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Bad Faith Insurance Plaintiff Wins Her Case

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Virginia Beach, VAWhen bad faith insurance rears its ugly head, it's hard for a plaintiff to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. Akin to a high-stakes poker game, you want to leave with something when you file a bad faith insurance claim. In fact, you want to leave with as much as you can. The last thing you want to have happen is walking away with nothing.

The latter event didn't happen to a bad faith insurance plaintiff from Virginia Beach. And hardly a high-stakes poker game, nonetheless, the plaintiff in the bad faith lawsuit simply wanted what, in her view and that of her insurance bad faith attorney, was fair and just.

As outlined in Virginia Lawyers Weekly (3/20/12), the plaintiff in the case accumulated in excess of $24,000 in medical bills resulting from her injuries in a car accident. Her insurance policy provided $10,000 in coverage, for which she applied. When her carrier repeatedly denied her requests, the policyholder contacted a bad faith insurance lawyer and promptly filed a lawsuit for breach of contract.

Her lawsuit included a claim for punitive damages under the bad faith statute currently observed in the state of Virginia.

According to the plaintiff's attorney, the bad faith insurance company responded to the lawsuit with an offer to pay all medical bills in exchange for a withdrawal of the punitive damages claim.

The company later upped the ante and offered to pay medical bills and $500 in attorney's fees.

To both offers, the plaintiff refused. In the end, Virginia Beach General District Judge Calvin R. DePew Jr. ruled in favor of the plaintiff and awarded her 100 percent of her outstanding medical bills, $1,500 in attorney's fees and $4,000 in punitive damages. The defendant did not contest the award.

Had the plaintiff accepted what her bad faith insurance company was offering, she would have walked away with less. And while this case did not involve the millions of dollars reflected by some cases, the monetary value was significant nonetheless.

Advocates to fair play and practice in the insurance industry decry the existence of bad faith insurance, serving as it does, a mockery to the consistent payment of premiums on the part of policyholders over many years, only to come up against a brick wall when it comes time to collect.

While some insurance claimants do try to fleece their carriers, the majority of claimants are honest Americans with real needs. Understandably frustrated by a carrier's systematic denials to a justified claim, many will seek justice through a bad faith lawsuit.

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READER COMMENTS

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I was sold a dangerous wreck by a car dealer and his mechanic on the car dealer's lot. I literally could have been killed and/or killed somebody else. Their surety bond claims adjuster changed the Carfax to remove the wreck the vehicle had been in which made it dangerous and change the odometer mile reading to be 225,000 less than what the title said. DMV Odometer Fraud had gone by the Bill of Sale vin no. which was incorrect on purpose so I wouldn't check the Carfax. The car needed its 3d head gasket repair and had major damages not repaired from the 2013 wreck it had been in. They had purchased it from original Seller and deliberately not done a title transfer and forged his name, address, and signature on the Bill of Sale. I was refused a refund within 1 hr when I said car had engine problems which it did. No FTC-mandated Buyer's Guide in the car window showing car's condition. Was an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi running car dealership so believed it to be honest. They violated numerous FL Statutes: 319.22, 319.33, 501.2077, 624.155 (their insurance adjuster denied legitimate claim), and 825 because they pressured me to buy the car for more than an hour constantly lying to me. I never saw title until after I paid. Then I wanted refund because not correct title transfer, not correct Bill of Sale, 225,000 odometer mile difference between title and odometer, "check engine light" on meant engine problems despite them telling me it was a sensor. Since didn't do title transfer I couldn't find address on mechanic. The car dealer said it was for sale by both but to pay mechanic because under their 30-day warranty I wouldn't be back down there. I came all the way from NC to FL. The car overheated badly whole way back which I said was the engine problems they knew. They bought it knowing it had major engine problems. I took in to be evaluated by soldier/mechanic who didn't do car repairs instead stole car repair money. I never would have met him if car hadn't been overheating so badly. It wouldn't pass inspection in NC with check engine light on and he was supposed to fix that too. I had to go through hell in a court martial I never would have. Advance Auto recommended this soldier/Sex Predator. He is being sent to Ft. Leavenworth for sex crimes, robbery of my shotgun, robbery of my credit cards, adultery, rape of other women etc. I want to know if somebody can sue Advance Auto for referring me to him which I otherwise wouldn't have known about. I think they are in VA. I was denied the claim by surety bond co. because FL DMV Fraud closed complaint against car dealership. They had gone on fraudulent vin no. on Bill of Sale--no such vin no. We had to do vin no certification and title history to get it back to opening the complaint. Car dealer violated FL Statutes 319.22, 319.33, 501.2077, 624.155, and 825. I am over 60, former military and disabled. I really really really need help on a contingency basis. Surely somebody can make a deal with Advance Auto and sue the Surety Bond company. Whole transaction took place on car dealer's lot. I also am in contact with original Seller whose name they forged on Bill of Sale.

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