No, it does not need to be a big claim before it’s an insurance bad faith case. Most of the cases we take on contingency, so we don’t get paid unless we are able to prevail. This means we are taking the risk along with the client in the case against the insurance companies. We are trying to make our client whole first and foremost.
Then we are trying to maximize any additional damages that may be available, like mental distress and punitive damages, to make sure that you get everything you deserve and that the time, effort and expense that we put into the case is recovered too.
The ultimate goal is to try and make the client whole, i.e. put the client he or she or it was in prior to the catastrophic event that necessitated making the insurance claim in the first instance.
Q: Are there instances where even a small claim can result in significant delay damages and emotional distress damages?
There are cases in Nevada where the insurance claim itself was quite low and the breach of contract damages were a small amount of money. In one of these cases, the insurance company wrongfully withheld a few thousand dollars from their insured, but then the emotional and distress damages were exponentially higher than that.
The jury can award punitive damages as well.