Lessons from Wal-Mart - Tracy Morgan Bad Faith Allegations

Comedian Tracy Morgan’s Injury Accident

Most individuals are familiar with the details of comedian Tracy Morgan’s serious car crash in which the vehicle Morgan was traveling in was struck by a Wal-Mart truck driver.  The operator of the semi-truck was driving one of the retail giant’s commercial trucks. Morgan was seriously injured in the crash, and a fellow comedian was killed. A subsequent investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the driver of the Wal-Mart truck was responsible for causing the crash. Wal-Mart accepted responsibility for the crash, and Morgan and Wal-Mart would later agree to a confidential settlement in the case. Wal-Mart paid the agreed-upon settlement amount and asked its insurers to pay Wal-Mart pursuant to the various insurance contracts and policies they had with the company. According to allegations made by Wal-Mart, two of those insurance companies have yet to pay according to the terms of their respective policies.

Why Are Two Insurance Companies Holding Out?

The two insurance companies that have so far refused to pay have accused Wal-Mart of acting in bad faith. They claim that Wal-Mart agreed to an unreasonably high settlement amount in Morgan’s case as a way of avoiding a potential trial and judgment that could have ended up costing the company a significant amount of money.  Wal-Mart is attempting to avoid having to pay punitive damages or other similar damages out of the company’s own resources according to the insurers.  The carriers also claim Wal-Mart agreed to an unreasonably high settlement with Morgan’s legal team that is not otherwise warranted under the circumstances.  Based on these allegations, the insurance companies contend that they are not going to pay a share of the settlement amount.

What Does This Have to Do With Florida Insurance Claims?

Wal-Mart’s experience with its insurance carriers is similar to individual consumers’ experiences with their individual insurance carriers in an important way.  Both types of claims require the policyholder to communicate with the insurance company to resolve the dispute.  In Wal-Mart’s case, the two insurance companies claim that Wal-Mart did not communicate with them regarding the settlement, did not attempt to negotiate for a lower amount with the victims’ legal teams, and agreed to a settlement before Wal-Mart’s liability was appropriately determined. Wal-Mart is denying these claims.

When you submit a claim to your insurance company or request them to pay a claim presented by a victim injured in a crash or other incident, you need to ensure your insurance company has all the necessary information it needs to evaluate and pay the claim.  It is difficult to prove an insurance carrier acted in “bad faith” in denying a claim when the insurance company did not have all the information it needed to investigate the claim in the first place.

When to Contact a Bad Faith Insurance Claim Attorney

Unfortunately, some insurance companies are provided with all the information they need or request and know they ought to pay a claim but still refuse to do so. This is where our Miami-based bad faith insurance claim law firm may be able to help. An insurance company’s decision to deny a claim it should pay can cost you a significant amount of money and resources. A bad faith insurance claim brought pursuant to Florida law can help you recover damages to offset your losses. The Law Firm J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.

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