Visitor Question

Can I sue an insurance company for acting in bad faith?

Submitted By: Anonymous (California)

I was injured when a drunk driver turned left directly in front of me. I crashed into him and got a whiplash injury which is now giving me neurological issues.

His insurance company would not return my calls and so I finally, after a year, wrote them asking for a settlement. I gave them a month to respond or I would be forced to hire an attorney. They failed to respond.

Can I sue for more than the policy limits based on their failure to negotiate in good faith? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

There is a basis in law upon which a person, whether an accident victim or not, can sue an insurance company for bad faith. To successfully sue an insurance company for bad faith you must be able to prove the company “failed to act in a reasonably prudent and fair manner, to the detriment of a claimant” (you).

From the facts you present it appears the insurance company hasn’t either returned your telephone calls or responded in any other manner to your inquiries.

If you prevail in a lawsuit against the insurance company you may be entitled not only to a settlement for your actual damages, but for an additional amount for “punitive and exemplary” damages as well. Those amounts can be just about any amount a jury decides it should be.

Contact a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge any fee for an initial consultation. Once you present all the facts to an attorney you will be in a much better position to determine whether you want to proceed.

Learn more here: Spot & Defend Against Bad Faith

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney…

  • Your Accident
  • Your Claim
  • Contact Info
  • Your Evaluation

Leave a Comment

Don’t ask a personal injury question here – comments are not reviewed by an attorney. Ask your question on this page. Required fields are marked *