Florida Court Denies Motion for Summary Judgment in Insurance Bad Faith Case

In the recent case of Hines v. Geico Indemnity Co., the plaintiff alleged that a woman caused a car accident and that she was operating a vehicle owned by her husband during the crash. The insurance policy associated with the vehicle was covered under a car insurance policy that provided $25,000 in bodily injuries per person and $50,000 per accident. Shortly after the motor vehicle crash, the woman was arrested for drunk driving.

Next, the plaintiff hired a lawyer to represent her in an action against the at-fault driver, and the lawyer sent an offer to the defendant and her husband, offering to settle the dispute in exchange for tendering the bodily injury policy limit of $25,000. In support of the settlement offer, the attorney attached documentation of the medical expenses and other damages that the driver incurred as a result of the crash.

In response to the settlement offer, the defendant’s insurer noted that the woman’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provider had already paid the injured woman $10,000, and the insurance carrier would pay her $3,500 to settle the dispute.

The injured woman initiated a lawsuit against the couple, and during discovery the woman admitted that she was involved in two other car accidents, but she did not suffer injuries in either incident. She also provided evidence attempting to support the injuries she suffered in the car accident involving the defendant.

Nearly two years after the accident, the plaintiff made another settlement offer to the defendant and her husband, and she ultimately entered into a settlement agreement with the husband. The wife did not enter into a settlement agreement.

Next, the plaintiff underwent spinal surgery to address injuries that she claimed were associated with the car accident. After the operation, the car insurance company made an offer to compensate the plaintiff for her outstanding damages by tendering the policy limits. The plaintiff rejected this offer and took the matter to trial. The jury awarded the plaintiff over $500,000.

Soon after the jury trial concluded, the defendant passed away, and the decedent’s personal representative brought a bad faith insurance lawsuit against the defendant and the husband’s auto insurance carrier. The insurance carrier responded by filing a motion for summary judgment.

A bad faith insurance lawsuit is an action that protects insureds from insurance companies that fail to satisfy their contractual obligations pursuant to an insurance agreement. In ruling on the motion, the court concluded that there were multiple questions of fact regarding whether the insurance company had engaged in bad faith, and it denied the insurance carrier’s motion.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car accident, the dedicated personal injury lawyers at Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano can help. We understand how stressful this situation can be and can provide you and your family with the compassionate and aggressive legal counsel that you deserve. We serve clients throughout Southwest Florida, including in Naples, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral. Call us now at 1-800-283-7442 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.

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