chance to do so and this failure resulted in a judgment in excess of policy limits
- Failing to defend a policyholder against a lawsuit when it should have
To arrange a consultation to discuss your insurance coverage dispute, please contact us by e-mail or call 305-577-3996. From offices in Miami and Orlando, our lawyers represent clients from throughout Florida and across the nation.